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Xabi Alonso at COPE

December 16, 2010

Xabi Alonso was on Cadena COPE’s “El Partido de las 12” yesterday.  They start off by listing all his accomplishments, which takes several minutes.  And then Xabi gets to talk.  I love hearing his voice.  It’s just so smooth, no?  It’s a nice change from video, because I usually get distracted by how he looks and forget to listen to what he’s saying.  Anyway, here are the highlights from the chat (boring stuff first, then onto the more interesting sound bites):

On the Sevilla game: there are players that can replace me.  Lass had a great game and Khedira is playing very well.

On the Barcelona game: it was completely unexpected.  Barcelona was great and had a fantastic game, and we didn’t play well, we didn’t compete.  It hurt a lot, especially the feeling that we didn’t compete.  Now things are getting back to normal, we’re regaining our self esteem, and we know that there are a lot more games left and that we have to look ahead.

On Mourinho: he has a very defined personality.  We’re happy and comfortable with him.

On the rumors about divided groups in the locker room: it’s an urban legend.  Obviously, there are small groups that have more in common with each other, but the main group is united, with no conflicts.

And asked specifically about Cristiano and goal celebrations, Xabi says, “when he scores, we all hug because we know it’s for the collective good.”

A part I really liked was when the presenters asked Xabi to choose between Mourinho and Vicente del Bosque.  Xabi starts his answer with, “well both of them…” but they insist that he has to make a choice.  So Xabi responds, “Joder, they’re both my coaches at the moment, I can’t.”  So the presenters say, we won’t say anything, just smile if you support VDB, and now smile if you support Mou, and then we find out that Xabi smiled throughout.

We also find out that Xabi speaks with Özil in English and Spanish and that Mesut understands him, and that Xabi weighs 80 kilos.  The program described him as a “top” guest and then after half an hour of football talk, say they’re going to move on to Xabi Alonso the person, because they find that “fascinating.”

A program after my own heart – indeed Xabi the person is much more fascinating.  They describe him as “29 years old, a father of two, interested in fashion and cultural issues, and like a good Basque person, likes good food.  They continue with the food theme, and Xabi reveals that they’ve always had the tradition of getting together and cooking in gastronomical societies, and that he likes all kinds of cuisines, including Japanese and other Asian cuisines.  He doesn’t consider himself a fashion victim (he used those exact words, and I don’t think he has anything to worry about, because in his very own locker room there are several guys who would be considered before Xabi).

They asked him why he moved from La Finca (in the suburbs) to the center of the city, and Xabi jokes it was because “the woman is in charge.”  He explains that each person has their own way of being, and he has always lived in the center of the city, whether in Donosti or Liverpool or now in Madrid.  Both he and his wife prefer living in the center, and they’re more comfortable and happy there.  And as for what he likes about Madrid, Xabi says the life on the streets; the gastronomic offerings; the parks, especially the Retiro; the cultural offerings, especially the theater; and the fantastic weather.  He elaborates, saying that he likes the change of seasons, comparing it to his brother, who lives in Tenerife where it’s summer all year round.

And when asked about receiving the Tambor de Oro award from his beloved Donosti, he said that it made him very happy, and that he had played the drum in the celebrations many times as a child, and that it’s a special honor for those people from the city.

The program ended with the little test that they make all the guests take (here are Iker’s responses.  One of the presenters made fun of him by shouting out “Notting Hill” when Xabi was answering the question about his favorite movie).

The little test that Xabi did:

A city to live in: Donosti.

A place to disconnect and forget everything: (thinks hard and makes a pffft noise) Mount Txindoqui (in Gipuzcoa).

A mythical football stadium: Anfield.

Favorite musical act: Nirvana and Andrés Calamaro.

Favorite movie: Casablanca and The Shawshank Redemption.

Favorite actress: Natalie Portman.

A coach who changed your life: Toshack because I debuted with him [coincidentally, Iker gave the same answer.]

An active footballer that you admire: Sami Hyypiä, because he’s one of the best teammates I’ve had.  He’s a “10” as a person and a footballer, and I learned a lot from him when I was a 22-year-old new arrival at Liverpool.

You would give the Ballon d’Or to… Xavi Hernández.

A non-football sports idol: Michael Jordan, Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer.

A dream to achieve: I want to win a Liga, since I’ve been second with La Real, Liverpool and Madrid, and La Décima.

In other Xabi news, he will be honored by his hometown of Tolosa on Dec. 26.  There will be an act at the city hall (at 11h, if any of you are going to be near there later this month), which will be followed by the revealing of a plaque dedicated to Xabi at the Usabal sports center.  He’ll also do the saque de honor for the Shanti Tournament at 12:15h.

19 Comments leave one →
  1. Anne permalink
    December 16, 2010 07:52

    Hey! Do you have the link to listen the interview??

  2. fatima permalink
    December 16, 2010 08:11

    BE STILL MY HEART. Mr Alonso, you’re looking so dapper. *sigh*

  3. DebS permalink
    December 16, 2010 08:35

    Xabi looks so jolly in these pictures, except for the picture on the left right above the part about the Tambor de Oro award. He looks like he’s daydreaming there, no?

    He seems like such a down to earth guy. And glad he cleared up the “locker room” rumors.

  4. December 16, 2010 09:04

    A mythical football stadium: Anfield


  5. endlessinfinity permalink
    December 16, 2010 09:58

    Such a gorgeous and classy guy. And he looks even better with the new haircut which I thought wasn’t possible. Thanks for the translation Una.

  6. December 16, 2010 11:31

    Thanks! I feel spoiled with Xabi news!

  7. Tash permalink
    December 16, 2010 11:51

    I didn’t think I could love him anymore…

  8. Alana permalink
    December 16, 2010 15:11

    Hey Una, I was wondering when did xabi say joder in the interview???

    • December 17, 2010 08:05

      He said it when they asked him who was better, Mourinho or Del Bosque, like I wrote in the post. Or do you mean something else?

  9. December 16, 2010 15:28

    this perfection is too much.

  10. Marie permalink
    December 16, 2010 18:29

    This is sort of irrelevant but I read your blog on my phone so most of the time only half of the pictures load. Well this time they ALL did. XD it had to be Xabi (sigh!)
    Thanks Una!

  11. Jenny permalink
    December 16, 2010 20:00

    THAT is what Iker should have said!

    Urban legend – some groups of players are slightly closer friends – complete harmony in the group.

    Mourinho should make him write it out 100 times until he becomes like one of Pavlov’s dogs and just says it anytime someone asks a question.

    Christ, he really is hot though. The pictures of him in the middle of talking – he looks like a wonderful interlocutor – like someone who really engages and listens and says interesting things. And the smile!

    It makes a girl feel faint, really!

  12. Michelle permalink
    December 16, 2010 23:33

    Not just on the day he debuted, but today/yesterday, he looks AMAZING. His hair already looks much improved from last Sunday! Just a little longer, and then it’ll quit doing the sticky-outy thing on the sides — see the overcoat photo. SPEAKING OF WHICH! That double-breasted overcoat! is Mou-worthy! Fabulous coat. I wonder if it’s the new one he mentioned buying in the Shangay article? (No… I’m not a stalker… why do you ask? *shifts in seat*)

    Cannot wait to listen to this when I get some time!

  13. December 17, 2010 06:33

    I love his coat! Nagore id def. a woman with a great taste of fashion, or Xabi bought it himself?

  14. Jen permalink
    December 18, 2010 09:39

    he looks so young clean when he first came to liverpool. my heart flutters every time he mentions anfield and liverpool. God love him.


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