Marcelo Flores, the multicultured, megastar, Mexican maestro of the pitch has chosen a side.
The alliterative rising star made things official on social media Monday night, drawing to a close something that may not have been in doubt but was still weighing on fans’ minds.
Where would one of the more promising footballers choose to devote his International career: Mexico, Canada or England.
A heart torn in three has decided on El Tri.
“I’m not going to lie,” Flores begins in a multi-slide explanation of his decision. “This has been a difficult process.”
Flores was born in Canada to a mother who has an English heritage. His father, Rubén Flores, was born in Mexico City and spent time with Atlante during his playing days and currently coaches the Cayman Islands women’s national team.
Flores explains that love is a complicated feeling. It can be trying for someone who is raised in multiple cultures to feel both enriched and complete.
“I have questioned many things during this process,” Flores continued in his post. The language, his location of residence. Even the music he listens to was weighed and measured.
In the end, beautifully, Flores realizes that identity isn’t a social construct, it’s something you carry with you, with every beat of your heart.
“I’ve been thinking about these questions for a while,” he wrote. “I’ll probably never be able to fully answer them. And although I have not been able to discover the answers, I do know this: being different does not make me less Mexican.”
Flores has a lot to answer at the moment. A lot of it remains on the pitch, where he continues to work to see action with the first team at Arsenal or to earn a cap with Mexico.
But regardless, he has settled on something that had to be agonizing. He has decided where his international passion will grow, but it will never diminish the love of his upbringing. Nor does it define him fully.
We are never less than our cultural identity. As we all know, a cultural identity looks different to every last person in the stands.
So being true to yourself is a good place to start.