Luis Tejada/Twitter

World Cup star: God saved me from joining a gang

Mon 11 Jun 2018
By Alex Williams

A football star preparing to represent his country at the 2018 FIFA World Cup this month says he is thanking God for giving him a sports career and saving him from a life of crime.

Panama's Luis Tejada also said his aunt received a vision from God that her nephew would score an impressive overheard kick at the tournament in Russia.

The 36-year-old strike described growing up in neighbourhoods of Panama City which were blighted by gangs and gun crime.


He told TVN Panama: "Sometimes I stop to think: the only things that never stop are time and the wind.

"I don't know if I would be dead, [without football], if I would have been in a gang, or if I would have ended up doing some good.

"For this reason, I thank God that he grabbed me in time and took control of me."


Tejada, who first played for his national football team in 2001, is due to retire after the World Cup.

Referring to Panama's failure to reach the competition in 2014, he continued: "When the US beat us and we didn't qualify for the World Cup, I told my mother I would happily give away all the titles I've won in exchange for God to give us another chance.


"Now, He has done that. For me, that is the biggest success in my career."

He added: "I would swap every goal I've scored for just one in Russia."

Tejada's interview formed part of the Guardian newspaper's 2018 World Cup Experts' Network, a partnership of various media organisations from the 32 World Cup participant countries.

Stay up to date with the latest news stories from a Christian perspective. Sign up to our daily newsletter and receive more stories like this straight to your inbox every morning.

comments powered by Disqus
Daily news direct to your inbox
Your News Feed

Stay informed and inform others with up to the minute news from a Christian perspective. 

Daily News email

RSS feeds

News Widgets

You may also like...

Class A drugs and three "massive" knives were among a haul of... More

Campaigners have begun a 100 day bid to save a historic church... More

The increasing number of fatal stabbings has prompted talk of... More