Paraguayan striker Salvador Cabañas, whose soccer career has been sidelined since he was shot in the head 18 months ago at a Mexico City bar, said that he had never thought about leaving the sport.
Upon returning to Mexico for a tribute that his Mexican club, America, and Paraguay's national team will hold for him on Wednesday, Cabañas told reporters that he had always thought that he would make a comeback, despite "the very serious accident I had."
Cabañas underwent emergency surgery after the Jan. 25, 2010, shooting, but doctors deemed it too dangerous to remove the bullet, which remains inside his skull.
"Here we are again and I hope it will be the best way to show once again why a Paraguayan always gets along very well wherever he is," Cabañas said on Televisa television's "Las Noticias por Adela" program.
Cabañas made clear that his life is soccer, which "is what I love most, it's what I want to do, it's my job. Returning to the pitch in good shape and being in great games."
"It's very nice to return to Mexico," he said.
Cabañas confirmed that he will play for several minutes in the tribute match, but he still did not know what jersey he would wear - one of America's or the Paraguayan national team's.
"I'm going to be in there for a bit, which is the most important thing. It's very nice, I wouldn't know what to tell you about who I'll be with, surely with America, which is the team to which I belong," he said.
The player commented that at this time he is having some problems with his calves and that he hopes to see how many minutes he can play and "how much I can handle."
He said he never lost hope during his rehabilitation because he knew what he can do and that he could show that he could make progress.
Cabañas said that he had already testified to Mexican authorities and identified the person who shot him, Jose Jorge Balderas, alias "JJ," who is currently behind bars awaiting trial.
"I went into the bathroom and suddenly a person was pointing the pistol at my head, he insulted me and everything. I remember it perfectly. I can't forget the face, I always have it in my mind," he said.
Cabañas said that although his life these days is "a little different," he continues to be the same person, adding that there is no doubt that he will return to Mexico and to America, which gave him the chance to be on a great team.