Why Zaire? I asked.
“I loved 1974 WC Zaire showing and especially the free kick moment against Brazil.”
My football memory starts with 1974 World Cup. Very good Yugoslavian team was there, in the same group with Zaire. The tournament was a humiliating experience for the African team. The free kick moment in the game against Brazil was funny, even Mwepu finds it to be so. But lots has changed since: Yugoslavia does not exist anymore, Zaire is now Democratic Republic of Congo, and most importantly, African football is as good as any (and often better). Tony was born in Cleveland, Ohio where his parents settled after immigrating from Croatia. He lives in Montreal, follows his favourite club Hajduk Split and all things football. Finally, Tony is a goalie in an amateur soccer league. His beautiful Zaire shirt might not be original but it’s certainly a replica good enough to remind us of the Zaire team from 1974.
This is a great opportunity to share the Zaire page from my 1974 WC sticker album, in caricature, produced in Yugoslavia.
Why LGA? I asked.
“My parents are from Costa Rica.”
It was refreshing to run into someone not wearing a big European club shirt. Our conversation was short but I learned that Liga Deportiva Alajuelense is one of the most successful clubs from Costa Rica, twice the winner of the CONCACAF champions’ cup. Louis Philippe is form Montreal and studies at the Lassalle College. I didn’t ask him if he participates in the students’ protests but his shirt colors would certainly fit in well. His parents came from Costa Rica and he visits the old country a few times a year. I would too, if I could.