Soccer star wounded in shooting vows to come back

August 10th, 2011 - 12:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Mexico City, Aug 10 (IANS/EFE) Paraguayan striker Salvador Cabanas, whose soccer career has been sidelined since he was shot in the head 18 months ago at a Mexico City bar, said that he has never thought about leaving the sport.

Upon returning to Mexico for a tribute that his Mexican club, America, and Paraguay’s national team will hold for him, Cabanas told reporters that he had always thought that he would make a comeback, despite “the very serious accident I had”.

Cabanas underwent emergency surgery after the Jan 25, 2010, shooting, but doctors deemed it too dangerous to remove the bullet, which remains inside his skull.

“Here we are again and I hope it will be the best way to show once again why a Paraguayan always gets along very well wherever he is,” Cabanas said on Televisa television.

Cabanas made clear that his life is soccer, which “is what I love most, it’s what I want to do, it’s my job. Returning to the pitch in good shape and being in great games”.

“It’s very nice to return to Mexico,” he said.

Cabanas confirmed that he will play for several minutes in the tribute match, but he still did not know what jersey he would wear - one of America’s or the Paraguayan national team’s.

“I’m going to be in there for a bit, which is the most important thing. It’s very nice, I wouldn’t know what to tell you about who I’ll be with, surely with America, which is the team to which I belong,” he said.

He said he never lost hope during his rehabilitation because he knew what he can do and that he could show that he could make progress.

Cabanas said that he had already testified to Mexican authorities and identified the person who shot him, Jose Jorge Balderas, alias “JJ,” who is currently behind bars awaiting trial.

“I went into the bathroom and suddenly a person was pointing the pistol at my head, he insulted me and everything. I remember it perfectly. I can’t forget the face, I always have it in my mind,” he said.

Cabanas said that although his life these days is “a little different”, he continues to be the same person, adding that there is no doubt that he will return to Mexico and to America, which gave him the chance to be on a great team.


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