Gilberto Martinez, a Mexican fan, has the most tragic World Cup story. Martinez lost his wife and young children to a fatal car crash after having planned to go to Russia together as a family to watch Argentina and Mexico.
Martinez had planned to go see the World Cup with his family. (Image source: Facebook/Gilberto Martinez)
Martinez is currently in Russia watching the World Cup matches he had initially planned to watch with his 42-year-old wife Veronica Raschiotto, and their kids, 8-year-old Diego and 6-year-old Mia. The Mexican lawyer had planned everything and booked all the travel tickets and accommodation for their trip to Russia. But disaster struck on April 28, just days before the start of the World Cup, when his family went to visit Veronica’s brother, Jorge Claudio Raschiotto, in Miami.
On the trip, a fatal accident occurred on Federal Highway, just south of Linton Boulevard; a 2010 4×4 Chevrolet Silverado crashed into the van carrying Gilberto Martinez’s beloved family, killing them instantly.
The local police have said the 4×4 pickup was driven by 21-year-old Paul Streater of Delray Beach. Paul told the investigators that he was driving at 100 mph and could not stop his car as his gas pedal had gotten stuck.
Martines told Buenos Aires news outlet, Clarin, that he had married Veronica in 2004 and that they both used to support Argentina and Mexico. While mourning, Martinez sought help from a psychologist who told him that in order to move on and to honor his late family, he should ‘close the only outstanding issue in a beautiful family, to fulfill the dream of the four.’
Martinez’s South Florida lawyer, Scott Smith, told The Palm Beach Post, “With tremendous sadness, Gilberto cannot have his family there with him, but he is there to pay tribute to them and they are with him in spirit. It is and will remain a tragedy of epic proportion.”
Martinez, who has already been to five World Cups, traveled to Russia alone and watched Mexico’s first game against the defending champions, Germany – a match in which his side, Mexico, defeated the Germans by a score of 1-0. Reportedly, he got a text message from Mexican goalkeeper, Francisco Guillermo Ochoa, after the match. It said, “This was for your family.”
Martinez also had tickets to the Brazil and Costa Rica match because his son, Diego, wanted to see his favorite player, Neymar Jr, play live in action.