Joan Capdevila at El País
El País recently interviewed Joan Capdevila, and as you can imagine, the results are hilarious. Joan talks about his most fun memories from South Africa, his sense of humor and why he was hated in Menorca.
From where did you inherit your sense of humor?
Not from my family. They’re a bit dull. Boredom makes me say stupid things. Many people get mad because I hardly ever speak seriously. I tweet jokes to make people smile. I prefer to share laughter and not pain. Life is short, you have to laugh.
When you won the Eurocopa, you said that a tuercebotas was now the champion of Europe.
That came from the heart. I’m privileged because I took advantage of my opportunity. I’m not a media favorite nor do I score brilliant goals, but I do my job well if I have the confidence of the coach.
You don’t have it right now?
I’m 33 years old and soon I’ll have to retire from the national team. I know that’s football. Just like I took over once for someone, someone else will take over for me. I’m very proud of that.
Do you have any successors in mind?
José Enrique, Canella, Arbeloa, Monreal, Catalá, Oriol…
Has your performance declined?
A bit yes, I have less explosiveness because I’m tired after playing for two years without stopping. I’ve noticed it and the míster… as well (laughs). I could do more, but it comes and goes.
Were you always a leftback?
No, I scored 54 goals as a forward during one season in the lower categories of Tàrrega. Then I played as a winger, I signed with one of Espanyol’s youth teams and I became a lateral. The most difficult wingers to stop? Juanfran, De las Cuevas, Navas, and of course Robben and Cristiano.
In the final of the World Cup, against the Netherlands, you were brilliant until you received a hard tackle from Van Persie.
Yes, I spent the entire halftime lying on the stretcher. I didn’t hear anything Del Bosque said. They put two bandages on me and I played the second half with a sprained right ankle that later had me out for one month. I missed out on the 2006 World Cup in Germany and this was the last opportunity I had to do something important.
Your best memory from South Africa?
In the beginning, when you see the Cup, it’s magical. And in the end, when I went to find my parents in the stands. I don’t know how I found them, I saw their tears of emotion and it was like a summary of my career. We said everything without saying a word. They had accompanied me to all the fields so I could become a footballer.
And the most fun memory?
The day-to-day, the meals, the training sessions, a safari… and Piqué receiving all sorts of hard shots, and when we caught Sergio Ramos and Navas cheating at bingo and cards against Albiol and Arbeloa. That Andaluz craftiness. Or when the queen came and Puyol was in a towel. The worst was the tension that we had until the game against Chile. After that, everything went smoothly.
How did you celebrate winning the World Cup?
The next morning, there was a surprise party in Tàrrega. Everyone wanted to know what had happened during that month and a half in South Africa. Since I have a young son, Gerard, who’s named after his father (jokingly), and who’s now 13 months, we spent a week in Menorca. There were tons of Dutch people there, and they kept giving me dirty looks.
Your career also includes a Copa with Depor, two Supercopas…
And a silver medal from Sydney, an unforgettable experience. Football touched me with a magic wand. And now my goal is to win the Europa League. That would be the culmination of my career.