Futbolmanía, the passion that becomes a sports brand

At the age of five he discovered his passion, at 14 his friends found their trade. First he played soccer, then with affection and a touch of mischief his teammates asked him to put the ball aside and go to report the penalty kicks.

Today Gonzalo Cobo is the technical director of that successful team called Futbolmanía that broadcasts soccer matches; 20 years passed from this. This sports stamp is found on social networks, radio and television. In Futbolmanía the goals are not sung, they are shouted and they are lived as one more fan.

Street and dirt court

The history of Futbolmanía began on Litoral street, in the city of Potosí. “At the age of five, the first thing we did was kick the ball. We come from the typical neighborhood that today is in extinction, where children gather to play. I remember that near the Litoral there was a dead end, it was all dirt and it was our court for everything: there we played soccer, American football, I would have to say rugby because we didn’t have helmets, and even basketball, we put the stick on our swimsuits ( like a basket)”, says Gonzalo Cobo, the creator and leader of Futbolmanía.

But he likes to speak in the plural because he is one of those who prefers to work together and any success, for him, is the result of the work of a team and not of a star, something similar to what happens with good soccer teams. .

At the age of 16, when he finished the Pichincha school, Gonzalo took an academic aptitude test and set out to do what science ordered him to do; but sometimes in sport the predictions are not always accurate.

Literature professor Yolanda Yapur, a prominent educator from San Luis Potosí, encouraged him to opt for Social Communication and moved him a bit. By then Cobo showed his qualities as master of ceremonies at the school.

When everything was ready for him to study engineering, Systems Engineering was in vogue in the 90s, he decided to turn his life around. And, like a football pass from one end of the field to the other, he changed his vision of life, although his family was not very amused.

But it was not only the Literature teacher who motivated him to change. When he was 14 years old, on Litoral street in Potosi and without any academic aptitude test, his friend Javier Valverde asked him point-blank: “You no longer kick the penalty, tell it.”

In the 90s, prisons were in fashion. Argentine goalkeeper Sergio Goycochea put on his hero’s outfit by blocking shots from 12 paces. In Potosí, in the alley near Litoral street, another world was lived. “I really liked to report (loudly), especially penalties. Maradona, Goycochea and others were in fashion. All the games we wanted to end tied and I would get on the sidewalk and recount the penalties, ”he recalls.

Thus, a Romario (Brazil striker) from Potosi kicked the penalty and beat Bodo Illgner (German goalkeeper). Cobo transported the neighborhood game to a stage full of people, with fans who did not stop cheering and a world cup final was always played.

Until his friend Valverde decided to propose to Cobo that he stop playing soccer and report. The idea bothered Gonzalo; but later he gave his friends the pleasure and every sporting afternoon, ending in penalties, turned into an unforgettable day in the dirt alley.

What started as a nuisance, leaving football and going to the story, was a blessing: “I consider signs from God to choose something in life. In the end they were telling me that this is what I was going to be later ”, he explains.

Yes Yes Yes yes Yes…

The years passed, they went as fast as basketball player Allen Iverson (from the unforgettable Philadelphia 76 Sixers) and they faced the future without fear.

Iverson’s 5-foot-33-inch Sixers faced Shaquille O’Neall’s 7-foot-6 Lakers in the 2001 NBA Finals. Those were times to dream.

By then, a country like Bolivia dreamed of and reached the 94 World Cup in the United States. The country was celebrating its 21 years of democracy and longed to get ahead.

In one of those finals in 2001 Iverson was encouraged. Yes, he went all out after the hoop. Yes, there in front of him was the best team in the United States. Yes, he did not stop advancing. Yes, he beat one and another rival. Yes, he did come face to face with Shaquille O’Neall. Yes, he jumped. He did get to the hoop. The narrator yelled: Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, glass and inside.

Yes yes yes yes yes yes. Gonzalo Cobo recounted that point with all the emotion of the moment. The Lakers won one of the finals and the Lakers prevailed in the other four finals and were champions in 2001.

During that time the monosyllabic phrase full of emotion was born. Cobo was the rapporteur for those matches. “I remember they did a national casting to find an NBA rapporteur, I applied and I won it.” So he finished his degree in Social Communication at UMSA. Basketball lost momentum in the country, but Cobo was not relegated. He later added emotion to the cycling races of Radio Fides, reporting with an eminent journalist: Father Eduardo Pérez.

A colonel in command

From the window of Cobo’s office, you can see part of Miraflores, where the temple of dreams of Hernando Siles is, the green carpet where the illusions of gladiators dressed in shorts are written.

He wears a white shirt with blue dots and a dark vest, on his ring finger he wears a ring inscribed with the name of his only daughter. Talking about what he likes to do the most, he says: “I like spending time with my sons, one since 13 and the other 11. Thank God they like soccer and basketball. I want to instill in them a passion for sport because I consider that sport from any area is a reason for discipline”. Futbolmanía, that’s the name of his only daughter, and his wife knows it. For this reason, she gave him a ring with the name of the program.

Futbolmanía is on the radio, on television and is also found on the internet, on social networks. Its arrival is one million people and the team was in world soccer championships and reported matches in South America and part of Europe.

As a team captain he does not forget the team: Andrés Rojas, Iván Cornejo, Isela Conradi, Aldo Cobo, Super Che, Mauricio Caballero, Erick Arauco, Henry Larrea, Paola Tapia, El Pato Ducky (DJ)… among many others.

Gonzalo tells that the secret of Futbolmanía (beyond the sound effects) “When I shout a goal I leave the booth and I’m in the stands, our particularity is the emotion in everything”.

One of the phrases that he made his own was that of Walt Disney: “If you can dream it, you can do it”, perhaps it is a metaphor for what has happened to a teenager who on Litoral street in Potosí dreamed of recounting goals from the stars of world football.

Futbolmanía, the passion that becomes a sports brand