Good Goals

It was the Summer of 2002 and I was in Maine of all places earning a few college credits and racking up some extra cash at a local sandwich shop when I first caught World Cup Fever.
Text by Jorge Arauz | May 1, 2018 | Lifestyle

My Brazilian co-worker invited me to his basement to watch his team secure a historic 5th World Cup win. Somehow I made it through my entire life without ever watching soccer, er, fútbol, but I was hooked from the first (and second) GOOOOOAAALLLLL!. (The former took 67 minutes to score, the latter came just 12 minutes after). That day I learned that “Cafu” was not a type of latte or Portuguese curse word, but rather the name of the Brazil team captain at the time; and that the player with the reverse mullet mohawk hairdo who scored both of the goals during the final was named “Ronaldo.” “Are those their real names?,” I asked my Brazilian buddy. Even though the explanation took longer than the first goal took to score, I quickly realized why he and his family always called me “Cubano” instead of by my real name. When Brazil took home the title that year, they cemented their place in history as the team with the most World Cup wins, a record they still hold to this day. Even though that experience was 16 years ago, I’ll always remember the excitement I felt watching my first World Cup final. Will I be cheering for Brazil this year? You can bet your “Cafu” on it.