Best in their fieldBy Paul Albert Palmero
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Once a Blue Booter, always a Blue Booter
For 23-year-old Francisco Gabriel Mendoza, waking up at 4:30 a.m. means starting your day with your passions clearly in mind. As former member of the Ateneo de Manila men’s football team, Mendoza couldn’t be happier being in the field by 5:30 a.m. “I love the smell of grass in the morning, along with the anticipation that I’ll be playing football before anything else. There’s nothing like it,” he says.
The long, grueling classes made his days more challenging, which is why he learned time management. Mendoza plans to carry over his great love for football to his corporate life.
“I’ve been playing football since I was in prep. Football taught me how to balance my student life.
Now that I’ve been with Petron since 2011, I join football tournaments with my former teammates,” he reveals.
Francisco Gabriel Mendoza at a glance
Inspiration: Football, UAAP and team, peers
Sports icons: Pat Ozaeta (Loyola Meralco Sparks), Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers)
Loves: Music, playing the guitar, graphic design, watching television series, beach and water sports
Dream project: Join more football tournaments
Advice to aspiring football players: Love the game. Don’t let anything spoil it for you.
A Green Booter stays true to his passion
A balance between student government and varsity duties—this is what makes one an accomplished Green Booter. That’s according to 23-year-old Arturo Rafael Enriquez, prize asset of the De La Salle University men’s football team. Now on his fifth year in Behavioral Science, Enriquez wants to make the most of his final days in college. Green-blooded since his De La Salle Zobel days, he couldn’t be more grounded, doing what he loves most—football, frisbee, photography, videography and travel. With the usual morning-training-and-afternoon-class template, Enriquez finds joy hanging out with teammates and sweating it out in the field.
Long breaks, in contrast, take too much of his time, he laments.
Despite this, he professes his undying love for the sport. “Football helps me express myself. It has taught me the value of teamwork, on and off the field.”
Arturo Rafael Enriquez at a glance
Inspiration: Mom, coach, girlfriend
Sports icons: Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls), Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie (Manchester United)
Loves: Photography, traveling, particularly hitting the beach
Dream project: Shoot for National Geographic
Advice to aspiring football players: Be humble, keep working hard, do extra work, stay fit and have fun.