love.fútbol likes to acknowledge the members of our community who help make our work possible. We’re starting a series of blog posts that honor those active members of our community - you never know, you may be one of them some day, dear reader! Today’s community member Q&A is with Mike Cando from BAFA. Mike got involved with love.fútbol when he organized a tournament in Buenos Aires that helped benefit the organization.

How did you first become involved with LF?

I first became involved with LF after speaking with a good friend of mine, Aaron Firestein, founder of Bucketfeet. I saw that he was working with LF and I had a lot of interest in hosting a charity tournament to raise funds for a good cause. I called up LF and got a chance to talk to Mano and was impressed with what LF was doing.

What spoke to you about the LF vision?

The LF vision really stood out to me because of the way they involve the community into the whole project. Not only are they helping build futbol fields, but they're also bringing the community together for a common cause. Everyone participates and everyone gets to enjoy the benefits together!

For the readers at home who don’t know - what’s BAFA and what does it mean to you to have soccer so much apart of your life?

BAFA stands for Buenos Aires Futbol Amigos. We're a futbol club, community, and tourism company based out of Buenos Aires, Argentina, but made up of a diverse mixture of players from all over the world, with the common passion of futbol. Like LF, we really believe that futbol brings out the best in communities. Having futbol as such a big part of my life, I feel very blessed. Everyday I get to meet new people excited to play futbol, hear about their stories and travels, and get to train and play every week. Also having our BAFA futbol community, I get to organize fun things for everyone to do like watching big matches together, getting out of the city with a ball to enjoy out in nature, or volunteering with children. All for the love of the game.

What’s the first memory you have of soccer really having an important impact on your life?

The first memory I have of playing was back in the day, probably 7 or 8. I remember I used to play all the time at school. It actually started off with a game we used to play with a big, cherry ball. It was actually sort of like baseball but you used your feet. We also used to play a game called 'crab soccer' as well indoors when it was raining and we couldn't play outside, which was really fun. It was back then as a kid, running around with my friends when I realized that soccer is pure joy.

For fun - if you could go back in time to watch any famous football match, which would it be and why?

If I could go back in time and watch any famous football match, it would probably be the 1986 World Cup Quarter-Final match between Argentina & England. There was so much rivalry at the time with the history between the two nations, as well as having legendary Maradona on the pitch. To be there to see both the 'Hand of God' and the 'Goal of the Century,' both of which are still talked about a lot here in Argentina, would be a sight to see. Especially as Argentina went on to win the whole tournament that year!

Thanks so much to Mike for answering our questions!