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Xabi at Esquire España [April 2010]

March 29, 2010

Yay, we finally have scans of Xabi Alonso from Esquire Spain!  And yes, he looks hot!  But is it too much to ask that Esquire does not repeat photos between the cover and inside?  We want to see as much of Xabi as possible!

Click click click the pics to enlarge!

Here is a translation of the little interview they did with him.

– I’m quite addicted to TV series. Right now, I’m watching Dexter [me:  I love Dexter!!!  I wonder if he watches in English or Spanish?] so don’t tell me how the latest season ends.  I also like Mad Men and Entourage… it’s great (laughs upon thinking about it).  The fact that each episode is about 40 minutes long means it’s really great for when you travel.  We spend a lot of time in airports and in hotels, which goes by faster when you have a computer.  When I pack my suitcase, my computer is the first thing that goes in, before the shoes, the clothes…  I use it to watch videos, movies, documentaries, talk with friends… I don’t go anywhere without my Mac.

People have a curious love-hate relationship with Real Madrid. Wherever you go, there is always a group of a couple thousand people waiting to take pictures or applaud, whether it’s in the airport terminal or at the entrance to the hotel.  You think, “Damn, there are madridistas here?”  But when you’re on the bus going to the home field of the opposing team, things change radically.  You can tell from the gestures and shouts of the people that they don’t love you as much anymore.

– I don’t let being an elite footballer get in the way of leading a normal life. I’m completely an urban person.  I tried living in a chalet in the suburbs, away from everything, like some of my teammates, but in the end, I returned to the center of the city.  I like walking through the city, going shopping, discovering restaurants (Xabi is a typical Basque who loves food and it’s said that he knows where the best restaurants are).  Why wouldn’t you enjoy Madrid?  In Liverpool, I lived in the Docks, really close to the Beatles museum.  I would usually eat breakfast alone while reading the newspaper in a tranquil café in the university area.

– Things aren’t as rosy from the inside as they appear from the outside. In my daily routine, it’s normal spending time or speaking with people such as Cristiano Ronaldo or Kaká or any of my teammates.  It’s as much a part of my life as talking a walk with my wife or having breakfast with my son.  I know that millions of people idolize footballers, but in the end, you don’t think about this.  You get used to it.  But sometimes you hear the wild things they say on TV and you laugh a lot.  I accept this as part of it all.

– When I was small, my father would take my brother and I to the training grounds on Saturdays, since we didn’t have school.  He would leave us in a corner of the field and we would watch him train, and kick a ball around.  These are my first football-related memories.

Pictures from Chic Raulista over at the Bellazon forum.

The rest of the interview, one more picture, plus the cover after the jump!

– Advancing past the quarterfinals of the last Eurocopa was a liberation. Before that, every time there was a competition, it was always the same:  would Spain go past the quarterfinals?  Well we did, against Italy, in the penalty shoot-out.  It took a weight off of us to the point that winning the Cup looked easy.  Everything, from the beginning, was great.  I really enjoyed it.

– I played in my neighborhood team until I was 17. Antiguoko is a youth team in the old part of San Sebastián.  I played there with the likes of Aduriz, Iraola, Arteta.  I’m an atypical footballer in the sense that I joined a professional team quite late in my career, when I signed with Real Sociedad.  I remember hanging out with my friends, playing frontón, going to university, studying English… very normal things.  A lot of my teammates on Real Madrid or the national team were already integrated within professional teams when they were 12 years old, living a life completely different from mine.  I wouldn’t say this is better or worse, just different.

– Playing in Liverpool is special. There is a very intimate connection between the players and the fans.  The club has suffered many tragedies and that helped to unite them.  I remember a game in the Champions League when Benfica eliminated us at home.  When the final whistle blew, the whole stadium stood up, and instead of whistling at us, started singing You’ll Never Walk Alone.  It gave me goosebumps.

– The national team is playing at a very high level. In the training sessions, the ball travels very, very fast.  When someone new arrives, you see immediately whether he can play at this level or not.  And those that are there… this is an incredible generation of footballers, and the best thing is that there is no egoism.  Egos aren’t important because we all want to contribute, to learn and to grow.

– We have to face South Africa with humility, as we always have.  We have to stay calm and realize that losses are a part of life and you can’t become obsessed with them.  I would not like to face Brazil too soon.  I have a lot of respect for them, they always get very far in the World Cup.

– My first memories of watching a World Cup on TV were those of Italy in 1990.  I was nine years old.  I remember Maradona crying in the center of the field after losing in the final to Germany.  I also remember Míchel’s hat trick against Korea and Stojkovic’s free kick that eliminated us.

– My father played at Barça. And I play at Real Madrid.  What do I say to him?  “Aita [Basque for father], new generation, new objectives, new stage in life.”

8 Comments leave one →
  1. SunnyK permalink
    April 15, 2010 06:11

    Thanks so much for the translation of the article! =)

  2. rixiel permalink
    July 15, 2010 00:18

    Thank you for the translation! Xabi sounds like such a down to earth and normal guy!

  3. Dru permalink
    September 13, 2010 10:43

    Is there anything about this man that isn’t absolutely perfect? Thanks so much for sharing this with us!


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