Cuto, from Belgium, recalls his time in European football: “It cost me a lot of tears”

The night before my flight, which was bringing me to Brussels, BelgiumI couldn’t fall asleep normally. The anxiety of going back to the ‘old world’ kept me from sleeping well. The flight was an objective that, due to those vicissitudes or circumstances of life, had been postponed more than necessary. That long-awaited trip to the country of brewing tradition was a pending task, like many others, to go in search of and find a passage in my life that I had left behind during those three years that I had to play for Mechelen. More than 18 years had passed. But finally I was already on the plane that would bring me to Mechelen (in Spanish), and over the beautiful city of Brussels. The trip was longer than usual, but the flight hours were the same. It happens that my mind remembered every situation experienced by these lands that sheltered me for three years and that gave me that false feeling that I was on the plane longer.

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already in amsterdam (Netherlands), my connection to Belgium, when entering the European community I was able to remember some words in Dutch before migrations. It was prior to a 30 minute drive that finally got me to Brussels, the capital of Belgium. That long-awaited moment, which I had waited for for so many years, not only me, but also my son, Elías, had come true. At the airport my friends of many years were waiting for me like Fernando, his brother Luis and Percy, who took me to the department of Carlos Sergio Lachira, which awaited me with a fabulous dinner made up of an aguadito appetizer, a main dish, rice with stewed meat and, to make a toast, a Duvel beer. He was waiting for me there too. Dr. Miguel Trelleswho puts that quota of humor and mischief, which are essential for each meeting.

With a big hug and a kiss with each one of them, I thanked them for all their generosity for giving me that welcome. Each one with his particular style, made me spend a very special night, remembering every moment, every meeting lived during those years. But one person was missing from the group of friends who during those three years gave me more than a hand in Belgium. It is about Carlos Reina.

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Carlos Reina, ex-attacker’s cousin Alfonso ‘Cococho’ Reynais a former professional soccer player from Chilca in the 1980s. He had trained in University of Sports and when he was playing for the ‘U’ reserve, he was seen by Moses Barackwho took him so that I signed for him Turin of Talara where he played as a central defender for 10 seasons. Reyna had been a classmate at the Mariano Melgar de Breña school of the renowned former soccer player Humberto Rey Munoz and he had grown up surrounded by brave and macho football. He played in Torino with Peter Sanjinez and many more figures from those years, but football in the early 90s, prior to the World Cup in Italy 90, brought him to Belgium. Reyna, a Peruvian settled in these parts, is the friend that everyone should have. A good guy, frontal, sincere, supportive and who will always tell you things directly, without half measures. During the times when I played in Belgium, he welcomed me in his house in various circumstances that I will tell you about. Not just me, he too he did it with Aldo Olcese and with Andres Mendoza. All of us, on several occasions, met to celebrate any given day to talk about our sorrows and glories and to be able to cope with that moment away from our country.

Cuto Guadalupe and Carlos Reyna
Cuto Guadalupe and Carlos Reyna

Queen He sees me, we hug and I give him a kiss. She takes me for a walk around the city to remember those times. Nostalgia invades me and, while he tells my stories, my memory is activated, at the same time that I drive around the city in his comfortable car. The rain that bathes the place reminds me that we are in Belgium and I remember how hard it was to adapt to the intense cold in these parts of Europe. That intense cold and ice made me cry, that adaptation was not easy. It cost me many tears, but I cried silently.

The day ends in Belgium and despite having had the opportunity to be with my friends, I still have an anguish that shakes my heart. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow, but I have a knot in my heart that makes me suffer since the greater purpose of my trip I can’t see yet. That is why my heart is broken, I have a cross that I have carried for many years, that makes me suffer in silence, and that destroys my soul. That heavy cross takes my breath away, but my faith keeps me going, walking unswervingly to see that person for whom I came so far.

See you next monday.


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