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Christian Orellana: “Uncle’s Greatness”

This I Believe

Hard work will always prevail.

Soccer has always been my passion since I was a little kid. The first time I watched a soccer game was back in 2010; I still remember it as if it was yesterday. I woke up around 9:35am and, as a kid, I didn’t really have a morning routine. I just went with the flow. I walked into Jesus’s room. No, it’s obviously not the Jesus you’re thinking about.

My uncle’s name is Jesus. I saw that it was Manchester City vs. Manchester United on TV. Now this might sound bizarre to people who aren’t soccer fanatics, but it’s the Manchester Derby, which was and still is a huge game in the soccer world.

I asked my uncle, “What are they playing? Which players are the best?” and he responded with, “Just watch and enjoy.”

Surely enough, I did, and it was simply love at first sight.

Now you might be asking yourself what my favorite team is, and no, it’s not one of the Manchester teams. FC Barcelona was always my uncle’s favorite team and 15-year-old Christian didn’t want to support any other team.

The following day, I asked my parents to take me to the store and buy me a soccer ball as well as some cleats. I had the biggest urge to play, so my uncle and I went to the closest field around 1:00pm. I threw the ball in the air while feeling the wind blow my hair backwards. Once the ball hit the ground, I knew that the moment my foot kicked it it was going to be astonishing.

We ran all day and kicked the ball till we couldn’t feel our legs anymore. I chugged a water bottle like there was no tomorrow. The day ended and I asked for the time and it was already 6:00pm. To this day, I thank my uncle for always supporting me in my dream of becoming a professional soccer player.

Of course, I have other family members that tell me to keep following my dreams, but when they say it, they refer to a dream to keep continuing with education. A job that makes a lot of money and can help everyone have a better life. Now I would love to do that, but in a way that makes me happy, through soccer.

Ever since I was 15, I constantly had people coming up to me after games and they would tell me that I had the same qualities as, to me, the greatest player of all time, Lionel Messi. My little brain came to the conclusion that they were not being serious, but my little brain also came to the conclusion that we were taking soccer to another level.

I practice for at least four out of the seven days of the week with either myself or my friends. My friends believe that I can make it big with hard work and discipline. They know how hungry I am to make it to the top.

Although I’m not where I want to be as far as my soccer career is concerned, I will continue to practice and try out for semi-professional teams around my area. My uncle constantly asks how I’m doing with my soccer career, and every time he asks, I just smile at him.

He knows that I am never going to stop until I make him and my family proud. I believe in my uncle’s greatness and thanks to him, I will be successful in my own way.

***

(Read all the pieces in This I Believe; Photo by Marko Milivojevic on Pixnio)

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