Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Oscar Pareja's match with Pablo Escobar
ESPN, May 25th, 2012 2:16PM

MOST READ
TAGS:  colombia, colorado rapids

MOST COMMENTED

Rick Reilly talks to Colorado Rapids coach Oscar Pareja, who recalls the time 20 years ago in his native Colombia he and six of his Independiente Medellin teammates were summoned to the La Catedra -- the government-built luxury prison where notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar was held -- to play Escobar and his guards.

Pareja says he never told until now the story of meeting the Escobar, who had ordered the murder of thousands, in jail. (Escobar was killed by Colombian police in 1993 after escaping from prison.)

"There were fine couches in there," remembers Pareja. "And TVs. And they gave us snacks to eat. And then a bunch of bodyguards came into the room, and then [Escobar]. And it made me wonder, 'Who, exactly, is the prisoner here today?'"

Escobar talked with Pareja, then, 23, even calling him by his nickname, El Guapo.

"That day I can't forget," says Pareja. "He sat next to me talking about [soccer] with great passion and knowledge, for an hour. He knew everything. He said to me, 'Why do you yell at the refs so much, Guapo? We pay them. This does no good.'"

The pros won the soccer game, but Pareja says the score was close.

Read the original story...


1 comment
  1. Carlos Thys
    commented on: May 30, 2012 at 4:04 p.m.
    Somebody needs to do a book on this. I once saw a long TV documentary (not done by a US organization) on the life of the two Escobars, where they intersected. That is not a world I'd ever want to live in or be near. Corruption from start to finish. Either "play ball" and "play along" or prepared to be gunned down in alleged "crossfire." Or have a family member "roughed up." Pareja says that Colombia has changed? Oh? Sure, in some ways. But it is still way too uncertain, way too unpredictable. Way too unsafe. And sports results are still to be doubted - in full.


Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Section 2 Around the Net
New York passes goal-anchoring law    
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill late that requires the state to come ...
Gervinho Tries to Smuggle Woman into Italy     
Apparently, AS Roma and Ivory Coast forward Gervinho tried and failed to smuggle a woman onto ...
Report: Wilshere Out Two-Three Months     
The Guardian on Monday reported that Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere, who went off injured in the ...
Enrique: Messi to Play Different Positions for Barca    
Lionel Messi will be used both as the main striker as well as a wide forward ...
Valcke: FIFA's Reputation is Damaged    
FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke on Tuesday acknowledged that it could take "years" to rebuild FIFA's ...
Ribery Rips FIFA's Ballon d'Or     
Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery expects teammates Arjen Robben and Manuel Neuer to miss out on ...
Pellegrini: Aguero 'One of the Best in the World'    
Manuel Pellegrini hailed hat-trick hero Sergio Aguero for rescuing Manchester City's UEFA Champions League hopes with ...
Mourinho Hails 'Complete' Chelsea     
Jose Mourinho hailed the 'complete' performance of his players as Chelsea sealed first-place in Group G ...
Report: Real Beats Barca to Promising Youngster    
Real Madrid has beaten Barcelona to the signing of promising youngster Marco Asensio, in what Spanish ...
Guardiola Hopes Messi Stays at Barca     
Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola said he hopes "with all my heart" that Lionel Messi ends ...
>> Section 2 Around the Net Archives