Odessan trekking to Qatar for World Cup

Cruz Castruita shows off his numerous soccer jerseys.
Cruz Castruita shows off his numerous soccer jerseys.(Joshua Skinner / KOSA)
Published: Nov. 19, 2022 at 9:06 AM CST
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - The 2022 World Cup in Qatar kicks off Monday. 32 teams are vying for the world’s top athletic prize.

Most of us will watch the games on television, but a few will travel over 8,000 miles to see the games in person.

One of those people lives in Odessa.

Cruz Castruita is a big fan of Mexican soccer.

“First off, I like soccer. Second, I like traveling,” Castruita explained. “Put both those two together, and that’s the best thing I can do.”

So, it’s no surprise he packed clothes and other essentials when leaving for Qatar on Friday.

“I’m actually going to take my sombrero with me,” Castruita said. “I have my Mexican flag, and then I have jerseys. I have one U.S. jersey and, like, four or five Mexican jerseys.

But one thing Castruita won’t be taking with him to Qatar, or getting there, is libations.

“We’re going to have to adjust, I guess. Or end up in jail,” Castruita said.

The news that Qatar was backtracking on its promise to serve alcohol at soccer venues dropped Friday morning when Castruita was set to leave Odessa.

While that’s not ideal, Castruita is really going for the games, just like he did when he went to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

“For sure I’m going to Mexico vs. Poland, Mexico vs. Argentina, and Canada vs. Belgium,” he said.

It’ll all go into Castruita’s cap of places traveled. Exotic, faraway locales like Sochi, Morocco, and Denver. He hopes the experience will bring great memories.

“What I would really like most is for Mexico to beat Argentina,” he said.

But when it comes to Castruita’s fandom of Mexico vs. his American heritage, his rooting interests are simple. he says if the U.S.A. and Mexico meet in the world cup, he’d root for Uncle Sam.