As a new father, I have to think carefully over the next few years as to which of my unrealized personal aspirations I can simply move on to my boy and force upon him throughout his childhood and adolescence. Soccer is almost certainly going to be one of them, and it appears I’m not alone.
Take former Julio Cesar Baldivieso. The journeyman attacking midfielder, who represented Bolivia at the 1994 World Cup, retired just last year when playing for Bolivian club Aurora, and has since become their manager.
In a move that even Bob Bradley (plays his son for his country), Kenny Dalglish (signed his son on three separate occasions) and Alex Ferguson (brought his son through Man U reserves and eventually into the 1st XI) find daring, Baldivieso gave a debut to his son this weekend, bringing him on as a substitute with 9 minutes to play.
Oh, did I mention that his son was 12 years old at the time?
Mauricio Baldivieso, who turns 13 on Wednesday (see? It’s not so bad), was unable to prevent his team losing 1-0 at La Paz, but Daddy was still ecstatic, and rightly so!
“I’m very proud, he’s got a lot of talent,” said the happy pops, who was quarantined in the stands with a suspension and still showed the strength of spirit to get his underlings to execute his demands. As if the pushy showbiz parent parallels were coming into place a little too strong, bear in mind that he still cares about his son on an emotional level: after opposing man Henry Alaca laid into his kid a few times and made him cry, Baldivieso sr. laid into the referee. It’s not quite a skinned knee after falling off his bicycle, but it’s nice that he did made the effort.
We wish Mauricio all the best in his professional soccer career; with parental pressure like this, he’ll need all the luck he can get.