Mexican Football: Omar Bravo and his Deceiving Fans

Dorian ValenzuelaContributor IApril 29, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 28:  Omar Bravo #9 of CD Chivas de Guadalajara celebrates scoring a goal  in the second half against the Los Angeles Galaxy during their SuperLiga match at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on July 28, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. Chivas de Guadalajara defeated the Galaxy 2-1. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Robert Laberge/Getty Images

In the last years, we have complained about the rising gasoline prices and how it affects our daily lives, cutting a deep hole in our wallets. The fact remains, without fuel, our vehicles and other form of transportation simply would not work.

In the world of sports we see the same effect come alive through the relationship between an athlete and his fans. A fan is without a shadow of a doubt, an athlete’s fuel to run and perform to his/her potential. From the thousands of fans who fill Camp Nou of Barcelona to the max, to the few that accompany an amateur team at a local tournament.

One thing remains the same, support drives a team to achieve all of the traced objectives, and in the process becomes an injection of motivation for any athlete in the world whatever the sport may be.

In a country like Mexico, where over 120,000 people pack the Azteca Stadium for any of the men’s national team home games, one would only assume that the undeniable support follows each of the athletes that represent the country. Unfortunately, this is not the case and the same fans that booted an individual to superstardom will dig the grave for the same individual’s career.                             

Omar Bravo Tordecillas, striker of Mexico’s most popular team, Chivas of Guadalajara, is a victim of this plague of deceiving fans and a negative toll is beginning to show in his career. From video game covers to a World Cup man of the match performance, Omar Bravo’s career was beginning to take off the year surrounding the acclaimed world cup tournament in Germany 2006.  

Upon his arrival from the world cup, Omar Bravo landed up on a Top Scorer individual award in 2007 in the local league in addition to becoming Chivas of Guadalajara’s second top scorer in the club’s history. Because of all of these accomplishments, Bravo became a national reference and Guadalajara’s most prized player in 2008 resulting in a three year contract with Deportivo la Coruña of Spain. The striker claimed in all of his interviews that he owed his success to the undeniable support showed by his fans back home and arrived as a potential idol in Spain.             

Unfortunately, in a team that possessed 10 strikers and played one at a time in their line-ups, Omar Bravo was out of consistent action for an entire year. With the world cup in South Africa approaching, Bravo had to make a quick decision in order to still be considered by the national team coach and with this in mind Omar Bravo was loaned to Tigres of Monterrey and eventually returned to his lifelong squad Guadalajara in 2009.

On the day of his return, his fans welcomed him with open arms, with cheers, and outmost adoration. The only issue that was next to be faced was that he would not be considered to fight for his normal position in the pitch since rising sensation Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, now a striker for Manchester United in the Premier league, was a sure weapon in Guadalajara’s plan of attack. With a new position and new tasks to be performed, Omar Bravo was accumulating minutes in a position away from goal, away from the opportunity to give his fans what they wanted to see, his goals and his celebrations.

In March of 2010, Mexico’s National Team coach, Javier Aguirre, announced a preliminary list for South Africa in which Bravo is not present due to lack of goals and bad performances. His misfortune would only increase as the fans that once cheered him on, would not only boo him, but insulted him each and every single time he touched the pitch. Local Newspapers, which once supported his dreams of playing in Europe, now displayed insulting slogans to exploit the forwards lack of goals.

Now with five players gone from Guadalajara out on national team duty, one expected to have the fans support Omar Bravo, as the only experienced striker, to get back to the guy they once knew. Instead they have pressured the management to exclude him of the line ups and have been successful.                                                       

Omar Bravo is the last top scorer in the local tournament that is actually Mexican to have won the prestigious award and is now less than 20 goals away from being the sole top scorer in the club’s history, it is unfortunate that the fuel of Omar Bravo’s life has reached a price which he can no longer afford, a point where a few simple bad performances and over a year of being excluded from his natural position on the field has landed him in the inevitable demise of his career.

Bravo! Bravo! A round of applause is in order for the deceiving fans who with their actions are playing a role in their once team and national symbol’s career in a negative way.                                                            

Omar Bravo’s contract ends at the end of the season and his future, just like his career, is very unclear. A shot at redemption is in order and if given a shot, combined with support, the striker will deliver like he has in the past. Omar Bravo is soon returning to the striker he used to be, On April 27, 2010 in a Copa Libertadores Playoff match, Omar Bravo scored two goals against Velez Sarsfield of Argentina, funny how his best performance took place in a game where he was welcomed with an ovation as opposed to the unfair negative chants. I guess support does go a long way, the fuel an athlete needs to perform, and in his case, this landed him a man of the match award.