former President Evo Morales stated on more than one occasion during his 13 years in the presidency of Bolivia, who also would have loved to be a professional soccer player. Even while in power, he did not hesitate to play diplomatic games with international delegations and attend various meetings with the presidential contingent.
His love of the beautiful game led him to be a part of the squad of one of the smallest teams in the Bolivian First Division, Sport Boys Warnes, in the 2014–2015 season.
The Santa Cruz team signed the then ruler to wear the number 10 jersey with certain conditions: Morales would only participate in each match for a maximum of 20 minutes. “We will send him a list of the games of the season and he will be able to choose which games he wants to play,” the club’s president and a friend of the former Bolivian president, Mario Kronenbold, confessed at the time.
The first ‘footballer’ president
With his signing for the Sport Boys Warnes, Evo Morales could have been the first president in professional football. Similarly, in his then 55 years, he would also have made a milestone as one of the oldest players in the world’s first-class. However, Xmandario didn’t get to play any games.
Despite the expectation, the process for Bolivia to be part of the Santa Cruz team was not at all easy. In order for the leftist leader to join the ranks of the Blue Box, the directors had to request his transfer from Highland Country’s third division to Littoral, a group in which Morales was registered and for which he played a role in the 2008 game.
After closing the transfer, and with the former president sending papers to close the deal, the income that the former ruler would receive in his new ‘work’ was created.
“He will receive a minimum wage of 1,480 bolivianos (about $211) per month,” Kronenbold revealed at the time.
Despite the hopes of signing Evo Morales, Mario Kronenbold pointed out that it was a business strategy to have the former president on the Sport Boys Warnes payroll.
“It’s a marketing issue. One company promised its support if the president plays for the team,” the manager revealed on that occasion.
Similarly, various political experts commented that Morales’ arrival in the Santa Cruz cadre may have been part of his campaign strategy for re-election for a third presidential term, a feat that ended despite the fact that the former president did not. Mila had finalized his long-awaited football dream.