"Football should unite the country around a message of peace and love.

"Twenty years is a long time and it's really upsetting to think about, but I prefer to thank God for having given us the chance to have him with us for 27 years, for lending him to us.

"His life was cut short, but he did important things in that time."

The pair accepted an invitation from world football's governing body to attend Colombia's matches, partly to be away from home when the 20th anniversary came around.

"I wanted to escape Medellin, because there Andres's death will be talked about in all the news programs and papers and it would be very tough," Maria Ester explained.

"I'd rather spend it here, with the family, and then hold a memorial service when we go back home."

Escobar was rumored to be on the verge of a switch to Italian giants AC Milan prior to his death after seven years at Colombian club Atlético Nacional.

He also had a spell at Young Boys in Switzerland but it was in his native Colombia he remembered most fondly, and afforded the nickname "El Caballero del Fútbol" which translates as "The gentlemen of football."

"Sometimes I think it'd be better if people didn't remember Andres every day, because it's really painful," his brother Jose explained.

"But he left a mark, so it's normal."