LIMA Ė Panamanian striker Luis Tejada announced in an interview with EFE that he will leave the national team after playing in the World Cup in Russia, but not before trying to score a goal in the tourney, for which he would be ready to give up all the other goals in his career.
The 36-year-old ďEl Matador,Ē the highest scorer in history for the Panamanian team who currently plays for Peruís Sports Boys, qualifying for his first World Cup is the greatest achievement of his career.
Question: How are you feeling on the verge of your first World Cup?
Answer: Happy, because itís a dream come true for all Panamanians. ... Physically, Iím doing well.
Q: What are Panamaís plans?
A: Weíre going to the enjoy the World Cup and compete. Itís the last one for many of us who are here and we have to take it as a great responsibility.
Q: What do you think about your rivals in Group G (Belgium, England and Tunisia)?
A: I would have liked for it to be Brazil or Argentina.
Q: Do you feel like youíve made history in your country?
A: Itís like winning the first title for a club. The first stays with you your whole life.
Q: Is this the greatest success of your career?
A: Yes. ... I told my mom that Iíd give all the titles in my career in exchange for God giving me this opportunity, and now heís given it to us.
Q: Would you also exchange all the goals in your career for scoring one in the World Cup?
A: All of them. ... Iíve never played in one, but Iíve watched then and I know how sweet it is to celebrate a goal.
Q: Will you try to do one with a scissors kick, like against Mexico in 2005?
A: I have an aunt whoís very religious, and she says that God told her that Iíd do a scissors-kick goal at the World Cup and also that Iíd retire from the team.
Q: Are you thinking of retiring from the team after the World Cup?
A: After the World Cup Iíll ... say goodbye. Tejada has done everything. He left some teaching, goals and Ė most importantly Ė he cooperated with all his teammates so that Panama went to its first World Cup.
Q: Whatís your assessment of the coach, Colombiaís Hernan Dario ďBolilloĒ Gomez?
A: Sometimes, lots of people in Panama criticize him, but they donít know the quality of the coach we have. They donít give him the credit that they should.
Q: What changes has ďBolilloĒ made in the team?
A: Heís changed our mentality a lot. We had a very fun-loving attitude. He ... put it into our heads that we should think only about soccer.