Cristo Fernández rose to fame by playing a fútbol player, so it’s no wonder he feels right at home discussing the ongoing FIFA World Cup. The Mexican star, who played professional fútbol before turning to acting, stars in a Verizon ad that has been a fixture of Telemundo’s World Cup broadcasts. Remezcla had a chance to talk to Fernández about the World Cup, what team he is rooting for, and what it means to be part of it – even if it’s via this project with Verizon.
“I’m really happy and grateful,” Fernández told us, referring to the opportunity to see his face during the World Cup telecasts, especially as the ad has played before Latin American teams take the pitch. This has been a strange World Cup to begin with, and though Fernández’s dream was always to be one of the actual players, this is a fun opportunity nonetheless.
Fernández, who is Mexican, was of course supporting his home team in the World Cup – and his adopted country, England. But with both those teams eliminated, he shared that “I like the underdog,” but above all things, he’s rooting for the Latin American teams, which means he would “love to see Argentina get it, even though they defeated us.” Particularly because of Lionel Messi.
On the breakthrough hit Ted Lasso, Fernández plays Dani Rojas, and his years as a fútbol player helped him get into character. “Just knowing, just having lived all those years in the locker room with my teammates, that environment, I knew that.” But almost as importantly, Fernández was very familiar with the “stunts” that needed to be done on a show like Ted Lasso, and to get to do them was “like a dream come true because I just have to go and play and do the two things I love the most: acting and fútbol.”
Ted Lasso is the rare kind of show that brings people together, and in many ways, that’s the magic of fútbol too, something that has been evidenced by the World Cup.
For Fernández “sports has that thing, that spirit, of overcoming obstacles, of working hard, of training, of being disciplined. There are so many positive aspects around sports in general.” And that’s something Ted Lasso captures very well. “You might not love fútbol, but at the end of the day, it’s not about fútbol. The show is about human relationships, learning from your mistakes, strong female characters, mental health. And I think that’s the reason so many people feel connected with the story, the characters and the message.”
Fernández is really glad that he found another passion outside of fútbol, and a show like Ted Lasso to showcase both his talents in. “I’m grateful I found my passions,” he shared, adding that he now gets to be a fútbol ambassador, which is very exciting. “I think that’s why you always have to be open to the world, to the opportunity, to the circumstances. I think everything we do is an opportunity for something else that we might not know – and we might not be sure whether we are on the right path or not. But it’s just being about being open to every single thing we’re doing and living.”
That’s why he enjoys playing Dani Rojas, someone who is all about the positive vibes – and that, in doing so, elevates the spirits of everyone around him. “I actually have learned that from him. Trying to embrace that and do that in my everyday life. And life can be tough sometimes, but it’s tough for everyone. But also, there are many good aspects to everything. And I think Dani brings out that reminder that we might be doing something we love. And sometimes life can be stressful, but it’s good to remember the passion and the reasons why we do what we do.”
Fútbol, as Dani Rojas would say, is life. But sometimes, fútbol is also just …fútbol. And it’s fun when it is, too.
Ted Lasso is set to premiere in Spring 2023.