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From playing the final of the Libertadores against Argentinos and a Copa América to destitution: the hard story of Henry Viáfara




He knew how to be in the elite of South American football, but drug addiction led him to lose everything: “I’m breathing like a miracle.”


Being a footballer is a profession that is not for life. The physical demand puts a brake at a certain age and forces people normally between 35 and 40 years old to take a new directioneither close to the ball or an entirely different path. Many manage to capitalize on what they gained during their years of stardom, but another group does not.as is the case with Henry Viáfaraformer Colombian player who He knew how to play a final of the Copa Libertadores with América de Cali and wore the shirt of his National Team but now he is destitute.

From playing in the Colombian National Team to living on the street: the hard story of Henry Viáfara

Viáfara is currently 69 years old and lives on the streets between Villarrica and Puerto Tejada, “en son of things”as he told The country in a 2014 interview. “My life, since I left football (1987), has been difficult. They also forgot about me. I’m breathing like a miracle, because air is free. Everyone forgets about you despite what I did as a footballer for Villarrica, the Cauca National Team, Pereira, America and the Colombian National Team”, added that time. But his life was not always like this, rather knew how to be in the elite of South American football.

Henry played in the America of Cali alongside Julio Falcioni, Ricardo Gareca and Willington Ortiz. In 1985 they came to dispute the Copa Libertadores final, but they lost it to José Yudica’s historic Argentinos Juniors. Secondly, Viáfara had a passage through the Colombian National Teamwhere he came to dispute the 1983 America’s Cup and the 1980 Olympics in Moscow.

But today it is far from the lights of that title. That is why in social networks, a campaign to help the former Colombian defender. It was the journalist Jaime Dinas who spread Henry’s situation with a video that he had to remove at the request of the former soccer player’s youngest daughter. He then contacted a local councilman to begin trying to help him.

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This is how Henry Viáfara explained why he ended up destitute

“There were many disappointments and then, with bad luck, I fell into drug addiction. That was the final point. I fell into all that because I brought a hectic pace of life as a footballer; I was in one thing, in the other, concentrations, trips, hotels, training sessions, matches. But later, when I retired from football, there came a time when I had too much time left over, I had nothing to do and I was already going to a farm, somewhere else, with friends, partying… From a person who was judicious to becoming lazy afterwards, anyone goes crazy. When I realized everything, I was already deep in vice, there was nothing to do. I was in a Foundation against drug addiction and there they helped me a lot, but I am still going through a difficult financial situation.explained several years ago to the newspaper The country.

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