Basque men at Punto Pelota
It’s Monday, and depending on how the weekend results went for you, you’d either want to continue celebrating or you need a little boost, so here are some gorgeous Basque men to do either one of those.
Punto Pelota recently interviewed the three amigos – Javi Martínez (!!!), Ander Herrera and Iker Muniain – in what is one of the most adorable interviews ever, thanks to the protagonists (and doesn’t Javi (!!!) look so snuggly?). Irene Junquera also interviewed Iñigo Martínez (who, at the tender age of 20, is Xabi Alonso’s idol!) and Asier Illarramendi recently, while they were on duty with the U-21 team. And so here are the interviews.
IQ: I’m here with the three “pearls” of Athleti, I wanted to speak with all of you because it’s said that you all don’t get along.
AH: I think so. From the time I arrived, I’ve had many problems with these two, and I’d like to get them out of my sight as soon as possible.
IQ: Iker, is the feeling mutual?
IM: these guys are very stupid. On that basis, I’d just like to say that for me, it’s really difficult for me to get up each morning knowing that I’m going to have to come here and see their faces.
IQ: Javi, can we say that you’re the father of these two?
JM: yes, I’m the one that takes care of them.
AH: he has a lot of experience and he’s a very wise man, and we try to learn from him [love Ander’s expression!].
IQ: now let’s talk about football. Who’s in charge in the locker room?
IM: the one in charge? Well after me, I think it’s Gurpegui, the captain.
AH: there are veterans here whom we take as references, such as Gurpegui, Iraola [watch Javi (!!!) pick something off of Ander’s shirt], Gorka Iraizoz, and we try to learn from them in the day to day.
IQ: Ander was the second most expensive signing in the history of Athletic. Did you know that?
IM: and I was the youngest goalscorer. It’s gone to Ander’s head, because when he messes up on a pass or something like that, and you’re like joder, Ander, and he comes back with, when you cost eight million euros…
AH: that’s a lie, it’s obviously a lie.
IQ: how many followers do you have on twitter ?
IM: I have 120,000… Javi only has 20,000, Ander as well. My leftover ones are for you.
AH: it’s because he doesn’t have a social life and he’s on twitter the entire day.
JM: each time he breathes, he tweets about it (thanks Jen, for catching that!).
IQ: have you stopped studying journalism?
AH: I haven’t stopped studying it, I’m just taking a break from it. Don’t say it like that, because my mother will get mad.
IQ: how long have you been on a break?
AH: I’ve been on a break for about two and a half years. But I want to take it up again. But with all this, from coming to Bilbao to adapting to life here…
JM: that’s the excuse I used, and I’ve spent six years adapting to life here already!
IQ: what would be the perfect question to ask Javi?
AH: I would ask Javi about his style. Today he’s dressed a bit like a perroflauta (hard to explain, picture here and a sort of equivalent in English here), but other than that, he dresses well, very well.
JM: he’s one to talk about style. He’s dressed like a 60-year-old.
IQ: and what would you ask Iker?
AH: I would ask Iker…
JM: I’ll answer this one. Iker, what would you do to be a normal person?
IQ: what is El Loco Bielsa like? Is he really crazy?
JM: it’s just that he likes football a lot, he lives for football, all 24 hours of the day, and if there were more hours in the day, they’d be for football too.
IQ: how many responses do you have that are clichés? How many clichés do you use in interviews?
IM: joder, football is 11 against 11, there’s no such thing as a small rival, each half is its own story, the objective is to take things one day at a time…
IQ: the rival is very complicated…
IM: the rival is very complicated.
IQ: we have to wait until the end of the season…
IQ: Ander, you support Zaragoza.
AH: Zaragoza holds an important place in my heart, that’s clear. I spent many years there, but I can’t deny that I’m very happy here.
IQ: you were born here, then you went to Zaragoza, so are you Basque or Aragonese?
AH: both, I consider myself…
JM: he’s Basque-Aragonese, like the highway.
IQ: how long have you been here?
JM: six years.
IQ: do you speak Euskara?
JM: bai (yes).
IQ: say something to me in Euskara.
JM: neska polita (pretty girl).
IQ: what does that mean? I see you learned the basics of survival! Do you speak Euskara perfectly?
AH: no, not me. The three of us are some of the few that don’t.
IQ: you’ve been here since you were 12.
IM: I’ll give you an exclusive: Iker Muniain has started taking Euskara classes.
AH: I would love to learn, and I’m very envious when others speak in Euskara, but it’s very difficult.
IQ: all right boys, playing football is not complicated for you, since you all do it well, more or less. I’m going to propose that Javi puts this bottle on his head, and the others will try to hit the bottle. Do you have confidence in them?
AH: and if we hit him in the head?
IQ: he’s got reflexes.
AH: we’d lose a very important footballer.
JM: you put it on your head.
JM: Ander’s going to take the shot, he lines up the ball, Irene is under the goalposts with a bottle on her head, he kicks it, uyyyyy! I think you have to shoot it into the air.
IQ: I liked that!
JM: Irene played football when she was younger… in Canillas.
IQ: thank you very much, I’ll tell you the truth, you are some of the best interviewees that I’ve had.
IM: I’ll give you my left hand, which goes straight to the heart.
And here are the adorable Iñigo and Asier.
IQ: Iñigo, who is your best friend on the national team?
IM: of course it’s Illarramendi, since we play on the same team.
IQ: do you know a lot about him?
IM: enough, we’ve known each other since we were small, and we’ve always played for the same team. And I know him as if he were my brother.
Inigo Martínez on Asier Illarramendi.
Where was he born? IM: in San Sebastían. AI: in San Sebastián. 1-0.
His favorite food. IM: I don’t know, he eats a lot and he eats everything, so I have no idea. AI: my grandmother’s croquettes. 1-1.
A pastime other than football. IM: I think being with his friends, his group of friends. AI: spending time with my friends. 2-1.
His nickname. IM: Illarra. That’s my guess. AI: Illarra, or Asi with my friends. 3-1.
His favorite movie. IM: I don’t think he likes movies too much. AI: Braveheart. 3-2.
His idol. IM: I don’t think he has one. AI: I don’t have one. 4-2.
What size shoe does he wear? IM: 42. AI: 43. 4-3.
Does he like to read: IM: no. AI: no. 5-3.
His favorite music. IM: Verchara (?), it’s not known here, it’s a Basque group. AI: Verchara. 6-3.
What does he do during the concentraciones? IM: he speaks on his mobile phone a lot. AI: listen to music, play cards, watch movies… 6-4.
Who hooks up more? IM: he has a girlfriend and I don’t, so… I would say me. AI: Iñigo.
Asier Illarramendi on Iñigo Martínez.
Where was he born? AI: in San Sebastián, I think. IM: Bilbao. 0-1.
His favorite food. AI: kidney beans. IM: kidney beans. 1-1.
A pastime other than football. AI: spending time with his friends, I suppose. IM: spending time with my friends. 2-1.
His favorite movie. AI: no idea. IM: I don’t like movies or books. At all. 2-2.
His nickname. AI: Ini. IM: they call me Kokolo. It was as a joke, someone else’s nickname, but it stuck to me. 2-3.
His idol. AI: Puyol or Piqué. IM: I don’t have one. 2-4.
What size shoe does he wear? AI: Forty… two, I think. IM: 42. 3-4.
Does he like to read? AI: No. IM: No. 4-4.
His favorite music. AI: he listens to reggaeton. IM: reggaeton. 5-4.
What does he do during the concentraciones? AI: listen to music and… he listens to music. IM: read newspapers on my computer and chat. 5-5.
Who hooks up more? AI: now I would say me. IM: I would say me.
They’re both adorable too, no?
And I thought you all would appreciate how Iñigo celebrated his most recent goal, which was not only a golazo but also won the game for his team, so here it is. See his previous golazo here, which I missed while watching the game, because Javi (!!!) had just gotten injured and gone off on a stretcher a few moments before that. Xabi called it “the best goal in the history of Anoeta” and the “perfect strike.”