Earlier this week, a gala event punctuated the grand opening of the Salon de la Fama del Futbol in pachuca - an idea that was long overdue. 15 players each were immortalized from both Mexican and International soccer.
And the player that made me the fan I am today was among them.
Evanivaldo Castro "Cabinho" was Pumas' striker when I was just becoming aware of what soccer was all about. It was not hard to fall in love with the game after watching him and his teammates play. Cabinho scored goals with impunity, as did his strike partner, a guy by the name of Hugo Sanchez.
It was easy to become a Pumas fan watching those two play. And that kick-ass jersey didn't hurt either. I remember being completely floored when I heard the news that Cabinho left Pumas for Atlante. Hugo left for Spain not very long after. Their work was done, though. I was a Pumas fan de hueso colorado.
Cabinho would end up scoring a lot of goals for Pumas, Atlante, and Leon before ending his career with Tigres. No one has scored more than his 312 goals, and it will be a long time before anyone else even comes close. He averaged 26 goals per season in his first 10 years (30 per season in his 5 years at Pumas).
Despite his success in Mexico, Cabinho never even got a sniff of a chance to play for his native Brazil, where they discounted his accomplishments in Mexico. "They still think my goal titles in Mexico were in youth leagues, but the truth is that they were very difficult to achieve." It's a shame.
Cabinho was moved to tears when it was his turn to be enshrined. "I oew everything to God and football. I also want to thank the Mexican fans. I have a Mexican daughter and grandson who is only 5 and doesn't know much. But he can come here and see my name and what I was able to accomplish."
No. Thank you, Cabinho.