HOUSTON – Since his younger days, Boniek García has looked to Brazil as his muse for his free-flowing style. The jogo bonito of Brazil was a driving force in his love for the game and style of play.
And on Monday, what most thought to be an eventuality came true as the Houston Dynamo midfielder was officially part of the 23-man squad named to carry Honduras’ hopes in the World Cup in Brazil. He is now officially going to the place he fell in love with during the 2002 World Cup.
“They had great players on the wing, players inside, players attacking and Ronaldo up top that was just a great player,” García recalled to reporters through an interpreter on Monday about the 2002 Brazil team that won it all. “I think it stuck with me a lot. [The World Cup is] what every soccer player dreams of, especially in Brazil, [of whom] I’m a big fan.”
García has been an integral part of the Honduran squad that has put a number of skins on the wall in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. He played every game of the tournament for the Catrachos and is considered to be one of their most important players, along with Wigan Athletic and former Sporting Kansas City midfielder Roger Espinoza and San Jose Earthquakes center back Víctor Bernárdez.
The reality of a World Cup isn’t new for García. He was part of the Honduras squad that played in South Africa four years ago. But he failed to make an appearance in the tournament and hoped he would get another chance.
Now that it's here, Boniek is determined to make that experience pay off for him and the players on his team.
“It was a great experience seeing the quality of players and the big stage, which was a key for me,” García said. “It helped me in many ways understand I can’t just run into the attack, to understand the technical side of it. To understand that you have to take a pass, slow the game down and that there’s a bigger element to the game than what I experienced before that.
“Anytime you learn something in your career, it’s your responsibility to pass it on to other guys.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.