I am a 23 year old Mexican American living in the States and Newcastle United has my heart.
Growing up in the States means growing up in a sports-dominated culture. Basketball, baseball and football (American) grab all the glory. These are our favourites, simply because we excel in them. We do not like to embrace much unless it is of the grandest quality. This is why we often de-prioritise soccer. Hell, we even prefer the term “soccer” to allow football (American) to maintain a more clear and proper image.
I fell in love with the beautiful game at a young age.
I fell in love because it is the world’s sport.
It is the sport that gathers all cultures from across the globe.
And it absolutely crushes my heart to see my country is a team of many cultures, yet we often fail to come together. For me, football gave me life; it was my therapy, my hope and passion. The sport alone captured me. Then came the story of a boy with a dream, a boy very similar to me with a very similar dream. As arbitrary as the story may be, it is still the reason I fell in love with Newcastle United.
I have been watching the club for a few years now, feeling both the joys of accomplishments and the frustrations of struggling times.
I do my best to watch every game, even if it begins at five in the morning over here. I have spent time learning the history of the club and of the legends (Ginola, Ferdinand and Shearer to name a few) to not only grace the club but also the game. Most of my supporting life I have witnessed the long strenuous battle against relegation.
This season we have reached the top half of the Premier League which many failed to even imagine at the beginning of the season. Rafa Benitez may have been the only one to see the true potential for the club this season.
Rafa Benitez gives me the greatest hope as an NUFC supporter. In the States, the only jerseys worn are of the ‘Big six’, or Barcelona and Real Madrid. It is rare to see any other club proudly worn in the public. I see Rafa as the person who can put Newcastle United jerseys all over the States. I trust Rafa, and I have faith in his vision and patience.
Newcastle United needs an owner to have the same faith and trust as the supporters have in Rafa Benitez. It will take some time, as all great things do, but within a few years Rafa can help the Newcastle name to instill fear to the Premier League.
Although I may not own a jersey yet, I know Rafa is the man to create a new wave of supporters as he and the club continue to progress. One day I will see Newcastle United supporters here in the States as often as I see Manchester United or Chelsea fans, and I will know it began with Rafa Benitez and the players who trusted him.
I am proud of the current squad and hope we can keep most of our key players. They have progressed so much this season, I look forward to their future.
From the States to St James with love.