Interview with Esteban Becker: The National Nzalang is a team with a great future`

Esteban Becker is an experienced man. He did not arrive yesterday to the football world and knows that results are what matter, but he also knows that the basis for success is work, organization, and that a project without foundation is doomed to failure. For Becker, this CAN 2015 is the beginning of a team that hopes to give great joy to Equatorial Guinea and to play with the Nzalang in the first World Cup of its history.

Esteban Becker knows he has his work cut out for him, but he is a man with preparation, methodical, hard-working, disciplined and has surrounded himself with a team of professionals who have established in the national team rules of coexistence based on respect and internal discipline. Nothing is left to chance, everything is calculated to the last minute, respecting work routines and adequate rest, so the players can work in the best conditions.

Becker was aware, when he accepted this great challenge of directing the Nzalang, that the task was complicated: to form a team in a fortnight and represent the host country; but could not disappoint the trust placed in him by the President of the FEGUIFUT, Andres Jorge Mbomio. “We knew we were going to face more powerful teams who have spent months preparing for this championship, but we trusted our knowledge and we knew that we could prepare a competitive team and that, in the future, it can give many joys to Equatorial Guinea. When the President made me an offer, I did not hesitate and from that moment on I put all my efforts into forming a competitive team that would honor the country.”

Becker’s commitment is based on a methodology inspired by the good treatment of the ball. He wants an ambitious, daring and brave team, one that will make the fans proud.

The FEGUIFUT has chosen players of Equatorial Guinean descent or birth, against the nationalizations of another era, and Esteban Becker supports this measure. “It is a wise decision and this path should be followed. There are enough national players to form a good team, we just need time to form a great team and in the near future get Equatorial Guinea to be a regular participant in the CAN and be eligible to participate in the final phase of the World Cup 2018.”

In this CAN 2015, there have been two matches with two ties, against Burkina Faso and Congo Brazzaville, national teams that on paper are much more powerful than our national team, and that allow the Nzalang to reach the final match without relying on anyone to manage to pass on to the quarterfinals.

-“We have played two good games and if not for the legal goal by Nsue that was annulled against Congo Brazzaville, right now we’d be qualified. I’m proud of the guys and the work they are doing. Captains Nsue, Balboa and Juvenal are having exemplary behavior and facilitating the integration of the young players. This team has a long journey,” says Esteban Becker.

And now, you must play it all against Gabon on Sunday in the Bata Stadium of Nkoantoma, what do you think of this match?

-“As an African proverb says: We are small like the ant, but we have the strength of an elephant. We are aware of the difficulty; that we will have a team that has world-class players like Aubameyang, Evouna and Madinda, but we will play to win, there is no other result for us. Off the field there is the ranking and of the 16 teams of the CAN we occupy last place, but on the field we will give it our all, we do not consider ourselves inferior to anyone. Victory cannot be guaranteed, but the team will compete and will fight for the flag.”

In the locker room of the Nzalang there is written saying that states: The possible is already done, the impossible is going to happen now. Miracles take time.”

Text and photos: Javier Hernandez

Equatorial Guinea’s Press and Information Office

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