Jaime Penedo, after 20 years of defending the Panamanian colors and of clubs like the US LA Galaxy and Dinamo Bucharest, announced on Thursday his retirement from professional soccer in a ceremony full of emotionality in which he was accompanied by his family, friends and colleagues from the selection of Panama.
"I'm in the perfect place, with the perfect people to announce my definitive retirement from professional soccer, after more than two decades of playing it, thanks for the support", he said in a choked voice, which came to be considered at the time the best goalkeeper of the North, Central American and Caribbean Football Confederation (CONCACAF).
"Saint Penedo", as his compatriots call the 37-year-old goalkeeper, pointed out that he always looked for the right moment to step aside, and that "this was that moment".
He had already considered that once the oldest of his two sons, Matías, reached "a certain age, he would seek stability" that he would be given in Panama.
But Penedo made it clear that in addition to the strictly family reasons, there are also physical reasons that lead him to take that step aside and move away from the professional field.
"I could have continued playing in Panama, the Plaza (Amador) was interested, but I had to be honest, because of the physical theme, because of the knees, it was better to stop", he said.
At the time, Penedo was considered the best goalkeeper of CONCACAF, proof of this were his performances in the Gold Cup in 2004, where he was a gold glove, but with a smile on his face, the keeper was modest before that distinction.
"It would have been a mistake to absorb that (to be considered the best of CONCACAF) in a wrong way, I always felt that I had to work more, it has always been like that, I demanded more and more", he said.
Penedo has the soccer in his blood and that sacrifice and his achievements leave him on the place to be a possible coach, for that situation he did not close the door completely.
"I do not rule it out, as long as I can help I'll be willing, I do not see myself as a technician, but I can advise, because I've already lived, what they can live on", he said.
The goalkeeper, who went through Italian soccer (Cagliari Calcio), the Spaniard (Club Atlético Osasuna B), the Guatemalan Municipal and Costa Rican Saprissa, added that he has projects, among which is working in soccer and youth.
Between pranks and seriousness, Penedo, who has been the goalkeeper of clubs like the LA Galaxy in the United States Major League Soccer (MLS) and the Romanian Dinamo Bucharest, revealed "he was bad as a forward player".
"I do not know, nor did I realize when I became a goalkeeper, it must be that I was very bad as a striker," said the player, who was an attacker at the beginning.
On the next electoral process in the Panamanian Football Federation, Penedo was surprised to not see any footballer in the list that is shaping to direct this entity.
"I found strange that I saw a picture of a list for the elections and I did not see any soccer players, football should be governed by administrative staff and people who played football", he said, adding that "I would like to be a director, but I would have to see what work proposals they present to me".
With Penedo in the act of farewell were other greats of the Panamanian football and the region, also already in the retreat: Blas Pérez and Felipe Baloy, team mates of the goalkeeper, as well as the Panamanian coach Gary Stempel, who led him in the sub'20.
Jaime Penedo debuted with the Central American Red team on March 26, 2005, closes his book in professional football at 37 years old with a World Cup in its pages and 134 games wearing the dorsal one of the Panamanian team.