Fan-spiration: “Oliver Kahn makes me feel that FC Bayern is in safe hands”
It’s all about the goalkeepers for Ricardo Cubas. He started to become interested in football as an 8-year-old boy, but it wasn’t until the 2002 World Cup that he fell in love with FC Bayern – thanks to the amazing performance by then goalkeeper and captain of the national team, Oliver Kahn.
“It was so sad watching Germany lose the final against Brazil, and not being able to see Oliver Kahn lifting the World Cup trophy,” the 31-year-old, who lives in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, recalls. “That was really heartbreaking for me as a child.”
As soon as the tournament ended, Ricardo began looking for as much information as he could about Oliver Kahn – not an easy feat back in the days when internet access wasn’t readily available yet. When he discovered that Oliver Kahn was also the goalkeeper for Bayern Munich, he didn’t need to look further: in that moment, he had found his team.
Of course, Oliver Kahn remains his all-time favorite player. “He was such a terrific goalkeeper and a great leader for the team, and I remember him fighting with other players during the games, defending the colors of our club,” Ricardo says with a laugh.
He is especially happy about the fact that the former goalkeeper has found his way back home and joined FC Bayern’s Executive Board last year – because with Oliver Kahn, he says, be it in his role as goalkeeper or board member, one can be assured “that FC Bayern is in safe hands.”
Ricardo is also a fan of Manuel Neuer, who he says is a fantastic goalkeeper, a great captain and leader for the team.
“We can feel very happy to have him in the club. Seeing Neuer win the World Cup with Germany and the Champions League twice with the club is proof enough to me that he is one of the greatest goalkeepers ever,” he says, adding that his fascination for goalkeepers is perhaps also rooted in the fact that it’s the position he plays himself.
But of course, FC Bayern is more than just Kahn and Neuer.
“It is a fantastic football club with great players, great coaching staff and a great directive,” Ricardo explains. “It is a club with a marvelous history in Germany and Europe. It is a club with values and righteousness that cares about others and it is a club that see us, the fans, as a part of their family. The FC Bayern is the perfect example of a sports institution that does things the right way.”
As a medical doctor, Ricardo works long hours and often can’t see the matches live on TV. He also missed Bayern’s Champions League semifinal against Barcelona in 2013.
“I came home and wanted to watch the match but none of the TV channels was showing a re-run, so I had to watch it on the internet,” he says. “I said to myself, this game is so good that I must save it for eternity! I downloaded it and saved it on my computer. Seven years later, I have a considerable collection of FC Bayern games and zero space on my computer hard drive!”
Ricardo’s euphoria only increased when FC Bayern won the Champions League trophy a few weeks later – one of his happiest moments as a Bayern fan, especially since the lost final against Chelsea one year earlier still weighed heavily on his mind.
“A couple of days before the final, my mother had to undergo surgery,” he says. “Thank God, everything went well, and for the day of the final, she was already back home. My mother is a very active woman, but of course, she had to stay in bed and rest. I wanted to see FC Bayern win the Champions League final so badly, but it didn’t happen. That day, there was only silence in my house. It was sad and heartbreaking.”
Even though Ricardo feels like he is very much a part of the global FC Bayern family, he still realizes at times that being located in Honduras can be an obstacle.
“The official FC Bayern fanshop doesn’t make deliveries to Central America, and it’s very difficult for us to get access to their products,” he says. “We are currently also having problems watching Bundesliga games on TV. Last season, we didn’t have any issue watching FC Bayern or other Bundesliga games, but everything has changed now. It’s sad that we can’t watch the games of our team anymore, even though here we are very supportive of the club here in Central America.”
Ricardo’s goal is to see a game live at the Allianz Arena at some point in the future.
“I think it’s a dream for every fan,” he says. “Having that experience, I’m sure, would feel absolutely amazing!”
In the meantime, he also wouldn’t mind if the club traveled to Central America as part of their pre-season activities.
“A summer tour in Honduras?” he says, with a laugh. “Why not?”
The Twitter account of the official FC Bayern fanclub in Honduras: @elgigantealeman