Javi Martínez at Don Balón
Don Balón ran an interview with my secret crush (well, maybe not so secret anymore, no, since I just confessed it) Javi Martínez recently, and here are the parts where he talks about the national team and himself. He comes across as a really nice, humble and down to earth guy. Plus, he’s a pretty fantastic player and a gran capitán as well! Now you can see where the crush comes from… So, enjoy today’s advent gift, featuring this yummy Basque man.
Q: Javi Martínez is now a world champion. Which of your teammates surprised you the most as a person?
A: No one surprised me because Fer (Llorente) had already told me what each one was like, but who is a 10 for me as a footballer and a person is Puyol.
Q: Did you feel any burnout from the World Cup?
A: No, although it’s true that we hardly had any vacation and the preseason wasn’t a usual one either. It took a bit of effort for all of us that were part of the World Cup to start, but now everything is going well.
Q: How many World Cups do you see yourself playing?
A: It still hasn’t sunk in that I already played in one, and I don’t assume that I will have the possibility to play in another.
Q: How have you changed since you came to Athletic, five years ago?
A: I try to change as little as possible, although it’s true that many things change you. I think I now have more experience in knowing how to express myself carefully. And in my way of being, nothing has changed, because I try to spend as much time as possible with my family and my friends, and to be the same person I’ve always been.
Q: Who have you learned the most from as a player?
A: Vieira, Makélélé… they’re probably the players most like me…. Vieira, for his height, for running around the field and for this defensive ability that we both have.
Q: Your biggest strength is your physical attributes, but it’s not the only one. Define yourself as a player.
A: I never know how to respond to this question because I never watch myself, and because I don’t like to answer it. I never watch myself on video, so I prefer others to define me. The only thing I try to always do is work hard, and to not hold back when it’s time to help out the team and give it everything you’ve got.
Q: Can you define yourself as a person?
A: I’m simple, a homebody, I like to be with my family and friends. For me, an ideal Friday or Saturday night is to go to the txoko (gastronomical society) that we opened in Aiegi and have dinner, play cards and relax.
Q: When you were small, which footballer were you fixated on?
A: My brother Álvaro.
Q: And on the superstar level?
Q: If you could enter a time machine, which era would you go to? In what team would you have liked to play, or with who?
A: In Cruyff’s Netherlands, in that equipazo with its total football.
Q: Which players make up your perfect starting XI?
A: Casillas; Maldini (I’m sure he can also play on the right); Hierro; Beckenbauer; Roberto Carlos; Xavi; Zidane; Cruyff; Messi; Pelé; and Maradona.
Q: Who do you believe people will talk about in the Liga in the future?
A: Muniain and Ander Herrera.
Q: You’re very good friends with Ander, and I suppose that if it were up to you, he would already be playing for Athletic…
A: It’s not up to me, but of course I want him to come, because he’s my friend and because he’s going to be a crack.
Q: Tell me who will win the Liga.
A: If I knew, I would have bet all my money already… jajaja!! The truth is I have no idea.
They also did word association.
Del Bosque – serenity.
Llorente – the beacon.
Xavi – the one who makes Messi even better.
Iniesta – the most ideal complement to Xavi.
And Javi also responded to readers’ questions.
Q: You’re a world champion, captain of the U-21 team, a starter on Athletic… how do you keep your feet on the ground?
A: I’m not the type to believe any hype. I’m not the American president, but rather someone who is enjoying his passion. I’m prouder when I see my mother happy for me than when I achieve something.
Q: What would you take from Bilbao to Aiegi and viceversa?
A: I would put a highway or an AVE (the high speed train) to be able to get there in 40 minutes to be with my family.
The readers ask much better questions than the journalists, no?
By the way, here’s another little preview of Saturday’s Informe Robinson program on La Roja. Javi’s in it, and I love the moment when he looks to the side and raises his eyebrows.