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What the World Cup means to... Davinson Sanchez

Posted on 13 June 2018  - 21:36

As we count down to the start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, we caught up with some of the players who are set to take part to talk about their memories of past tournaments. Today, Colombia defender Davinson Sanchez.

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What was the first World Cup you can remember watching?
I think 2006 in Germany would be the first one, but I don’t remember everything about it. I was very young and I watched it on television at home in Colombia but four years later the tournament was in South Africa and I remember more about that.

Who were the stars that year?
I remember the German national team in 2006 and in particular Michael Ballack. Even though he was injured at the start, he came back and was very good.

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Above: Germany's Michael Ballack tussles for the ball at the 2006 World Cup.

If there was one World Cup game in history that you could have gone to, which one would it be and why?
I’ve heard about the first ever World Cup in 1930, where the final was Uruguay against Argentina and Uruguay won in their own country. Also the 1950 final when Uruguay won against Brazil in Brazil. I’ve heard that this moment was so good because everyone thought Uruguay could not win, but then they lifted the trophy. I would like to go back into the past to watch this game. The experience would be great!

What are the best memories you have of your own country at the World Cup?
For Colombia, the last World Cup in Brazil was good because we got to the quarter-finals, but the golden generation in the 1990s with Carlos Valderrama and Faustino Asprilla was very good and you always appreciate them. They are legends in Colombia and of course it’s great for them to be in the history books.

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Above: Carlos Valderrama on duty for Colombia against England in 1998.

What is the best match you’ve ever seen at the finals?
I enjoyed the final in 2010 because Spain had an unbelievable tournament, they did great work and the final was against a big team like Holland but they performed how they needed to so they could win. It was 1-0 after extra time. I enjoyed those types of matches because at that time, for more than 10 years, Colombia was not a frequent participant at the World Cup.

And the best goal?
The goal from Siphiwe Tshabalala for South Africa at the start of the 2010 World Cup was good. I remember this goal so clearly because at that moment I was with my mum in the supermarket in Colombia, the game was against Mexico, it was on TV in the supermarket and everyone was supporting Mexico because it’s close to Colombia. When this guy scored that goal, I remember thinking what an unbelievable strike it was!

What is the most unusual kit you’ve seen at the tournament?
Some of the colourful kits are unusual but I like the white kit of England and also the blue of France. Of course, I absolutely love the Colombia colours too. We have a retro kit at the moment.