Vital Football

Latest Manchester United News

Chilean Miner Coming To Old Trafford!

Chilean Miner Coming To Old Trafford!

Kicking Off a Life of Freedom

Chilean Miner Super Mario speaks exclusively of Football Freedom

After 69 days stuck in 'hell', the first thing Mario Sepulvera, aka Super Mario, wanted was to head to the beach and play football. 'Football is the most beautiful thing there is so as soon as I left the cave and started my new life I wanted to feel air, water, and a ball at my feet'.

Mario is a long time lover of English football and says it has always been a dream of his to go watch a live Man U match at Old Trafford. So for Mario, and his fellow miners who share his footie passion, it was a nightmare turned into a dream when they surfaced from the hellhole to be invited to go to Manchester and watch a game in 2010/2011. Recently signed sponsors Concha y Toro also issued the joint invite and cheered the bravery of their fellow countrymen from thousands of miles away.

Bravery, but also fear. Mario says that 'Although I had faith in the people above on the surface, in the few days before contact was made we were losing hope. I thought about dying and I wrote a farewell note to my wife and kids'. But when the drill reached the men they knew they had been saved by god. They had been found, and Mario knew he would once again return to the outside world and play football.

Mario appreciates the joint invite coming from Concha Y Toro, 'I used to work as an electrician for Concha y Toro so personally I'm really happy that they are now an international success and are giving something back to us Chileans after this life-changing event'. Even Alex Ferguson has publicly admired the heroism displayed by the 33 miners, 'The miracle of San José is one of the most remarkable stories I've ever heard. The courage, bravery and resilience of the miners and the rescue teams was inspirational'.



Franklin Lobos, the 27th man to be hauled up the shaft, is the known footballer among the men. Nicknamed the 'magic mortar' for his free-kick abilities, he made Chile's national team and then traded in football for mining, believing it his most profitable retirement option. The first thing he did after reaching the surface was take a ball and show off his skills for the cameras and millions of TV viewers.

Football was used as a tool in the mine to bond the group together. Rescue workers sent a cable down the shaft into the mine 700m underground so that the men could watch games. Mario describes the value of this, 'Down in the mine watching football gave us a strong connection and group mentality. For me that is what makes football so beautiful'.

However, after watching many matches together with his fellow survivors, Mario appreciates the chance to be alone at the beach running free with just a football and his son. All the natural elements are in their glory as the clouds move in the colour-changing sky and the waves roll in. Mario charges after the ball to trap it and practice his balancing skills, determined to hold onto Chile. 'While I was in the mine I felt a power struggle between god and the devil, but up here out in the natural world I feel god all around and the devil nowhere to be seen'. Funny then it must seem to Mario that both his favourite football team and previous employers have devils as their trademarks.

While he catches his breath, and inhales the sea air he didn't know he would ever taste again, he faces the sea and prays. He gives thanks for his son, his freedom and his chance to go to Old Trafford, 'For me it is a dream come true to see Man U play live after so many years watching them on TV'.

By Gemma Dunn



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Gemma Dunn
Date:Friday October 22 2010
Time: 6:25PM

Comments

0
very cool, bet he'll get a great reception for Sir Alex!
The Fear
22/10/2010 18:31:00
0
from one hell hole to another some might say!
merlin
22/10/2010 18:59:00
0
Enjoy your moment,well we can only dream of being there.
Antriksh (abmtd)
22/10/2010 21:49:00
0
Could only imagine what its like to be stuck hundreds of feet underground and what they went through.
TheFamousNo7
23/10/2010 10:37:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Manchester United Articles

Mourinho to United Rumours Gather Momentum

The 'Special One' believes he will be the next manager of Manchester United.

I Wonder Who'd Win?

It's a question we might not want to know the answer to!

AUDIO: UWS Podcast 144 - Chelsea away

I still can't believe United didn't take all three points at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Times Running Out for Neville

Over in Spain our former defender, Gary Neville, faces what many feel could be a make-or-break couple of days.

Archived Vital United Articles

Vital United articles from

Site Journalists

Red Boy
Profile
Charlie Bacchus
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

MOTM v Chelsea (a)?
Suggested By: Red Boy
De Gea68%
Darmian0%
Blind0%
Smalling2%
Borthwick-Jackson5%
Carrick0%
Fellaini2%
Lingard5%
Mata5%
Rooney0%
Martial8%
Schneiderlin0%
Depay5%
Herrera0%
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Leicester City 25 15 8 2 53 20
2 Spurs 25 13 9 3 48 26
3 Arsenal 25 14 6 5 48 17
4 Man City 25 14 5 6 47 21
5 Man Utd 25 11 8 6 41 10
6 West Ham 25 10 9 6 39 9
7 Southampton 25 10 7 8 37 9
8 Everton 25 8 11 6 35 12
9 Liverpool 25 9 8 8 35 -4
10 Watford 25 9 6 10 33 0
11 Stoke 25 9 6 10 33 -7
12 Crystal Palace 25 9 5 11 32 -4
13 Chelsea 25 7 9 9 30 -2
14 WBA 25 7 8 10 29 -9
15 AFC Bournemouth 25 7 7 11 28 -12
16 Swansea 25 6 9 10 27 -9
17 Newcastle 25 6 6 13 24 -18
18 Norwich 25 6 5 14 23 -20
19 Sunderland 25 5 5 15 20 -19
20 Aston Villa 25 3 7 15 16 -20
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Manchester United Fixtures (view all)

Feb 13 2016 12:45PM : Sunderland (a)
Barclays Premier League
Feb 20 2016 3:00PM : Shrewsbury Town (a)
FA Cup
Feb 28 2016 2:05PM : Arsenal (H)
Barclays Premier League
Mar 2 2016 8:00PM : Watford (H)
Barclays Premier League
Mar 6 2016 4:00PM : West Bromwich Albion (a)
Barclays Premier League
Mar 12 2016 3:00PM : Crystal Palace (H)
Barclays Premier League

Recent Manchester United Results (view all)