At 21, Nicoyan Jose Antonio Guevara Estrada fells that life has smiled on him as a result of the success he has achieved playing soccer.
He got involved with soccer when he was 6 with the Guanacaste Athletic Association soccer school. At the age of 12, he was part of the indoor soccer team for the Nicoya High School. Now he is a first division player on the Barrio Peralta team.
Since 2010, he has been called to the National Selection for indoor soccer. During this time, he has gone with the Selection to Cuba, Panama, Colombia, Brazil, Guatemala, Mexico, Spain, Germany and recently to Thailand for the world competition.
His inspiration has always been his father, also named Jose Antonio Guevara, who died in an accident.
“The day he died, I played,” related Toñito, as people call him. “This day was his birthday. As a dedication to him, I wore a t-shirt under my uniform that said “Happy Birthday Pa.” This message impacted many who saw it before he died. This has left a mark on me. Since then, I dedicate every moment to my Pa.”
His father also inculcated humility in him. “I always keep in mind my dad’s saying: “Humility before all else is the key to success,” he added.
His mother and family are important pillars in the soccer-oriented life of Jose Antonio, who is studying physical education at the Autonomous University of Central America in San Jose.
With the support of his family, Toñito has excelled in his sport. He went to a world competition, where he said he had to struggle because not everyone gets admitted. If anyone puts on a National Selection jersey, it’s because he’s fought to get there.
Although the Selection team only made it to the first phase before being eliminated, it was an unforgettable experience for Jose Antonio, where he could experience another culture. For example, Thai dishes are accompanied by insects like crickets, worms and cockroaches, as well as rats and frogs, among other animals.
“Bangkok is an impressive city; the cultural dances are out of this world. During my stay in Thailand, I could take advantage of time to have a look at this colorful country that is full of many interesting things that you can’t see in our country,” recounted the slender Nicoyan.
He said that the Thai people are very kind, and the worship of Buddha also caught his attention since his mom loves images of Buddha.
“Getting to know other countries, other cultures, makes us mature as a person and as a player; this gives a lot of satisfaction. I always dreamed of this moment and as a result of my positive, winning attitude I was able to get to where I wanted,” he related.