a giant Q&A – part iii
Spanish news agency EFE, like others before them, has been publishing a series of questions with our players. They’ve released 12 of them so far, up to yesterday, so I think that’s all that we’re going to see.
Some of the questions are the same, and some are different, and not everyone was asked the same questions. I’ve divided my translation of the Q&A into three sections to make it easier to read.
Please, if you take this from my site and post it elsewhere, include the source! I’ve noticed my translations of the El País Q&A popping up in a lot of places without citation.
This is the third section, which consists of sports- and football-related questions. Favorite answers highlighted in pink!
23. A sport and an athlete.
Busquets: Basketball and Juan Carlos Navarro.
Pedro: Tennis and Rafa Nadal.
Llorente: Tennis and Rafa Nadal.
Villa: Tennis and Rafa Nadal.
Capdevila: Tennis and Rafa Nadal. He’s a crack.
Arbeloa: Besides football, I love basketball and tennis. So, Pau Gasol and Rafa Nadal.
Navas: Rafa Nadal, for his work ethic, his desire to win and keep winning. I’ve always had that impression of him.
Mata: I’ll say two, tennis and basketball. Roger Federer and Michael Jordan.
Torres: Tennis and Rafa Nadal.
Albiol: Better two of each: Formula 1 with Fernando Alonso and tennis with Rafa Nadal.
Sergio: Tennis and Rafa Nadal.
24. What was the first football jersey you received as a gift?
Busquets: They put me in a Barça kit when I was just a baby.
Pedro: Barcelona’s. I was always a fan of Barcelona for my brother, who was an even bigger fan than me.
Villa: The national team’s.
Capdevila: Either Mattaeus’ Germany one or Papin’s France one. One of those two. I can’t remember.
Arbeloa: The national team’s.
Navas: I don’t remember.
Reina: Zubizarreta’s Barcelona shirt.
Mata: One of Burgos, where my dad played. I remember the photos of me as a baby on the field with the uniform of the team.
Torres: It was from Atlético de Madrid, with the name Pantic on the back.
Albiol: Van Basten’s Milan jersey.
25. An unforgettable moment in your career.
Busquets: The day I went to train with the first team and Guardiola told me I was going to play.
Pedro: The debut with Barcelona. It was very important, beautiful and special. I will never forget it. I always remember when Frank (Rijkaard) called me so that I could debut.
Llorente: My debut with Athletic in San Mamés (against Espanyol, on Jan. 16, 2005).
Villa: The goal against Sweden in the Eurocopa.
Capdevila: My debut with Espanyol in San Mamés.
Arbeloa: I think that’s still to come. [Smart boy!]
Navas: There are a lot, I can’t just say one. The debuts with Sevilla and the national team, and also the titles I’ve won with Sevilla.
Reina: I’ll give you two if you let me: when we won the Eurocopa and the Champions League that I won with Liverpool in penalties.
Mata: My debut with the national team and the Copa del Rey that I won with Valencia.
Torres: The final of the Eurocopa in Vienna.
Albiol: I think it’s still to come and it’s not far away. What we’re going to go through on July 11 is going to something unforgettable in all our careers.
Sergio: The day we won the Eurocopa in Vienna.
26. Your last/biggest splurge as a footballer.
Busquets: My house.
Llorente: A Porsche Panamera.
Villa: An iPad to bring to South Africa.
Capdevila: I bought myself a car, a BMW X5.
Arbeloa: I splurge a lot, but if I could spend a lot on anything, it would be on vacations.
Navas: I bought a Mercedes four years ago.
Reina: A house.
Mata: My apartment.
Torres: Helping my siblings with whatever they need.
Albiol: I don’t splurge a lot, but if I had to say something, it would be my car, a BMW X6.
Sergio: The house that I live in with my entire family.
27. If you weren’t a footballer, what would you be?
Llorente: Something related with another sport or training.
Navas: The truth is, I never thought about it, but I’m sure something related with sports.
Mata: Something related to advertising or marketing.
Albiol: A personal trainer.
Sergio: Tennis player. I love playing tennis. [Not a bullfighter? Or flamenco singer?]
28. Mourinho or Guardiola?
Busquets: Guardiola, because he’s my coach, I know how he works, his methods and I debuted in the first division at his hands.
Arbeloa: They’re both excellent coaches but I haven’t worked with either of them. Obviously, right now I would choose Mourinho.
Albiol: They’re both coaches that have demonstrated that they are the best in the world and I don’t know either personally, but I’ll say Mourinho.
29. Your first memory of a World Cup.
Busquets: The 1998 World Cup when France won the title with Zidane, Thuram and Djorkaeff. Spain did poorly.
Pedro: I watched France ’98 on TV, Zidane scored two goals in the final. I have a desire to live it from the inside.
Llorente: Luis Enrique’s broken nose in the 1994 World Cup in the U.S.
Villa: Unfortunately, it’s Tasotti’s elbow to Luis Enrique in the 1994 edition.
Capdevila: Italy ’90. The small, bald Italian forward that scored a lot, Toto Schilacci.
Arbeloa: U.S. ’94. Unfortunately we didn’t do too well.
Navas: The Spain-Nigeria game in the 1998 World Cup, which we lost 2-3. Those were difficult moments.
Reina: The 1994 World Cup when Luis Enrique’s nose was broken and Italy eliminated us.
Mata: The 1994 World Cup in the U.S., the elbow to Luis Enrique and Roberto Baggio’s missed penalty.
Torres: I remember getting up with my brother at dawn to watch the 1994 World Cup in the U.S. for Spain’s first game, which they tied 2-2 with Korea. That’s my first memory because in Italy ’90 I was only six, I’m sure I watched it but I don’t remember it.
Albiol: The one in the U.S. in 1994, especially Sweden’s two forwards, Kenneth Andersson and Dalhin.
Sergio: The elbow Luis Enrique received at the 1994 U.S. World Cup.
30. What will you do if you win the World Cup?
Busquets: Anything that’s not too strange. Shave my head, walk the Camino de Santiago. Anything to be champions of the world.
Pedro: Enjoy it with my friends, with my family and treat myself to a good trip. If people go crazy, I’ll join in.
Llorente: I would enjoy it a lot. If I have to make a promise, it would be to do some extreme sport. I would never do the typical things like shave my head. I don’t like that.
Capdevila: I’ll get a tattoo of the Cup.
Arbeloa: During the Eurocopa, I said I would dye my hair red and yellow but I didn’t do it. So now I’ll say I will spend an entire year without drinking Coke.
Navas: I will be the happiest person in the world. I don’t know what I’ll do. Maybe cut my hair, do whatever, since it’ll be the best thing ever.
Villa: I’ll first celebrate it at Colón with all my teammates and the Spanish fans. I don’t promise to do anything crazy physically, such as shave my head or anything like that, I’m already grown up. And I’ll also go all out celebrating it with my friends when I return to Asturias.
Reina: First we have to win it because I don’t even want to start thinking about that now.
Mata: Return to Spain with that guy that traveled by Vespa to South Africa.
Torres: If we win, whatever you ask me to do. [Interviewer: give me something that you promise to do, and don’t give me anything related to your look, since you’re used to changing it once in a while.] You’re right (laughs). Making promises related to hair is easy. That wouldn’t be any problem and the occasion requires something bigger. (Thinks) I know, if we win the World Cup, I’ll do the Camino de Santiago. I’ll do it one day, just don’t ask me to do it as soon as we return to Spain because I want to rest and enjoy my vacation.
Albiol: Learn English, something I need to do.
Sergio: Get a tattoo of the World Cup.
31. A dream.
Llorente: To win the World Cup.