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
Creighton shuts down Jordan Morris    
No. 24 Creighton got goals by freshman Ricky Lopez-Espin and Fabian Herbers to beat No. 13 ...
Redknapp to Sign Two-Year QPR Extension    
Despite losing his first three games of the season, Queens Park Rangers coach Harry Redknapp revealed ...
Hernandez, Juve Agree Personal Terms    
The Corriere dello Sport on Friday reported that Juventus has agreed personal terms with Manchester United ...
Cambiasso Joins Leicester City     
Former Inter Milan midfielder Esteban Cambiasso on Friday officially joined Premier League club Leicester City. The ...
Fringe Players' Pay Could Derail Man United Transfer Plans    
Following the British record $99 million arrival of Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid, Manchester United ...
Chelsea's Torres Wants AC Milan Move     
Chelsea striker Fernando Torres is said to be closing in on a move to AC Milan ...
Report: Gunners Favorite to Sign Falcao on Loan     
ESPN on Thursday reported that AS Monaco has made sought-after striker Radamel Falcao available for a ...
Xabi Alonso Transfer Raises Question Marks in Germany    
Xabi Alonso's 10 million-euro ($13.2 million) transfer from Real Madrid to Bayern Munich has been met ...
Rooney Named England Captain     
Roy Hodgson on Thursday named Wayne Rooney captain of England following the retirement of former captain ...
Van Basten Exhibits 'Severe Symptoms'; Leaves AZ Indefinitely     
Netherlands and AC Milan legend Marco van Basten on Thursday mysteriously left his post as AZ ...
>> Section 2 Around the Net Archives