‘Believe in your dreams’- Barcelona forward encourages Guyanese
By Akeem Greene
Nothing should be impossible. Regardless of how ambitious the venture may seem, there should be a belief that anything can be accomplished.
That is the kind of self-belief current Barcelona forward Martin Braithwaite wants young Guyanese to have when it comes to pursuing their dreams.
It was his first message as the Goodwill Ambassador for the capacity building partnership between the Denmark Football Union (DBU) and the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), with support from UEFA Assist.
“I have seen in life, we try to protect the people we love by telling them not to follow their dreams because we are afraid to see them getting hurt, but by doing so we are actually crushing a lot of dreams. We should push, especially the youth to follow their dreams and work hard because we don’t know who we are talking to, they may be the next big thing,” the 31-year-old stated at the Marriott Hotel on Wednesday afternoon.
Braithwaite has Guyanese heritage through his father, Keith Braithwaite, who moved to New York at the age of 14 and then to Denmark at 23.
Though eligible to play for Guyana, Braithwaite opted to represent the place of his birth after an early infatuation with the way the sport is played there.
However, he noted he was honoured when the GFF reached out to him, offering a chance to represent the Golden Jaguars, at a time he was not as popular as he is now.
He has amassed 60 caps for the Danish national team, including selection for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the UEFA Euro 2020.
GFF President Wayne Forde echoed similar sentiments as Braithwaite, underscoring that players should not believe their dreams are impossible.
He also hopes Braithwaite gets to reconnect with his Guyanese family on the visit.
DBU’s Executive Secretary, Mikkel Bjerg said they are happy to start the second half of the partnership, which dates back to 2019, but was hampered due to the pandemic.
He said it is appeasing that despite the geographic distance between the two nations, they are close in terms of similar goals to develop the sport.
On Thursday, Braithwaite will pay a courtesy call on Minister of Culture Youth and Sport Charles Ramson Jr., followed by a visit to the proposed D’Urban Park site, which will host the GFF’s planned national football stadium, before rounding off the day with a novelty futsal match at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.
On Friday, the former Middlesborough and Toulouse player will visit the place of his father’s birth in Charlestown and also take time out to visit a grassroots football tournament and watch the GFF Blue Water Under-15 Girls’ Development League at the GFF National Training Centre.