just don’t bother him while he’s eating
I’m beginning to wonder if El País and Gerard Piqué have a special relationship, because they published yet another interview with him in recent days. In this one, Geri says bluntly, “I’m a winner.” Highlights below.
(It starts off by saying that Gerard has a tan from a summer spent in the Baleares and in Greece, and curly hair from having just woken up from a two hour siesta, and that he says he can still sleep a little more – “venga, maqui, que aún puedo dormir un poco más.” The interview took place in Mexico.)
Q: Your friends say that after Spain beat Germany in the semifinals, you sent them a message saying that you would be the champions of the world. Is that true?
A: Yes, part of it. Imagine if I had been wrong! But I had this premonition because the way the Netherlands played favored us more than Brazil or Argentina, for example. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity that we couldn’t let pass by. And I didn’t even think about letting it pass by.
(So basically, he was like el pulpo Paul of La Roja?)
Q: What did Vicente del Bosque say to you all before the final?
A: To consider the game as a normal one, one more encounter. And, above all, he repeated several times that we would end the game with 11, because in the finals they can’t send you off. Then Iniesta scored and I knew that the title was ours. And it was fair because we were the team that tried to play better football. It’s true that we won’t always have great games, but those were life or death battles: you win or you go home.
Q: When you look at yourself in the mirror, do you think about how you’re a world champion?
A: I think that I don’t look bad… No, seriously, I never think about it, nor when I get up from bed or when I go to sleep. I wake up wanting to enjoy the day. That I’m a champion is something that people on the street remind me of. I’m not complaining! The truth is, being famous only bothers me when I can’t enjoy a meal in a restaurant. But on the street, I don’t mind if anyone stops me.
Q: Are you happy?
A: Yes, very happy. But I was already happy before winning the World Cup or playing in Barça. You try to make those around you happy to complete your own happiness. I’m sure that I’ve changed in small ways because I’ve matured, grown up, developed as a person. That happens to everyone, no matter how old they are. But, more or less, I’m the same person. I have the same girlfriend, the same brother, the same parents that scold me if I do something bad, such as last week when I arrived late for dinner… And in sporting terms, I feel proud of my career. I’ve also had the luck of playing on champion teams and that leads to titles.
Q: You’re 23 years old and you’ve won everything.
A: No, not everything. I haven’t won a Eurocopa. And I want one. When you win, you enjoy the triumph and get caught up in the happiness of the world. Victory is a very sweet vice. And I’m winner. Now we’re going for four titles with Barça and starting the qualification for the next Eurocopa.
Q: You don’t get bored with competing?
A: No, it’s the opposite with me. I’m like a kid when I beat a friend at ping-pong and I get mad when someone beats me at parchís. It’s true that a party in the garden is not the same as winning the World Cup in South Africa, but in sports, there’s only winning and losing. And I’m not so stupid that I would pick the latter.
Q: Including this friendly against Mexico, right?
A: Of course. I know that there’s been controversy because we were called up without having returned to Barcelona. I believe the federation was just looking out for their interests. Everyone does that. This is a commitment of the national team and it’s normal that Mexico wants to see the champions. So, we have to go to the game and come out with a desire to win. On the other hand, I also understand why Barcelona was upset. We have the first leg of the Supercopa three days after playing in Mexico and we won’t be prepared for the game. I hope to play in the second leg. It’s a title.