In honor of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, which kicks off Nov. 20, Billboard has reached out to Latin artists who are big fútbol fans to ask what the sport means to them. For our first installment, we spoke to Mexican actor and singer Diego Boneta (Luis Miguel: The Series) who is a self-declared soccer aficionado and is ready to support La Selección Mexicana — of course proudly wearing “la verde” (Mexico’s jersey) — during the tournament. Below, Boneta’s “What Fútbol Means to Me,” as told to Billboard.
My earliest memories of fútbol go back to when I was a kid, definitely. I’d play at recess with my friends. I even got signed up for fútbol classes when I was younger. I wasn’t amazing, but I was good and I really enjoyed playing. I grew up watching La Selección Mexican games. Fútbol matches were and are to this day a big deal for my family. Whenever La Selección is playing, nos ponemos la verde, and we watch the game at home, we’ll have friends and family over, we’ll have micheladas and root for them. I’m the type that will be on the edge of my seat the whole time and just start screaming at the television. I’m a screamer for sure.
The one World Cup song that has truly stuck with me is Ricky Martin’s “Cup of Life.” To this day, I love that song so much and it brings back many memories. Music is a big part of the World Cup and fútbol. Especially after personally having sung at some big stadiums, like Maracanã [in Brazil] back in the day, I feel like music goes hand in hand, that’s why having a great World Cup song is so important. It makes the event much more memorable.
The game that, as Mexicans, we’re probably all waiting for during this World Cup is the Mexico vs. Argentina game. That is the match to watch. I’ll be at home, watching with my family and friends, having some tequila, of course it all depends on what time they’re playing … But hopefully we’ll be celebrating afterwards and eating all the botanas you can think of, like guacamole, some tacos, cacahuates japoneses, papitas preparadas. Fútbol is really about us coming together, celebrating our country and roots. It’s about unity, culture, food, having fun. It’s very powerful, if you think about it.
My prediction for the México-Argentina game? 2-1, Mexico wins. Viva México!