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a Dutch treat

December 15, 2010

Magazine Don Balón have run interviews with two of Madrid’s former Dutch players recently, and this is what they had to say about their lives and Madrid.  Plus, bonus Sylvie!

Let’s start with Rafa.

On whether he regrets his decision to go to Tottenham: No, absolutely not.  We’ve adapted well to London.  And in terms of football, everything is going well, the club is one of the best in the country.

On whether he’s upset with Mourinho, who supposedly showed him the door: No, it wasn’t like that.  I didn’t have any problems with the coach.  I would have continued playing with him on the bench.  But I wanted to have regular playing time, to feel important for the club and the team, like I had at Hamburg.

On other reasons why he left: normally, Madrid has a squad of 23 players.  This summer we were 25.  I was one of those that could generate revenue, like Snejider and Robben before me.  It was a last minute decision, with Valdano telling me the plan.  Mourinho didn’t tell me anything, he was satisfied with me.

On his feelings about the club: Madrid has been and continues to be a dream.  [This makes me sad.]  For a professional player, playing there is the maximum.  I was able to do it for two years.  The first didn’t go too well, and the second was better.  Everyone was happy with me.  I learned a lot and improved there, especially on how to deal with pressure.  The pressure there is incredible, you not only have to win each game, but also by outscoring the opponent by a lot and playing well.

And moving on to Royston Drenthe.

On his style: I think I’m a player that always wants to give everything.  The people who know me know that Madrid is like my home and that it hurt me to leave.  But that’s football.  I believe I can contribute to the team because each time I play it’s with my heart and I consider myself a winner.

On why it was so complicated to play on Madrid: It’s a grand club.  There are always players with more quality than on other teams.  It’s complicated to become a starter and an important player such as Cristiano, Xabi Alonso, Casillas…

On a return to Madrid: I always have to believe that I’m going to return to Madrid because I still belong to them.  I’m on loan for one year to Hércules and I’m enjoying football because I’m happy, but I’m still a Madrid player.  I always have in mind that I’m going to return to play with Madrid.  I believe I can triumph there.

On whether he’s envious of how Madrid is playing: Of course.  In addition, in the three years I played there, we never played against a Dutch team in the Champions, but this year they got to play Ajax.

On the Barcelona game: It caused me a lot of pain for how it happened.  I’m still a Real Madrid player.  If you’re winning all the games and then this comes and you lose 5-0…. I think that’s an enormous letdown.

On his statement that he would pay the €2 million clause to play against Madrid: Jajaja, that was a joke!  With the family that I have, I can’t afford that amount.  It’s a lot of money and with that I could support my family for my entire life.

On his relationship with Mourinho: I didn’t have an extensive relationship with him, but the two months that I worked with Mourinho were great (guapos), since he’s a very successful coach.  Everything was good.

On the meaning of “guapos”: Mourinho is a wonderful person and he likes to joke around… but when it comes to work, you have to work hard because he’ll get upset with you if you don’t.  He’s a very strict coach and if you don’t do the things he wants, then you’ll see what he’s really like.  The players have to respect someone like him.

And ending with Sylvie…

In this article with The Mirror, Sylvie talks about her fight with cancer.  I love the parts where she talks about Rafa’s support, so here are those parts (but the entire article is worth a read, if you have time).  He’s the ideal husband, no?

On waking up after surgery to remove the lump in her breast: My husband took my hand and simply said, “It wasn’t good.” Then the surgeon said, “I’m so happy you were so persistent. It’s cancer.” I felt a gnawing fear. ­Rafael told me, “It will all be good. We will fight this. We will survive this.”

On Rafa’s reaction to her loss of hair: He took me in his arms. I asked him, “Will you find me attractive when I lose my hair?” He said, “For me you are always the most beautiful woman in the world.”

On Rafa’s reaction when he saw her bald for the first time: I asked Rafael if he ­wanted to see me ­without hair. He said, “Of course, I love you for who you are.” As she stood, bald, before him he told her: “You’re beautiful.”

On Damian’s reaction when her hair started growing back: It became very ­emotional for me when Damian stood before me and he gently stroked my head and asked me, “Beautiful hair Mummy, are you happy now?” I told him, “Mummy is so happy with short hair.”

On her new short hair: I was at home ­without a wig and my husband told me, “You know what, ­Sylvie, I just love your short hair. I think you look way more beautiful than with your wig on. You should put wax in it.”  So he took his wax out of his wash bag, stood behind me in front of the mirror and did my hair. That was one of the most romantic things he has ever done for me. I looked at myself and I thought, “You’re right.”

Here’s fabulous Sylvie and her fabulous hair earlier this month.  I love the way it’s styled on the left!

14 Comments leave one →
  1. Ally permalink
    December 15, 2010 12:45

    Sylvie is gorgeous in the left pic!!

  2. Ebrahim permalink
    December 15, 2010 12:59


  3. mar permalink
    December 15, 2010 13:58

    congrats to both of them for being so united…in the bad difficult things you can see how much someone loves you. and i think she looks far more gorgeous with short hair!!

  4. DebS permalink
    December 15, 2010 15:18

    awww..Rafa…what a sweet guy! And Damien is such a sweetie. Such a lovely family!

  5. Bekah permalink
    December 15, 2010 17:56

    Oh my goodness, how sweet… I love Sylvie and Rafa.

  6. Priya permalink
    December 15, 2010 23:35

    OMG Rafa. I actually felt a little chocked up reading the article! He’s so sweet and I agree, she looks damn sexy with short hair.

  7. Margie permalink
    December 16, 2010 02:53

    Great post, but one thing: please do not trust The Daily Mirror. British tabloids are different to other tabloids because not only will they make up stories but they will also make up direct quotes and even interviews. I’m not kidding, I once read an entire interview in a British tabloid (incidentally, it was the Daily Mirror) that I later realized was entirely made up. The interviewer had not even spoken to the person quoted in the article! I did not realize a tabloid would stoop this low, but sadly it is true. Never trust their tabloids, they are horrible! (of course, this article is not horrible though!)

    • December 16, 2010 07:34

      Sylvie had said before some of the things she was quoted as saying in the article, so most of it should be accurate.

    • December 16, 2010 07:35

      Sylvie had said before some of the things she was quoted as saying in this article, so some of it, if not all, should be authentic.

      • Margie permalink
        December 16, 2010 07:48

        I have no problem with that article, and I don’t know Sylvie’s previous comments so I wasn’t questioning that article in particular, just the source in general. Whether the article is true or not I don’t know and have no information to make a judgment about, I just wanted to make a note about the source.:)

      • Margie permalink
        December 16, 2010 07:52

        If she made similar comments before though they could have just based this article off of those previous comments, to be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if this newspaper did something like that.

  8. Abbe permalink
    December 17, 2010 15:32

    I love the part in Sylvies interview when she said they cried together

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