Life is unfair, and sometimes you do not even call Montserrat and you deserve it more than anyone else appears to you the Virgin, neither that nor any other. This is what happened to the small Caribbean island, historically with a of the worst football teams in the world. I just needed that Nicaragua I did not win Barbados to qualify for the first time in its history for the Gold Cup of the Concacaf, but the Central Americans prevailed by 1-0 and the dream went to hell.
When on June 30, 2002, Germany and Brazil played in Yokohama the final of the world championship, Montserrat lost 4-0 to Bhutan in the final of the other world cup, which faces, almost with recochineo, the two teams that occupy the last places in the FIFA ranking. The montserratenses made it clear that, when it came to kicking the ball, there was no one on the whole planet who gave himself worse than them (his is cricket).
The backbone of the selection are players of the English lower leagues with ancestors of the island
But from then until now they have improved enormously, thanks to coach Willie Donachie, alias the little Buda, a former Scottish international who has led Milwall and the Newcastle substitutes, and a handful of players from the lower categories of England football, half a dozen of them, friends among themselves, whose parents or grandparents come from the Caribbean island.
Montserrat does not get very damn when it comes to looking for players for his team, he does not even ask for papers, a bit like when in the real estate boom the banks and cajas of the Costa del Sol or the Costa Blanca provided the necessary documentation to apply for a loan , and in passing you were sent to the car dealership of Denia or Fuengirola to finance a Renault, and the official had a relative in Ikea who would gladly furnish your apartment ... In this case it is enough to say that some relative no matter how remote he was born on the island and ready, they give you the shirt.
It is logical, if you think a bit, because Montserrat only has five thousand inhabitants, he started playing soccer at an international competitive level in 1991, with a worked victory by 3 to 2 over the neighbors of Antigua and Barbuda (a mirage, because in followed followed a 20-0 global defeat in two matches against Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, which is not that they are France ...). But after only four years, when it was starting to walk, it occurred to erupt in the Soufrière Hills volcano, which caused the exodus of two thirds of the population (one third of the island is still an exclusion zone) .
What was a national disaster was eventually a blessing for the soccer team, because all those Montserratians went into exile in England (of which the country is a protectorate or overseas territory), and their children are now internationals. they have given dignity to the team, elevating it to the 200th place in the FIFA ranking (out of a total of 211), they have made possible victories against the Cayman Islands, the Virgin Islands and other regional rivals, and allowed to dream until the last moment with participating in the final phase of the Gold Cup to be held in the United States.
Just as sometimes you go to the movies by word of mouth, because someone recommends a movie to you, the same goes for making yourself international by Montserrat. The backbone of the selection are six friends and acquaintances of the London suburb of Islington (where Tony Blair lived and who represents Jeremy Corbyn in parliament), accustomed to playing in dirt and cement fields. Bradley Woods-Garness, of Bedford Town, signed up for the selection because his grandmother is from the island, he liked the experience and he started looking for colleagues with family backgrounds like his. It was the case of Dean Mason, of the Concord Rangers, Sun Rangers (Northwood), Adrian Clifton and James Conley (Maidenhead, the constituency of Theresa May in the House of Commons), and Brandon Conley, of Colchester United (of the third division). English). In the first game they played, they almost defeated Curaçao, a regional power thanks to the number of Dutchmen in their ranks. Things of colonialism.
Montserrat had only played 34 games and was in ascending progression when the volcano erupted in 1995. The team spent three and a half years without playing, while the country was recovering from the catastrophe. Now it has a new stadium (the Blakes Estate, with capacity for a thousand spectators, a fifth of the population), a Scottish coach and English friends. From here to heaven. Brazil and Germany walk very carefully!