He was born in Colon, Panama, but he knows very well to Argentina. Armando Cooper played for two years in Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba and left a nice memory in Mendoza. After passing through the Argentinean soccer he had the opportunity to go to Europe to wear the shirt of Oţelul Galaţi in Romania and Sankt Pauli in Germany. However Cooper returned to the club of its origins, Arabe Unido, and integrated the selected list drafted by the “Bolillo” Hernan Gómez, for the American Cup 2016. Vermouth Deportivo spoke with the midfielder about the team and their memories during his years in Argentina.
Vermouth Deportivo: What are your feelings before playing against Argentina, the country that knows a lot about you after your matches with Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba?
Armando Cooper: It´s very difficult to explain my feelings after my time in Argentina and in Godoy Cruz. When I was younger I always was an Argentinean National Team fan and now I have to play against them.
VD: If you have to pick a player in order to change your T-shirt, do you have a favourite one?
AC: No, I do not have any preference about that. If I have to change my shirt it is with one of the two players that I admired when I was young: Aimar (Pablo) or Batistuta (Gabriel). At this moment I do not have any preference and on the other hand I am not used to change my T-shirts but if I have the opportunity I will do.
VD: Panamá is going to start playing against Bolivia, a team that is not having a good football moment. Do you think that Panamá can win that match in order to put some pressure to Chile and Argentina for the following matches?
AC: I guess, yes. I would like to start the tournament surefooted, with our right foot, winning the match against Bolivia and doing good things in order to win those three points for waiting calmer and with less pressure the other matches.
VD: Your national team is going to play this American Cup and also Panamá is near to qualify for the final hexagonal in the route to Russia 2018 World Cup. Do you think that this American Cup will help your squad?
AC: This is a tournament to measure ourselves, to fix the errors because the qualification that is very important. But today we are in the American Cup and we have to think in this tournament, in doing a good role, and we have to try to do good things in order to qualify. If God wants we will qualify or not but we have to continue improving this for Russia 2018 qualification.
VD: Your team knows very well the United States because you have played qualifiers and the Gold Cup here. How do you imagine the American Cup at USA, a country where maybe football is not the main sport?
AC: Yes, we know this country enough. We have played several tournaments here like the Gold Cup and other tournaments related to Central America also. Is different, here the football is not as passionate like South America but is growing up and we guess that it will be very nice for everyone.
VD: How did you follow the last Argentinean championship where Godoy Cruz fought until the last match against San Lorenzo?
AC: I felt a big hapiness to see Godoy Cruz upper than the leader during a big part of the tournament. I felt very happy to see them there, it was a nice satisfaction to see some colleagues enjoying that moment. I followed very near the tournament and I gritted my teeth every match in order to have a good result.
VD: How can you describe Panamá before starting this American Cup?
AC: It´s a rather humble team that is going to participate step by step, very calm, and fighting until the end in order to reach the objective. We would like to have a good tournament knowing that each game is part of our growing.