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Iker at Marca

November 27, 2010

AS picked Higuaín, while Marca chose Iker!  In the run-up to the big game on Monday, the press is looking for the opinion of anyone and everyone!

And if you’re interested, I’ve posted the parts of the interview pertaining to the national team here.

This interview obviously took place on Thursday, because we can see that Iker is wearing the outfit that he wore to the team lunch (aka the Paddington Bear outfit).  There’s another picture later on where you can see what the rest of his outfit looks like, and I have to say I like it!  A lot!  ¡Muy bien Iker!

I also love what he says about his fellow goalkeepers and Mourinho.  And if you don’t have time to read the entire thing, the takeaway is that Iker is the teacher’s pet of Madrid!

Q:  Madrid has 15 wins, four ties and no losses.  Did you think that the team would be so well-rounded at this point?

A:  To be sincere, no.  This is a new team, with a lot of new faces, including on the bench.  It wasn’t easy, but we’ve created a strong group.

Q:  What has Mourinho said to you about Barcelona?

A:  We haven’t talked about it yet.  It’s true that people are talking about the game on the street and on television, but our normal routine is to only talk about the rival team in the training session before the game or on the night before.

Q:  Is there any fear that your streak will end in Camp Nou?

A:  There’s no fear.  It could happen any day and against any rival, we know that.  If a team has the luck of being able to beat you when playing well or not, you congratulate them and that’s it.  But in Madrid, there’s no fear.  There never is.

Q:  Complete this sentence:  losing in Camp Nou will be…

A:  If I limit myself to last year, it would be to lose a decisive game in the Liga, because the two games we lost to Barça last year cost us the championship in the end.  We’re so evenly matched now that this clásico, based on what happened last year, could decide the Liga.

Q:  And how about: winning in Camp Nou will mean…

A:  One more step forward in securing first place, but we’ll focus on Valencia right away, since that’s our next rival.

Q:  Is this the secret, to take things day by day?

A:  Yes, and that’s what the míster has in his head.  He’s very stubborn with this idea.  It’s just as important to play well against Barça as it was against Murcia in the Copa.  The main thing is to go game by game.

Q:  Do you think Mourinho’s reception in the Camp Nou will be like the one given to Figo?

A:  I think it will be less extreme, since it’s not the same.  Figo was an emblematic player of Barça and a few months later he went there with the shirt of Madrid.  It was another thing.

Q:  Is el clásico the best club game in the world, or are people exaggerating?

A:  I haven’t experienced any another clásicos in the world, but I believe it is.  This game is above all others.

Q:  Does a game against Barcelona create more stress in the goal?

A:  You have to be very attentive, because they’re fast and have a lot of talented players.  You have to concentrate; I won’t have a second of relaxation.

Q:  What is the key of Barcelona?

A:  Xavi, I’ve always said so.  I think it’s funny that people are jumping on the bandwagon and saying “Ballon d’Or for Xavi” and “Xavi is the best in the world” and…  Xavi is the best and I’ve always said so.  He’s been the best for 10 years.  A big part of the success of Barcelona and of the national team is due to him.

Q:  What is the thing that has surprised you the most about Mourinho?

A:  I didn’t know him before and from the outside he may appear serious, but what has always caught my eye is how close he is to his players.  I watched his games and I saw him hug Terry, Materazzi…  I liked that.  And now that I know him personally, I can only take my hat off to him.  The others always joke around with me in the locker room and call me a teacher’s pet, but it’s true. As a coach, he’s a 10, and as a person, a lot more.

Q:  What was your first encounter with him like?  Is it true that he called you on the phone as soon as he signed with Madrid?

A:  Yes, he called me to talk about the World Cup.  He spoke with me and at first I thought it was a prank pulled by a radio station or something.  But no, the club put me in contact with him and he wished me luck in the World Cup.

Q:  Is it good for a player to work with a coach as authoritative as he is?

A:  If you say that Mou is authoritative, I would say no.  There are a lot of people that don’t know Mourinho.

Q:  Describe him in one word.

A:  That’s very difficult.  He’s a person that has won the respect of everyone, but he’s not authoritative.

Q:  What’s he like?

A:  You can’t define him with just one word.  He’s a person that pay attention to everything.  He cares about me, the doctor, the equipment manager…  I now understand why Wesley Sneijder told me he’s the best, number one.

Q:  Is he very different than he is during the press conferences?

A:  Yes, very different.  What he’s like in front of the press has nothing to do with the person I see every day.

Q:  So are you saying that he’s a bit of an actor in front of the press?

A:  Actor?  No way!  He’s extremely smart.  We all admire him.

Q:  Have you improved with Mou?

A:  Yes, a lot.  I have more confidence in myself.  The most important thing for a goalkeeper is his head.

Q:  A Barcelona player told us this summer that out of all the footballers on Real Madrid, you have the winningest mentality.

A:  Well, I’ve been here for 20 years and when I was in the alevines I was already told that you had to always win here.  Tying against Recuerdo or Canillas was a disaster for the youth teams, and I would get angry if we won 10-1.  Each goal that I allow bothers me.

Q:  What has Mourinho taught you?

A:  He knows how to read games, he puts you in the mind of the rival… he’s a coach that never gives up.  There are a lot of things.  Mourinho dominates everything, he always knows when to make a fuss, when to unite the group…

Q:  Is he the most demanding coach you’ve had?

A:  Yes.  If he wants something, he comes over and tells it to you in your face.  He doesn’t care if you’re Iker or Cristiano Ronaldo.  If you train well, you play.  And if not, you’re out.

Q:  Of course, he told you to your face that he would not get rid of the concentraciones

A:  Yes, several times (laughs).  But I always take any advantage to bring it up again and I’ll do it here with you.  I’ll continue trying until he gives in.

Q:  Has your role on this team changed a lot with the departures of Raúl and Guti?

A:  Yes.  It’s inevitable, because the first and second captains left.  The good thing is that I became captain here after becoming captain with the national team, and that gave me a lot of experience.

Q:  Give us an example of what Captain Iker does.

A:  Well, I talk more, I’m more concerned about the young people… I’m more serious than before, even though I like to joke around.  I’ve matured (laughs).

Q:  What is your ritual before a game like the one on Monday?

A:  I don’t have any superstitions.  I’ll change, I’ll stretch, I’ll think about how the game will go, I’ll sofronizarme, as Luis Aragonés would say…

Q:  Do you feel more supported by the defense now than you have during your entire career?

A:  If you look at the numbers, yes.  I don’t think I’ve ever had a goal coefficient of 0.5 at this point in any season.  And this is because the míster is very demanding, he doesn’t like it when we allow goals.  He gets very angry.  But the merits of this defense are due to the entire team.

Q:  On Monday, we’ll see your two pairs of central defenders:  Pepe-Carvalho and Piqué-Puyol.  What are they like?

A:  Different and similar.  Puyi and Carvalho have experience.  Pepe and Piqué are faster.  Pepe is more aggressive and Piqué better with the ball.  I see more similarities between Puyi and Carvalho.

Q:  Is it hard to keep your mind on the game, since you don’t get shot at so much any more?

A:  Yes.  But I demand a lot from myself, and a lot is demanded from me.  If I allow a goal, I already know what is going to be said the next day.  But my job is not only to stop the ball, but to stay alert to anything in the area.

Q:  In January, you’ll receive the Golden Glove award given to the best goalkeeper in the world.  Do you feel like you’re the best?

A:  I don’t know.  I work so that whoever gives out this award will give it to me.

Q:  What is left for you to accomplish in football?

A:  With Madrid, I want La Décima, the Copa, more Ligas…

Q:  You mentioned the Copa earlier.  Does it embarrass you to have had to play against Murcia and not give any chances to Dudek and Adán?

A:  No, embarrassment no.  But if there’s anyone I have affection for, it’s these two teammates.  I’ve always been very unjust with Adán, because whenever I’m asked about young goalkeepers I’ve always talked about those that you see on TV.  And in Adán we have a wonderful kid, who is a 10 as a person, and a player whose calling it is to be a Real Madrid goalkeeper.  He has a lot of virtues.  And Jerzy, he’s won everything and we have a spectacular relationship.  Both are wonderful.

Q:  Dudek gave you a helping hand in Amsterdam…

A:  Yes… Dudek had to give me some instructions and that’s it.

Q:  Does Barça have any weak points?

A:  I don’t know, I’d like to ask this question to Esteban Vigo.  What he was thinking that day… I think that we should go out on the field with all we’ve got.

Q:  And what is the strong point of Real Madrid?

A:  That we want to continue winning and that we fear nothing.  In other years, we were content with just seeing what would happen, but this year we’re going to the Camp Nou to win.

Q:  Cristiano said this team is different from last year’s.

A:  This team is going all out in the Camp Nou.  We want to win, to distance ourselves from the team in second place…

Q:  Ronaldinho or Messi?  Who has given you more problems?

A:  Both of them.  I remember that the Bernabéu applauded Ronaldinho, and that was incredible.  And Messi is a crack who still has many great years left.

Q:  Will Madrid leave the Camp Nou to applause or will they turn on the sprinklers?

A:  We have to win first.

This is not the full interview; as you can see it was really long, so I only translated the interesting partsI hope they were interesting to you too!

22 Comments leave one →
  1. Ava permalink
    November 27, 2010 14:52

    Thank you for the translation Una! It’s much appreciated ❤
    Was wondering, will you be translating Pipita's interview too?
    and I'll take this opportunity to say it once again; I love love LOVE your blog 🙂

    • November 27, 2010 15:37

      No, I posted my highlights in the previous post, but I didn’t think it was interesting enough to translate the entire thing.

      • Ava permalink
        November 27, 2010 15:49

        Yep, read your highlights 🙂 his responses seemed quite short and frank, from what I can make out that is. Guess he was indeed a little cranky!
        Thanks again!

  2. Luca00 permalink
    November 27, 2010 16:28

    LMAO Paddington Bear!! I was wondering if you would like the outfit, Una. I’m glad I got to see the whole thing now…I’d say thats an A++++ for Iker

    I saw an old lady at the bank this morning and was reminded of Iker…green velour track suit top & bottom with green suede shoes!!

    • November 27, 2010 16:38

      Yes, I’m quite in shock right now, it’s a new feeling for me, actually liking something that Iker wears!

      • hazrd permalink
        November 28, 2010 03:17

        haha…but it’s a good shock to get used to! Hopefully this means his future outfits will only improve, since it would be a shame to ruin his good looks (and figure) with unique clothes.

        Thanks for the interview translations once again, a highlight of my day.

    • Dru permalink
      November 30, 2010 08:40

      I love Paddington Bear! And I’m almost as shocked as you, Una, to see Iker in an outfit- a casual outfit, no less- that actually looks good! (I normally think his funny taste in clothes is just part of him and his geeky appeal)

      This is better than thinking of yesterday, anyway.

  3. November 27, 2010 17:10

    I found this fascinating. We are truly fortunate to have a captain like Iker. I’m also more optimistic than I was before about the el classico after reading everyone’s view on it. HALA MADRID!!

  4. Maisoun permalink
    November 27, 2010 19:04

    “But in Madrid, there’s no fear. There never is.” !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!HELL YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!

    As you can probably tell Im a little MORE than pumped for el clásico 😉 I just may have a RM tattoo by Tuesday haha

    Great interview, thanks Una!

  5. Hala Madrid permalink
    November 27, 2010 22:37

    Iker picked an outfit that a grandpa would wear! LOL

    I still remember Iker from our last Champions League, he was a little boy. When I saw him lift the World Cup in the summer and now reading this, makes you wonder how time has gone by, and yes he definitely is more mature, more captain material! I really hope the next cup he lifts is Champions League one this year.

    I don’t know about his statement of Xavi being the best in the last 10 years though… that means during Zidanes, and more importantly, during Ronaldo’s prime (the real one), Xavi was the best lol? I think he exaggerated to make his point that Xavi is deserving of the award.

    • Dru permalink
      November 30, 2010 08:42

      Perhaps not 10, but definitely 5.

      Zidane only retired in 2006, after all, and Ronaldo was spectacular at the 2002 WC which was only 8 years ago, haha.

  6. Rebekah permalink
    November 27, 2010 23:31

    “But in Madrid, there’s no fear. There never is.”

    Iker is a fantastic captain, I definitely found this interesting and reassuring. Thanks for the translation 🙂

    Also, GREAT outfit for Iker! Lots of navy blue, my favorite color, no man bag in sight, and no bizarre matching. No strange materials. Win! Though I feel like being a fan of Iker and Sergio has made me a more open-minded person because I am forced to look past their terrible fashion sense.

  7. Luna permalink
    November 28, 2010 01:43

    any chance you could link to the original article for those of us that would like to read the parts you didn’t translate?

    • November 28, 2010 10:58

      It’s from the print version, and so far Marca hasn’t posted the entire interview online.

  8. Gigi permalink
    November 28, 2010 03:26

    Thanks for this translation! As always, interesting to hear Iker’s views on things. I don’t know about that picture though, maybe it’s the shoes. They look huge on him!

  9. Michelle permalink
    November 28, 2010 04:46

    Well, hey hey HEY would you look at that, a very tasteful yet interesting outfit from Iker! Gold star! I do like the duffle coat toggles, they add interest without being “original”. And the rest of the outfit — let’s just say I could see Xabi in it, and there is no higher praise.

  10. November 28, 2010 14:38

    Thanks for the translation. It was very interesting to read. He seems to be a very level-headed man – and a very good captain!

  11. Anonymous permalink
    November 28, 2010 20:53


    Exactly WHAT has Dudek done in the past FIVE years apart from warm the bench? He should have been achieving more great things after the Champions’ League success but he did nothing. That was really the only major honour on his CV in addition to a few other titles. Given his talent and ability he could easily have achieve more things and become a true all-time great like Casillas, Buffon, Van Der Sar, Dino Zoff, Peter Schmeichel, etc. Instead, he is nothing but an foolish and irresponsible idiot who wasted his career and ability!

    Casillas is just being polite, he knows that no matter who joins the club as the goalkeeper he’ll always be first choice. All he has to do is show up fit, and he’s in. In my opinion, Real Madrid is nothing but a goalkeepers’ graveyard where goalkeepers go to rust away and die!

  12. Cosi permalink
    November 29, 2010 02:59 interview. Thanks, Una! All of this anticipation isn’t going to let me sleep at ALL tonight. Even if there’s no fear.

    Btw, Iker said he has NO SUPERSTITIONS. Am I losing my memory? Wasn’t that the reason for his facial hair stunts during the WC? (I hope Sergio goes through all of his… stay away, red card!!!!)


  1. ICYMI – the gracias Jerzy edition « following Real Madrid…

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