Down Syndrome Best Friends Launch Inclusive Football League in Spain

Rubén Almazán Estepa and Álvaro Cano, two best friends diagnosed with Down’s syndrome, are self-described “Hardcore football fans.” Their friendship blossomed while competing in the Special Olympics, where Rubén secured a gold medal and Álvaro a silver. Their shared passion for football, combined with their desire to create opportunities for others like them, led them to propose the creation of a dedicated football league. With the unwavering support of their parents, they approached La Liga, the governing body of professional football in Spain, with their idea. Javier Tebas, the league’s president, embraced their vision, and the Liga Genuine was born.

The Liga Genuine is a testament to the power of inclusion and offers players with intellectual disabilities a platform to showcase their football skills and pursue their dreams. It’s been enthusiastically embraced by most major professional clubs in Spain, creating a vibrant community where players of all ages and genders can participate. Rubén and Álvaro, the driving force behind this initiative, were appointed ambassadors for the Liga Genuine. They not only proudly captain their beloved Nàstic Genuine team but have become symbols of the league’s positive impact on its players.

Beyond their ambassadorial roles, Rubén and Álvaro are full-time employees at Nastic Football Club. They give tours of the stadium, sharing it with their sister club, professional team Gimnàstic de Tarragona. Through these tours, they educate visitors about the club and the Liga Genuine. Their coach, Rafael Magrinya, describes them as the most popular players in the entire club, highlighting their infectious enthusiasm and dedication to the beautiful game. Rubén and Álvaro’s story is a powerful reminder that passion, friendship, and inclusivity can create extraordinary change.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top