It’s quiet in America. He thinks more about his new business than about football. Getting up early to go to training and close to matches doesn’t excite him much anymore. The flame went out. Cristian Bonilla, 28, doesn’t have the same passion for avoiding goals, which is why he announced on Sunday that he would be hanging up his boots, gloves and a sweatshirt.
He is no longer the goalkeeper who has played three World Cup finals for Colombia, one under-17 (Nigeria 2009) and two under-20 (Colombia 2011 and Turkey 2013).
Manizalita, who passed through Chico, Atletico Nacional, Ecuida, Al-Fayhaa (Saudi Arabia) Melonarios and San Antonio, from the USL Championship, which is the United States League other than the American League, told EL HERALDO what happened.
Why did you decide to retire from football?
The decision happens because I no longer feel the same as I did before, I’ve always been a person with passion, to love and not feel the passion I had before, and those dreams, I have to be true to myself. It was a profession that gave me so much, obviously for no other reason. I must be clear, I have my business and my company; I am calm with the decision and feel that God supports me.
Did something happen to you at San Antonio, the club you were attending, to decide to retire?
not at all. I am very grateful to them, they acted 10 points, they did not share my decision, but they respected it and that was the important thing.
You won’t regret that decision later, don’t you think what else was missing for you to hit under the three sticks?
No, sure at some point you can feel confident if it’s a rush or not, it’s ultimately decisions and time will tell. What I can say is that I am very calm and sure of my decision and I have a life project and I hope to achieve it with God’s pleasure.
Football is no longer his dream…
No, not anymore. My dreams are to devote myself to my work, to my things, that’s why you have to be honest with me and with football, it has given me so much even today that I am not my dream, and I continue there…
After your decision to retire, are you thinking of continuing your association with football?
I don’t know if I’m with football directly, but now I want to take a look at my personal projects, and look to others. I have a company here in Miami with a cousin, investment, real estate; We’re into it and surely will see what I dedicate myself to.
Do you feel that something was missing, a dream that must be fulfilled in your sports career?
I have fulfilled many dreams as a person and as a footballer, I think the only thing is not playing the Seniors World Cup, the rest I think I covered almost everything: South America, U-17 and U-20 World Cup, Olympics, Club World Cup, Champion League, Copa Libertadores Cup, Esperanzas de Toulon.
Of all the moments in your athletic career, which have you left the most in your life?
My first match with Nacional was one of those unforgettable moments, it affected me a lot, winning the Esperanzas de Toulon was very special, it was my debut. There were many beautiful moments, the vast majority. These are the ones who stayed with me.
What balance do you achieve in your sports career?
I am left with beauty, that I have an impeccable career in the factor of discipline and that truth to me is so satisfying, that it transcends titles and that; I think ending like this is great.
Who were those who recognized him or left a trail as he walked under the three sticks?
Lots of people, great coaches, players, bosses. Alexis Henriquez, Santiago Escobar, Eduardo Lara, McKinley Torres; A number of players, mentioning them all is very difficult. I keep the best of each one, with their advice and experience. Now new projects are coming, many things, I am very excited and give everything to God.
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