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The World Cup in America, nineteen ninety four,
USA – Colombia, do you recall the score?
While over in the Rose Bowl, with fever running high,
back on the streets, of Medellin, it’s near to do or die.
Colombia were on a roll, the moment it was now,
their road would be to glory, to sweet success somehow.
I speak of Andrés Escobar, I shudder at his name,
the linchpin in a strong defence, and known throughout the game.
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They called him ‘Caballero’, the football gentleman,
in soccer-crazy bars and homes, and right across the land.
In front of ninety thousand fans, Colombia / The States,
the stadium heaved to anthem songs, behind the long closed gates.
The minutes gone were thirty three , Colombia’s stubborn wall,
is broken by a hopeful cross, it looked like André’s ball.
But as he stretched to intercept, the ball spun fast away,
it clipped his boot and in the net, it landed on that day.
An own goal of extreme bad luck , the sorry deed was done,
and one that proved, to be his last – Columbia lost two-one.
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Their World Cup dream now over, disaster in one game,
while friends stood by, a finger dark sought out the one to blame.
With Med’lin’s current murder rate some twenty odd a day,
his only ever World Cup goal would prove the price to pay.
Eliminated they returned, to jeers instead of praise
and Andres’ goal, cost him his life, within the next ten days .
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July the first, a night club, where high up on a hill
they shot him like a dog that night, and Escobar lay killed.
Own goal, own goal, they shouted, as he sat in his car –
at point blank range, six times they fired, outside the Padua Bar.
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On Medellin’s streets, they argue still, on such a way to go,
a hit man or a drunken rage, but we will never know.
A country rife with drugs and guns, so meaningless and sad
“How can there be,” his father cried, “.. some people quite so bad…..
that they could kill, my gentle son, that they, his life could take,
all for a moment in a game, all for one brief mistake. ”
And now while politicians and drug lords wine and dine,
the coke cartels and hit men come thick at any time.
Think then upon the price of life – the money and the dream,
those sexy football lifestyles aren’t always how they seem.
And on those dusty pitches on Sundays you can see
by breeze block slums with washing hung, the dream of breaking free.
And still they talk of that World Cup and of the fateful day
when Escobar stretched out too far against the USA.