CONCACAF, short for the North Central American and Caribbean Football Federation, which is made up of three regions, and the weight of football is also different. In Central America, football is the breath of people with traditional football backgrounds like Mexico, Panama, and Costa Rica. In North America, baseball and basketball dominate, while the influence of British culture makes cricket a symbol of the Caribbean Islands.
And in Curacao, baseball is considered to be the national soul, the national love of sports lovers, when they are proud to witness a lot of legends that have been established in the US professional baseball league – MLB. Between the sunny beaches of the Caribbean, few people pay attention to the football of this land until one day in 2014, when the legendary Patrick Kluivert returned to his mother’s hometown with the goal towards the World Cup. We are talking about Curacao, the football background that is still a new name to many lepeop.
With a population of about 159,000, the Curacao is small in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. They are not a country but are Dutch territories that were born in 2010 (along with Aruba and Sint Maarten) after the Antilles, the autonomous nation was removed. In terms of geopolitics, Curacao has many similarities with Surinam, another Dutch territory, and is influenced by all aspects of life from the “national model” culture.
Football is similarly affected. Surinam’s children like Ruud Gullit, Frank Rijkaard or Virgil van Dijk have been helping the “orange whirlwind” to create a foothold. Curacao blood is also influential in Dutch football, though to a lesser degree with Leroy Fer, Vurnon Anita or Tahith Chong. With such a young history, Curacao football is still unfamiliar to fans.
“Look at everything as a party for fun and comfort,” Leandro Bacuna – Curacao’s brightest talent – says ahead of the competition against Jamaica in the Gold Cup 2017, the first major football tournament.