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Santiago Munez Actor Wants To Return To Newcastle United's St James' Park

Santiago Munez Actor Wants To Return To Newcastle United's St James' Park

The actor who played 'Santiago Munez' in the Goal! franchise says he "loves Newcastle" and wants to go back to St James' Park.

After a successful trial, the beloved Mexican pulls on the black and white stripes of the Magpies in the classic 2005 football film, scoring the goal that seals Champions League qualification for the next season.

Kuno Becker, who played Munez, was anything but a football fan growing up and instead spent his time playing classical music before becoming an actor.

But through this role, which consisted of training with the club's reserves, mixing it up with legends like Alan Shearer and absorbing that special North-East passion, he grew to love Newcastle.

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"I didn't know anything about Newcastle United," Becker told SPORTbible.

"Between my friends, there was a joke because they were like, 'How the hell are you going to play that role?"

"First I got to know the people at Newcastle and then [playing] at St James' Park. I didn't know you needed a suit and tie to get to a certain floor!

"But I learned to love football more. I love the World Cup now.

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"I didn't grow up watching football, I grew up playing classical music, violin, arts; I wasn't a football fan.

"I love Newcastle more than anybody maybe because I 'played' there in the movie and I got to know the guys, as well as the previous owners.

"I saw this one player say that he knew the team because of the movie and I was just like 'What?!"

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Having only been to UK once before when he went to London during his time studying in Germany and Austria, he developed a love for black pudding during his spell as a 'Mexican Geordie'.

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15 years have passed since the shooting of the film and Becker, now 42, is keen on heading back.

He added: "I haven't been in Newcastle since the movie. I would love it. Why not? I love that place. I had a great time there, incredibly great experiences and the movie means a lot to me.

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"I love Geordies. There's always a smile, a 'good morning' and there's always patience and gratefulness. Small town people in a good way. Passionate and happy."

You can count on Becker getting called 'Santiago' by every man and his dog if he returned to Newcastle like a prodigal son, not that it would make a difference to his usual encounters at home Los Angeles.

"All the freakin' time!" he replied, when asked if people ever call him by his character's name.

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"But I don't mind it. I just feel a lot of responsibility, within a year I realised the effect the movie had."

Topics: Mexico, St James' Park, Newcastle United

Josh Lawless

Josh is a sports journalist who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.