Bolivia starlet inspired by icon
It is rare that a football match ends 9-0, and it is even more uncommon that a player scores four and sets up three in a single game. But in Bolivia’s dismantling of Haiti at the Boys’ Youth Olympic Football Tournament Singapore 2010, the crowd were treated to both, with striking prodigy Rodrigo Mejido the driving force behind the amazing triumph.
Mejido, who won the spot-kick which was converted by Carlos Anez for their opening goal against Vanuatu, entered the second game desperate to break his tournament duck. And his wish came true three minutes before break, when he volleyed home a Macallister Amurary centre to double his side's lead, before setting up Romero Vaca for goal number three in stoppage time at the end of the first-half. All this, however, proved to be just a prelude to Bolivia’s second-half onslaught, during which time Mejido added three more and set up another two.
It is so special to have an iconic person together with us and share this experience with him. He is our country’s living legend from whom I can always draw inspirations.
First, he teed up Josue Gutrhie to make it 4-0 just after restart, and a minute later slotted home himself to take Bolivia's goal tally to five. After Yasser Manzur had made it six with a low shot, Mejido went on to complete his hat-trick. The robust striker had not finished yet, though, providing the assist for Jorge Alpire to score before grabbing his fourth of the match with a clinical finish in injury time.
"I am very happy to help my team win this match by such a big margin and it further bolstered our confidence to win the gold," Mejido told FIFA.com. "I scored four goals but more important was that we played well as a team."
Having thanked his team-mates for the support, the Vaca Diez hotshot went on to pay tribute to Bolivia’s 1994 FIFA World Cup™ star Marco Etcheverry, a key member of the backroom staff. "It is so special to have an iconic person together with us and share this experience with him," the 15-year-old added. "He is our country’s living legend from whom I can always draw inspiration."
It is no surprise then that the little Mejido already has big ideas for his future. "I model my game on Cristiano Ronaldo and when I grow up, I want to move to a top-level European club like Real Madrid," he concluded.