Santiago Munez – Hero’s Journey
The Mundane World
Santiago begins his story in Goal! The Movie as an illegal immigrant in Los Angeles. He works two jobs to help his family get by, but spends the rest of his time playing or thinking about soccer.
The Call To Adventure
Glen Foy, ex-scout for Newcastle United notices Santiago playing soccer and encourages him to go to England to show off his skills. Santiago’s dream seemingly comes to him.
Crossing The Threshold
The threshold is a tough one for Santiago. He struggles with his father who discourages him, preferring that he stay and earn a steady living. He also undergoes a long trip to get to Newcastle, having to head to San Diego, then Mexico City to London, and finally a train to Newcastle.
The Path of Trials
Santiago endures many setbacks along the way. He is given a tryout only to fail in the rain and muddy conditions. He is allowed another trial, only to have his asthma let him down. As each mis-step occurs Santiago learns. When he has it pointed out that he focuses on himself instead of the team, he corrects it to create success for himself and his team.
Santiago is not alone on his journey. He has his family, apart from his father, supporting his dream. He meets Jamie and Roz who are clearly companions. Glen is his mentor, calling Santiago on the adventure and then helping him continue on his path when he stumbles. When Glen tells Santiago that great players take risks and that others play within themselves – afraid to expose their weaknesses, he prepares Santiago to accept that he should embrace his asthma and not play around it.
At the end of his journey Santiago faces his final challenge alone, taking a free kick to score the goal that will take Newcastle to European competition. He also overcomes the guilt accompanying his father. He gains approval from his father and is able to finish the journey.
Master of Two Worlds
Having conquered the cathedral-like St. James’ Park, Santiago is able to provide inspiration and pride to his grandmother and brother. He gives the Newcastle fans something to be excited about. He has learned from his journey and can provide to his team mates and his friends.