The player Pablo Cantero talks about the victory of the Universitat in the European Football 5-a-side

  • Physical Education and Sports Service
  • October 14th, 2019
Pablo Cantero
Pablo Cantero

“Not only has it been this year and a half of preparation to get into the Spanish team, but there have been 13-14 years of previous athletics that have been making me as I am, as an athlete”. These are the words of Pablo Cantero, student of the Master in Health Psychology at the Universitat de València, after returning with his gold medal, after winning the European 5-a-side football for the blind with the Spanish team, held in Rome. The Paralympic Red, moreover already has the ticket for the Tokyo 2020 Games.

With a voice that gives off illusion, passion for sport, especially now. “To change to another sport and in addition group, has made me enjoy the competition again”, confesses Pablo Cantero. He tells his story, why he left his 13-14 years dedicated to athletics to start a career as a football player for the blind.

He gave fo​otball for the blind a chance

“It wasn’t easy to combine work, personal life and top-level sport”, says Cantero. His modalities in athletics were 100m dash and long jump, of course, always with a guide. “Every two or three years they had to leave my sporting life”, says Cantero, a situation that made him wonder if athletics was the sport he had to continue with or gave an opportunity to others. And he gave it.

Cantero plays as a defender and was selected to go to the European football for the blind. He admits that all his experience in athletics has not been in vain, which is why “all the previous work has been valuable for the coach to summon me, because I really did not have the technique needed to drive a ball without seeing I was as polished as other teammates, but the orientation, running whitout fear, going to defend without that precaution…” “With athletics I’ve learned that whoever doesn’t take risks doesn’t win” he said.

The tone of his words radiates emotion: “I had been in two previous athletics championships, but I had never won a medal as valuable as this one,” says Cantero.

Without a doubt, a lifetime dedicated to sport and a change that brings much more than results. “Changing to another sport and a group has made me enjoy the competition again,” says Cantero and points out: “I’ve made friends in the group”.

The European and the door to his dream

Spain beat France 3-1 in the final, a team that finished the tournament undefeated, with 19 goals scored and only one conceded.

“I still don’t know what we’ve done, what we’ve caused, because this really was a dream I’ve had since I went blind when I was 11 years old,” confesses Cantero, who emphasises the opportunity that football for the blind has given him, that of going to the Olympics.

“Just by going to the Olympics I’m satisfied, but now it’s time to work so that the coach can count on me for that group that goes,” concludes Cantero.

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