There is nothing more bizarre than meeting Jorge “El Brody” Campos in Berlin in autumn. Why? Because the tropical goalkeeper is the total opposite of the Germans. Let’s just say he is more spring than fall.
On the sidelines of the Aspire Academy Global Summit on Football Performance and Science in Berlin, we spoke to El Brody in an exclusive interview.
The Q&A took place a day after the gala dinner at Berlin’s swanky Ritz-Carlton hotel. There, a 5’5″ man entered the hotel’s ballroom with a swagger and nonchalance that befitted his casual suit. For a moment, the invitees lost their focus from their neatly served braised beef cheek.
The new guest made his way to the front table, where he was greeted by an illustrious party of soccer luminaries: Johan Cruyff, Bora Milutinovic, Thomas Tuchel, Clarence Seedorf, Frank Rijkaard, and Lothar Matthäus who all smiled jovially when they greeted Jorge Campos.
As the evening winded down, Campos was deeply engaged in conversation with Borussia Dortmund’s coach. The scene repeated itself the next day as Tuchel explained the intricacies of Bayern Munich’s dynamic midfield to Campos. El Brody talks almost immediately with us.
October 10 marks the next hugely important game in the history of the Mexico-U.S. fútbol rivalry for the CONCACAF Cup. What makes this rivalry so special?
It’s special because we are always competing against each other, the United States and Mexico, to be the best of the CONCACAF. Let’s hope Mexico wins. It’s very important for us because we are looking for the Confederations Cup ticket.
What are your memories about these games between Mexico and the U.S.?
Yes, I have many memories – very good moments and bad ones also. I especially remember the summer of 1996; we beat the United States in the U.S. Cup and that same summer we defeated Brazil in the Gold Cup. It was a very special moment at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena.
You are an idol at Pumas, who are now the best team in Liga MX, but today there is nobody from Pumas on Mexico’s national team. What do you think is the reason for that?
I think Pumas has more foreign players on the squad now. Before there used to be many on the national team. There was a moment when the youth academies changed Pumas and I think the team is slowly going back to that. The fact that Pumas is leading Liga MX means that the youth academies are growing and there are good players.
You are living in California. What do you think soccer needs to do in America to overtake basketball, football, and baseball?
Soccer is going to grow. The only thing necessary right now is time. It is very difficult to outgrow other American sports, but this is going to change with the years; there are many children who are playing soccer in the United States right now.
You are famous for your colorful uniforms. Can you tell us what your inspiration was?
I always liked those colores because I am a man of the beach. I am from Acapulco, where those colores are very used. I always liked designing clothing, but I never thought much of it or that people would identify me so much for that. I am everywhere because of the colors of the uniforms.