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Facts You Should Know About These 13 Legendary Soccer Players from Latin America

Latin America has always been home to some of the most talented soccer players in the world. After all, in every street of Latin America, football breathes and lives. It is even possible to think that these wonderful players are born to play football all their life.

To explore the talent that the continent has, we have compiled some interesting facts about 13 legendary soccer players from Latin America. Let’s get started.

Lionel Messi

 Instagram @leomessi

The Argentine professional footballer who plays for FC Barcelona and the Argentina national team is among the phenomenon players the world has ever seen. In fact, by the age of 21, Messi had already received Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations. Even after being diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency as a child, Messi went ahead and made his debut in Barcelona’s youth academy. 

Instagram@leomessi

With Barcelona, he has won almost everything from Spanish League, Super Cup in Europe, King’s Cup in Spain, UEFA’s Champions League, and World Cup of clubs. As if that’s not enough, he still proves to be among the best soccer players in the world.

Neymar

Instagram @neymarjr


The Brazilian athlete is at the peak of his career as a striker in Paris Saint-Germain. Thanks to his great dribbling, skill, finishing, pace, and ability to play with both feet, he is considered to be one of the best players in the world. 

Instagram @neymarjr

With a record of 59 goals in a total of 94 matches for the Brazil team, Neymar is the third highest goalscorer for his national team, just behind Pele and Ronaldo. Off the pitch, he’s a prominent sportsman and an ambassador of some great brands which contribute to his huge earnings. Actually, France Football ranked him the third highest paid footballer in 2018.

Javier Hernandez

Instagram @ch14_

Known by his stage name “Chicharito,” Javier Hernandez is a Mexican soccer player with several accolades under his sleeve. He is an all-time leading goalscorer for Mexican national team. He has been described as a “goal-poacher” thanks to his exceptional ability to score goals at close-range.  

Instagram @ch14_

Did you know that his nickname means little pea in Spanish? Actually, it originated from his father who was nicknamed “Chicharo (pea)” because of his green eyes.

Luis Suarez

Instagram @luissuarez9


The Uruguayan’s soccer player who plays for the famous Spanish club FC Barcelona plays alongside Lionel Messi and continues to win every game with the team.

Instagram @luissuarez9

You can recall him when he became famous from the old behavior on the field including bites which was criticized heavily across the globe. As a result of his excellent performance, he has achieved five titles with his current club. The most unforgettable being the one he scored against Juventus, in the Champions League Finals and his five goals in the World cups of clubs. As a result, he became the best in that tournament.

Sergio Aguero

Instagram @10aguerosergiokun

“Kun” is an Argentine professional footballer and is known to be among the youngest soccer players to play in the Argentine Primera Division when he was 15 years old. He actually broke this record that was formerly held by the famous Diego Maradona in 1976. 

Instagram @10aguerosergiokun

Following his incredible performance in the 2015-2016 season, he entered the books of record of the Premier League when he scored five goals against Newcastle United. He joined the exclusive group of great players like Andy Cole, Dimitar Berbatov, Jermain Defore, and Alan Shearer, as the only players that have made it. Aguero shares a close friendship with Lionel Messi.

Carlos Tevez

Instagram @tevezoficial


Following his shining performance with a number of European teams, Tevez is considered an indispensable player who plays as a forward for Boca Juniors and the Argentina national team.  In his first season in the team, he scored nine goals in 15 games which was a major boost for the team. 

Instagram @tevezoficial

An interesting fact about Tevez is that at one time, he performed as the front man for a musical group known as Piola Vago alongside his brother Diego. One of the groups hit “Lost Your Control” became one of the most successful hits in Argentina.

Arturo Vidal

Instagram @kingarturo23oficial


The Chilean athlete plays as a midfielder for Spanish club Barcelona and Chile’s national team. He collected his fourth title in a row after winning in the A series with Juventus. Arturo has also earned 103 caps for the Chile national team since his first appearance in 2007. 

Instagram @kingarturo23oficial

He further helped his national team to victory during the 2015 Copa America and the Copa America Centenario. In 2013, EA Sports indicated that they had decided to feature Vidal on FIFA 14 in Central and South Americans, alongside global cover star Lionel Messi.

Alexis Sanchez

Instagram @alexis_officia1

During his era in Arsenal, he was awarded the Best Player of his club. The Chilean professional footballer plays for Manchester United and the Chile national team. 

Instagram @alexis_officia1

The 2015-2016 season was historic for Sanchez after he became the first player to achieve a hat-trick in three of the most famous European competitions (Spanish League, Italian A Series, and Premier League). Sanchez used his incredible “Panenka-style” shot to seal Argentina’s victory in the America Cup championship.

James Rodriguez

Instagram @jamesrodriguez10

James David Rodrigues or “James” is a Colombian professional soccer player who plays for the German club Bayer Munich on loan from Real Madrid as well as the Colombian national team. 

Instagram @jamesrodriguez10

He is a versatile footballer with the ability to play in several positions across the front-line or midfielder, having played as a central midfielder, winger, and playmaker for both club and the national team.

Roberto Firmino

Instagram @roberto_firmino


The Liverpool attacking midfielder is one of the most underrated players in the Premier League, but his impact on the team cannot go unnoticed. 

Instagram @roberto_firmino

In the 2017-2018 season, the Brazilian professional footballer switched his shirt to number 9, with the new signing Mohamed Salah assuming his previous number 11. Firmino has been nicknamed “Bobby’ by Liverpool players and fans, shortening of his name “Roberto.”

Keylor Navas

Instagram @keylornavas1

The Costa Rican professional soccer player is a talented goalkeeper who plays for the Spanish club Real Madrid and Costa Rica national team. His exceptional speed and reflexes earned him the best player of the season award in La Liga in 2014. 

Instagram @keylornavas1

He is a committed Christian and his favorite Bible verse is Galatians 1:10 which says: “If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

Edinson Cavani

Instagram @cavaniofficial21


Regardless of which league he plays, Edinson Cavani always scores lots of goals. The talented Uruguayan footballer who plays as a striker for Paris Saint-Germain, as well as the Uruguay national team, has been at his best ever scoring six goals in seven Champions League games so far. Although he is a quick and strong center forwarder, he is capable of playing in several positions including a winger or as a supporting winger.

Instagram @cavaniofficial21

Javier Mascherano

Instagram @mascherano14

“El Jefecito” may not be the trending type of guy because he doesn’t score goals, but stops other people from doing it. The Argentinean footballer is known for his versatile and tactical approach in organizing his team in the field. 

Instagram @mascherano14

He has been a member of Barcelona for five years and his position and contribution in one of the best clubs in the world is indisputable. In 2015, this talented defender won five titles with Barcelona making it one of the most memorable years in his career.

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America Ferrera Celebrates 20th Anniversary Of Working On ‘Gotta Kick It Up’ With Sweet IG Post

Entertainment

America Ferrera Celebrates 20th Anniversary Of Working On ‘Gotta Kick It Up’ With Sweet IG Post

It has been 20 years since America Ferrera’s dream of becoming an actor back true. She took to Instagram to reflect on the moment that her dream started to come true and it is a sweet reminder that anyone can chase their dreams.

America Ferrera shared a sweet post reflecting on the 20th anniversary of working on “Gotta Kick It Up!”

“Gotta Kick It Up!” was one of the earliest examples of Latino representation so many of us remember. The movie follows a school dance team trying to be the very best they could possibly be. The team was down on their luck but a new teacher introduces them to a different kind of music to get them going again.

After being introduced to Latin beats, the dance team is renewed. It taps into a cultural moment for the Latinas on the team and the authenticity of the music makes their performances some of the best.

While the movie meant so much to Latino children seeing their culture represented for the first time, the work was a major moment for Ferrera. In the Instagram post, she gushes over the celebrities she saw on the lot she was working on. Of course, anyone would be excited to see Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt hanging out. Yet, what stands out the most is Ferrera’s own excitement to realize that she can make money doing what she loves most.

“I wish I could go back and tell this little baby America that the next 20 years of her life will be filled with unbelievable opportunity to express her talent and plenty of challenges that will allow her to grow into a person, actress, producer, director, activist that she is very proud and grateful to be. We did it baby girl. I’m proud of us,” Ferrera reflects.

Watch the trailer for “Gotta Kick It Up!” here.

READ: America Ferrera’s “Superstore” Is Going To Get A Spanish-Language Adaptation In A Win For Inclusion

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This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

Entertainment

This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

On a recent episode of ABC’s game show To Tell The Truth, three celebrity panelists were tasked to uncover the identity of a real mariachi singer.

Each contender embodied “non-traditional” attributes of mariachi culture either through physical appearance or language barriers, leaving the panelists stumped.

When it came time for the big reveal, with a humble smile 53-year-old Timoteo “El Charro Negro” stood up wowing everyone. Marveled by his talents, Timoteo was asked to perform unveiling his smooth baritone voice.

While not a household name in the U.S., his career spans over 25 years thriving on the catharsis of music.

Timoteo “El Charro Negro” performing “Chiquilla Linda” on Dante Night Show in 2017.

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Timoteo, born Timothy Pollard, moved to Long Beach, California with his family when he was eight years old. The move to California exposed Pollard to Latin culture, as the only Black family in a Mexican neighborhood.

As a child, he recalled watching Cantinflas because he reminded him of comedian Jerry Lewis, but musically he “got exposed to the legends by chance.”

“I was bombarded by all the 1960s, ’70s, and ’50s ranchera music,” Timoteo recalls to mitú.

The unequivocal passion mariachi artists like Javier Solis and Vicente Fernandez possessed heavily resonated with him.

“[The neighbors] always played nostalgic music, oldies but goodies, and that’s one thing I noticed about Mexicans,” Timoteo says. “They can be in their 20s but because they’ve grown up listening to the oldies it’s still very dear to them. That’s how they party.”

For as long as he can remember, Pollard “was born with the genetic disposition to love music,” knowing that his future would align with the arts.

After hearing Vicente Fernandez sing “Lástima Que Seas Ajena,” an awakening occurred in Pollard. While genres like hip-hop and rap were on the rise, Pollard’s passion for ranchera music grew. It was a moment when he realized that this genre best suited his big voice.

Enamored, Pollard began to pursue a career as a Spanish-language vocalist.

El Charro Negro
Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

At 28, Timoteo began learning Spanish by listening and singing along to those artists he adored in his youth.

“When I decided that I wanted to be a mariachi, I didn’t think it was fair to exploit the culture and not understand the language,” he says. “If I’m going to sing, I need to be able to communicate with my audience and engage with them. I need to understand what I’m saying because it was about honor and respect.”

Pollard began performing local gigs after picking up the language in a matter of months. He soon attracted the attention of “Big Boy” Radio that adorned him the name Timoteo “El Charro Negro.”

Embellishing his sound to highlight his Black heritage, Pollard included African instruments like congas and bongos in his orchestra. Faintly putting his own spin on a niche genre, Pollard avoided over-saturating the genre’s sound early in his career.

Embraced by his community as a beloved mariachi, “El Charro Negro” still encountered race-related obstacles as a Black man in the genre.

“There are those [in the industry] who are not in the least bit thrilled to this day. They won’t answer my phone calls, my emails, my text messages I’ve sent,” he says. “The public at large hasn’t a problem with it, but a lot of the time it’s those at the helm of decision making who want to keep [the genre] exclusively Mexican.”

“El Charro Negro” persisted, slowly attracting fans worldwide while promoting a message of harmony through his music.

In 2007, 12 years into his career, Pollard received a golden ticket opportunity.

El Charro Negro
Pollard (left) seen with legendary Mexican artist Vicente Fernandez (right) in 2007. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In a by-chance encounter with a stagehand working on Fernandez’s tour, Pollard was offered the chance to perform onstage. The singer was skeptical that the offer was legit. After all, what are the chances?

The next day Pollard went to his day job at the time and said, “a voice in my head, which I believe was God said, ‘wear your blue velvet traje tonight.'”

That evening Pollard went to a sold-out Stockton Area where he met his idol. As he walked on the stage, Pollard recalls Fernandez insisting that he use his personal mic and band to perform “De Que Manera Te Olvido.”

“[Fernandez] said he did not even want to join me,” he recollects about the show. “He just was kind and generous enough to let me sing that song on his stage with his audience.”

The crowd applauded thunderously, which for Pollard was a sign of good things to come.

El Charro Negro
Timoteo “El Charro Negro” with Don Francisco on Don Francisco Presenta in 2011. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In 2010, he released his debut album “Me Regalo Contigo.” In perfect Spanish, Pollard sings with great conviction replicating the soft tones of old-school boleros.

Unraveling the rollercoaster of relationships, heart-wrenchingly beautiful ballads like “Me Regalo Contigo” and “Celos” are his most streamed songs. One hidden gem that has caught the listener’s attention is “El Medio Morir.”

As soon as the track begins it is unlike the others. Timoteo delivers a ’90s R&B love ballad in Spanish, singing with gumption as his riffs and belts encapsulate his unique sound and story.

Having appeared on shows like Sabado Gigante, Don Francisco Presenta, and Caso Cerrado in 2011, Timoteo’s career prospered.

Timoteo hasn’t released an album since 2010 but he keeps his passion alive. The singer has continued to perform, even during the Covid pandemic. He has high hopes for future success and original releases, choosing to not slow down from his destined musical journey.

“If God is with me, who can be against me? It may not happen in a quick period of time, but God will make my enemies my footstool,” he said.

“I’ve continued to be successful and do some of the things I want to do; maybe not in a particular way or in particular events, but I live in a very happy and fulfilled existence.”

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