PACHUCA, Mexico -- Enrique Borja, CONCACAF's Director of Strategic Alliances, was one of many historic figures to be inducted as the first members into the Mexico's Football Hall of Fame on Tuesday during a star-studded ceremony at the Auditorio Gota de Plata.
Thirty players, coaches and administrators, from Mexico and around the globe, were honored for their remarkable sporting achievements; forever to be remembered in the Hall's Pachuca location.
"It's a unique place on the planet, we should be proud that Mexico and Pachuca have a venue of this magnitude," said Antonio Moreno, the Hall of Fame's Executive Director."The 15 national figures and 15 international figures, who were elected by representatives of the media that formed a selection committee, will know how much you have given football."
The ceremony began with a video of great moments from football's most-renowned players followed by recorded statements from Mexican President Felipe Calderon, FIFA President Joseph Blatter and Pachuca chairman Jesus Martinez.
Enrique Borja, who has enjoyed an extraordinary career as a player and administrator, was clearly moved by the tribute as evidenced by his words to the audience:
"This Hall of Fame honor was achieved for each of those who have gone through this beautiful sport of football, I am proud to be here with big stars. I am also especially grateful to two friends, Aaron Padilla and Carlos Reinoso.Now I know that when they see my name, they'll also know that my partners/teammates and coaches are behind me."
Legendary goalkeeper Antonio Carbajal, who appeared in five World Cup finals, appropriately closed the evening to a standing ovation with an emotional speech.
"It's difficult to express the joy one feels," said Carbajal, 82."I thank football for giving me the opportunity to play in five World Cups.There is a saying that one is not a prophet in his land and now I realize that he is.
I want to dedicate this award to my wife who supported me in both defeats and victories. Thank you all."
The late Guillermo Cañedo, a former FIFA Senior Vice President and CONCACAF Vice President, was also inducted posthumously.
2011 HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
Alfredo Di Stefano