Written by Alejandro Ferregrino-. Mane de la Parra is known in Mexico and other countries as a talented actor and singer, but in his youth the story could have been very different had it not been for the corruption that invades many aspects of Mexican daily life.
The brother of the orchestra director Alondra de la Parra has an important career as an actor in soap operas – “What’s wrong with my family?” and “La reina soy yo” and “La malquerida” – he has released a few albums and is the author of soundtracks for various productions.
But more than 20 years ago, Mane’s career was very far from the stage.
At the time, he was a young promise in the secondary divisions of Mexican football and about to get his first big opportunity as a professional in the promotion division.
“I quit football because they asked me for money,” said de la Parra in an interview on Isabel Lascurain’s Youtube channel.
After spending his entire childhood and adolescence at the Pumas, a problem with a manager prompted him to change team to Atlante, where they quickly offered him the opportunity he had been hoping for as a goalkeeper in professional soccer.
“They say to me, ‘We want to debut for you in Primera A.’ They sign me up for Primera A, they pay me a salary, and while we were at it, the head coach, who was a professional player for the Pumas, said to me, ‘Hey, but how much will I give?’ And I said to him: How much will I give you?”
De la Parra confirmed that this conversation surprised him a lot, as he played football every day from the ages of 5 to 19.
“It turns out that everyone on the team paid and that was too bad for me. I went to talk to one of them, a friend from Juchitán, Oaxaca, who later became a great player and he told me he gave her 70 percent of his salary. (…) The guy came from Juchitán to Mexico City five years ago to have the opportunity to provide for his entire family and they were accusing him of not being fair to me,” he said.
So he went to talk to the chairman to tell him that he had no problem giving the club a part, that they paid him little or no money, but that this was extorting the players’ families from the coach. It seemed unfair to him.
“There was chaos, fights, the coach wanted to hit me 400 times, obviously they fired him and I left this team. I can’t play for another team anymore because I’m already registered (at Atlanta).”
Finally, he decided to travel to the United States to play in that country’s league which later became MLS. By then, Mane realized that his dream of playing football at the highest level had faded and he was determined to study something business-related, but in a phone call his grandmother made him change his mind.
“My grandmother told me ‘I want you to know that if I can tell you something and if something can be my inheritance, it’s to follow your dreams, because you never know how long'”.
The day after that conversation, Mani’s grandmother passes away and thanks to that call, he decides to follow the path of music and acting.
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