Guissel de Torres, mother of Roman Torres, who last year scored the winning goal giving Panama its first qualifying pass to a World Cup, talked to EFE about the pride she felt for her son, who used to "kick everything" as a child, was "dutiful and committed" as a young man, and was "very faithful" as a man.
"He was naughty ... I used to buy him three pairs of shoes each year because he was always kicking everything. Luckily this situation improved when he entered middle school," Mrs. Guissel de Torres said.
She recalls that one of the first major changes in Roman's soccer career was when he became a defender in the under-17 league, after having played as a forward in Chepo FC.
"When he started the under-17 tryouts, there were already many forwards and midfielders ... so he ended up playing as a defender," Guissel de Torres said.
She also said that Roman, who has played in the Seattle Sounders since 2015, was dutiful and very faithful.
"We always taught him to be humble and to have faith. God has helped him in some crucial moments, for example when Panama qualified for the World Cup and when the Seattle Sounders won the championship," she said.
Guissel de Torres talked about the pride she felt when Panama qualified for the World Cup.
"I am very proud of my son and his teammates for taking us to the World Cup. They achieved the entire country's dream," she said.
Mrs. Guissel recalled watching the qualifying match against Costa Rica with her daughter-in-law in the couple's home, in the United States.
"When the 85th minute arrived, I told my daughter-in-law that 'we have to pray because we are running out of minutes and we still need one goal,'" she said.
"We prayed with our eyes shut and then we heard the winning goal. I didn't even know my son was the one who had scored!"
Guissel de Torres hoped that Panama would have a good first World Cup.
"We don't expect to win, but I hope that Panama will have a good run, because the team deserves it," she said.
By Rogelio Adonican Osorio (ACAN-EFE)