Fifteen years later, last Wednesday, a Facetime call from Sam, still one of my best friends: here he is in the middle of a gigantic stadium, a few hours before Canada’s first World Cup game.
“Look at the man! he said and showed me the stadium.
A little guy from Repentigny, who is absolutely not predestined to play football, is at the World Cup. The Mondial, the largest sporting event in the world, the most prestigious of all.
A work history
His story is not that of the talented star. That makes it interesting.
It’s an unexpected story built on hard work and defying expectations.
Today is wonderful. We see the finality, the moments of excitement, the consecration of him with the jersey of CF Montreal and Canada.
But before the feats, there were all the efforts in the shadows, all the disappointments overcome, all the sacrifices.
Exodus first from Quebec at the age of 14 to France.
Imagine leaving the family cocoon at 14. Walking alone, with his football boots and a dream. Come on, leaving family and friends behind, seeing them party without you, facetime calls, coming back to family for two weeks at Christmas, going too fast.
After France we go to Germany. In another country you have to adapt.
I remember seeing him in Düsseldorf where he played.
I still see him running with sagging tires in practice, doing laps around the field. Only the Germans have to do that. And there was only one Quebecer who passed her. A work history, I tell you.
With every step it was said that he had reached his limit. Even he had to believe he was finished. But no, he always managed to exceed expectations. every time
Selected as one of the last for the Quebec team, he became the best. Selected for the Canadian team at 18, he became a pillar. Eight years after leaving Europe, he returned to Montreal with Impact. We didn’t really know how good he was. He became captain, the face of the club.
And despite everything, humility accompanies them. Never the head swollen, always the two well anchored feet. Always open to discussion with a supporter to listen to their friends. Anyone can attest to that.
A possible dream
15 years ago it was not even possible for a Quebecer to be at the World Cup.
Sam’s whole story began in the same place as all the young Quebecers who are now watching the World Cup and dream of one day being there.
The first football games, the video games where you played the World Cup yourself, the tournaments, the good games and the bad ones, the disappointments, the hours of playing on the field with friends, the work at every training session, national teams, field lap towing tires depend on the hip.
And for some, including one crazy enough to believe it, there is a World Cup.