This is Cuba: This is Their Fútbol
By Juana Davila

Director’s Statement:  
Growing up in a Latin household, my weekends were full of soccer. Either my dad was watching a game on T.V. or we were out in the fields watching my uncles play. It wasn’t until I was in high school that I began to have love for the sport. While I only played for two years, I feel like I’ve known the sport all of my life. The more hands-on I get in the communication field, the more I desire to one day work as an on-field reporter. When I received the news that I would be travelling to Cuba, I knew immediately that I wanted to follow soccer on the island.

Since soccer is gaining a lot of support from the younger generation and people are slowly moving away from baseball, I wanted to know why. One of the main things that kept reoccurring in my research and throughout the course of my project was the lack of resources. A lot more is required to play baseball than there is to play soccer. My interviewees all considered soccer to be a universal sport.

It was no later than 8 in the morning when I woke up to young voices shouting “GOOOOOOOOOL,” from across the street. Being as curious as I am, I opened the window to find two little boys playing soccer except they were playing with a rock, not a ball. It was then when I began to realize the phenomenon that soccer was becoming in Cuba. There were kids playing soccer all throughout the streets of Havana which is something I enjoyed from my trip. At that moment, I realized that Cubans appreciated and loved the sport as much as I did and I was encouraged to get those emotions on film.

The documentary This is Cuba: This is Their Fútbol is just a glimpse of the sport on the island with a heavy focus on the chicos del barrio (neighborhood boys,) who spend their afternoons in the Jose Marti facility playing soccer. While the Cuban National Team’s last participation in a World Cup was in 1939, many young boys are hopeful to see their nation represent them in the future.

Documentary: This is Cuba: This is Their Fútbol.


While Cuba is known for its traditional baseball, the streets of Havana are filled with young men who love soccer. From playing in parking lots to run-down fields, soccer is definitely taking over the youth, despite the lack of awards obtained by the national team. The filmmaker took it upon herself to speak to various Cubans regarding their love for their sport.

In This is Cuba: This is Their Fútbol, Roberto Carlo, a soccer coach and sub-director of the Jose Marti Sports facility, speaks about the main differences of soccer and baseball on the island while Ariel and Yoel speak on the sport that stole their heart: fútbol.