It was love at first sight for Everton and me.
In August 2012, I was at my aunt's house and decided to watch Everton v Manchester United with no allegiances at the time to either side. Everton won the match with a Fellaini goal, and the game was perfect: the passion, the intensity... It took me by surprise but I was immediately hooked.
I started researching the Club and its history, the work they do with the community and the more I learned, the more I identified with it. I didn't know then the impact that supporting the club would have on me, but now I couldn't picture it any other way.
I connected to the Bogotá Blues through Alex Swift, the founder. We met on Twitter and became friends through our common love for the Club. I live in Cali, Colombia, so I haven’t yet met everyone in our Supporters’ Club.
The influence of Yerry Mina and James Rodriguez, while he was at Everton, has been huge with the Colombian audience. They are players that are talked about a lot and so the club is in everyone's mind. Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are extremely popular, too.
I watch every game with my family - my parents and sometimes my grandparents, along with my aunt’s and my dogs Bruno and Luna. They have all become Evertonians.
I find myself constantly talking football with my friends, some of whom have a soft spot for Everton and, of course, it’s not hard for me to help them fall in love with the Blues.
I make preview and reaction videos in Spanish for the YouTube fan channel The Toffee Blues and have a blog of my own called Panorama Fútbol where I write about football, tactics, and sports psychology.
I graduated in April 2021 and I'm starting to work as a psychologist in football and I hope to land a job at a football club in Colombia. Next year I’ll be applying for a Masters in sports psychology at Liverpool John Moores University - and after that I plan to get my coaching badges.
It would be a dream come true to return to Merseyside.
I lived in Liverpool for four months in 2015 when I had the opportunity to go on an exchange programme to study English.
I could pick where to go but there was never any doubt in my mind, I had to go to Liverpool so I could get to Goodison Park.
I managed to get to several games, including the Merseyside derby. I even met Kieran Dowell outside the stadium walking to the match. They are incredibly special memories for me.
This summer, I was in Miami, so I travelled to Orlando for the Florida Cup and watched Everton play Millonarios (from Colombia). It was amazing. It had been six years since I had the chance to watch Everton live. I met lots of Evertonians from the US and UK - some even recognised me from social media and we had a fantastic time, along with USMT legend Tim Howard before the match.
Football is my life. I wake up thinking about it and go to bed thinking about it - it’s part of my past and present and I hope it will be bigger than ever in the future.
But one thing is for sure… Everton will always be my love.
By Alejandro Bedoya Vanin, Evertonian and member of Bogotá Blues