Cuauhtémoc Blanco’s life cannot be understood without a football, even if today he is no longer in the cover of every sports news paper, nor is he the hero of Mexico’s National Team.
On February 2015, when the career of one of the best players this country has ever seen, was coming to an end, the eternal “10” began his political campaign to become the Mayor of Cuernavaca.
It has been five years since he quit football, and the promise he made of creating a players’ association has been forgotten. As soon as he retired, ‘Cuau’ got into politics and it looks like he is enjoying it, a lot.
A few days ago (January 17), this football genius that grew up in the popular neighborhoods of Tlatilco and Tepito in Mexico City, turned 47. This is why we wanted to share this text with you, so we can remember his great times in football, and get to the present, where he is now the Governor of Morelos.
AN ‘A’ FOOTBALLER
César Luis Menotti once said that football has only three mysteries: “space, time and deceive. The rest are just phone number”.
Blanco dominated this three. He played till he was 42 and was always accompanied by the wisdom that distinguishes any genius, the mind speed of a virtuoso and an inmortal’s talent.
He moved through the field with a figure that was far from aesthetic and even seemed like he was suffering the games; in fact, he couldn’t have imagined it any other way: the insult to any rival and the latter confrontation, the endless protests against the referees, rolling four feet in the grass after a routine foul and of course spread his team with the feeling that in every battle winning was their only choice, was his strategy.
In his lats moments as a professional player he couldn’t run that much; in a game with such big physical display he even disappeared, but he never stopped thinking.
The little eloquence he had with words was leveled with a powerful brain; before the ball got to his feet to be seduced, he already had engineered a master plan. An action with little or no clarity, he would give it a proper course and would be able to draw a beautiful painting towards goal with a pass that challenged imagination. Even with more than four decades on his back, he was still in love with the goal.
Because of his years in the Second Division, some believed he was exiled from Mexico; other voices broke the beauty of silence asking for his retirement; truth be told he kept talking in the only way he knew how: with the ball in his feet. He came back to the Premier Division to say goodbye in a Final (Cup Champion with Puebla).
Menotti also said that “being a footballl player means you are an exceptional performer of the feelings and illusions of lots of people”…In 23 years as a professional, ‘Temo’ understood this sentence like no one.
He was still playing for Puebla in 2015’s first semester, and he was already attending political events. He would then register as a pre candidate to be Mayor of Cuernavaca, with the Social-Democrat Party.
“I know they will criticize for entering politics; I am not a politician”, said back then. On June 7 of that year he won the elections with a considerable margin (over 8 thousand votes), over her closest competitor, Maricela Velázquez, from de PRI-PVEM-Panal alliance.
The life of “Temo” has never been free of controversy and in his time as a public servant could not be an exception.
A year after being named Mayor, he broke relations with the party that had opened him the doors to politics, it trascended that he supposedly received a 7 million pesos contract to be candidate, he started a fight with the then state Governor, Graco Ramírez. He even asked for his mandate revocation.
In an interview, Blanco confessed that the ‘blows’ you receive in politics are worse than in football. Despite this, he went for more. He applied for a leave of absence and under the wing of Encuentro Social Party (PES) in an alliance with Morena, he decided he would present himself as a candidate to be Governor of Morelos. In the elections Cuauhtémoc cruised with over 60% of the votes.
“You guys and God put me here…I will defend Morelos as I defended the jersey of the National Team”, said the former América player when he was sworn in.
Aside from family–his brother Ulises is already known as the ‘awkward brother’ and is accused of nepotism–, Cuauhtémoc has brought into politics different people that walked beside him during his professional career.
His former agent, José Manuel Sanz (also agent of Hugo Sánchez and Rafa Márquez) is his right arm, he always shows up when ‘Cuau’ is nowhere to be found. In Cuernavaca he was named Vice Major and in Morelos, Chief of the Government Office.
His teammates in América, Germán Villa and Isaac Terrazas, are also by his side in sports related positions. The ex referee Gilberto Alcalá was named Social Development Secretary and even Francisco Reyes, better known as ‘Paquito’ Reyes, former Press Secretary of América, is now one of his spokemen.
One of the main claims against the goverment of Cuauhtémoc is unsafety and the violence all along the state…
“The Current state and federal governments, far from creating state laws, they have administered horror; in Morelos the government doesn’t exist, and if they were honest, they should quit”, stated the poet Javier Sicilia in the International Day of Human Rights, last December.
That’s the way things are, we went back to the past and into the present of a character that as a footballer gathered thousands and marveled millions with his talent, after that he chose a completely different path from football, politics.
In spite of everything, Blanco Bravo will not stop. He already announced that “if people want it”,he will present himself to the 2024 elections with clear intention of becoming Mexico’s President.