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Raúl Albiol at El País

February 13, 2011

Luis Martín interviewed Raúl Albiol while the latter was on national team duty, and while the interview is a bit too technical for my liking, I do believe that we don’t get enough of El Chori around here, plus I like the picture, so here’s a translation of the more interesting parts of the interview.

Two weeks ago, José Mourinho sent a bit of disdain Raúl Albiol’s way.  Albiol had substituted successfully for Pepe during one month.  However, after the defeat to Osasuna, the coach indirectly blamed him by emphasizing that the team plays much better with Pepe.  Albiol should feel hurt, but last Tuesday, he spoke of the situation with serenity.  He said that ever since he almost died in a car accident in 2004, he views things philosophically.

Q:  What was the first thing that came to your mind when you woke up in the ICU after five days in a coma?

A:  I thought everything had ended for me.  Not only football, but also life.  I didn’t know if I would be able to get up off the bed, because I couldn’t even move.  I saw myself full of tubes, with my stomach covered… I wanted to cry.  I knew that I had been in an accident but I didn’t know what had happened and if I would ever be able to play football again.  I had many questions.  Time went by slowly.  And once you’re told that you will survive, you want more.  You want to play football.  And when you’re told that you can play football, you want to play it at the highest level.  It’s like with kids, when you give them something, they want double of it.

Q:  Did it take long for them to tell you that you could play again?

A:  It took some time because the situation was delicate.  They tell you there is a possibility, but they have to see how you react.  The days were an eternity for me.  I could only see my family through a glass window.  And I suffered.  But what I regretted the most was how my parents suffered.  They spent a month without sleeping in a hotel in Cuenca.  It probably took a year off their lives.

Q:  Did the accident make you see things from a different perspective?

A:  I’ve always been a tranquil person and I’ve had patience for everything.  Perhaps too much after the accident.  I had to be pushed!  Because you know that you have to enjoy everything in life, not only football.

Q:  Are you enjoying yourself with this Madrid?

A;  I would like to win all the games and win all the titles.  I’m enjoying myself because to me this is the best place to be in the world and I’m treated phenomenally.  But I want to win titles.

Q:  Starting the season with an injury is like a handicap with Mourinho.

A:  I started behind everyone else, with a bit of a disadvantage.  When a new coach comes, it’s important for everyone to start from the same point.  Right now what I’m trying to do is enjoy the occasions I get.  I know there is a lot of competition, but the objective is to start games.

Q:  What did Pelligrini ask of you and what does Mourinho ask of you?

A:  No matter who the coach is, a central defender should not commit defensive errors.  All coaches want security in the back and to commit the minimum amount of errors.  Pelligrini is much calmer.  Mourinho has a bit more character, he’s more demanding, he squeezes a lot out of people.  But tactically, the differences are just mere details.

Q:  Why did Mourinho say that Madrid plays better with Pepe?

A:  You should ask him that.  He’s the one that made those statements.  We know that with Pepe, we’ve won and we’ve lost.  And without Pepe, we’ve won and we’ve lost.  You can cite all the statistics that you want.  We know that Pepe is a very important player for Madrid.  He’s one of the best defenders in the world.  From that point on, you can assess what you want.  But you can’t say that because one player or another is there that you’re going to win for sure.

Q:  Do you feel that the team plays worse without Pepe?

A:  Uffff… The team has had bad games with Pepe and without Pepe.  And with me, with Cristiano, with Benzema, with everyone.  Let’s see… we’ve had bad games when the starters played and when the non-starters played.  You can’t say, “this one is the one at fault.”

Q:  Can a defender be so influential in the way that you play?

A:  Pepe is important for the team because he’s a great defender and a great defender brings many things.  But another player could also bring those things.

Q:  Is the central defender a very important figure in Madrid?

A:  On a team, everyone has their importance.  Central defenders?  Yes, the same as the midfielders and those who play up front.  It’s important to have a defense that is solid and can help the team.  Everyone has their own responsibilities.

Q:  Did Mourinho explain why he took you at against Real?

A:  No, he didn’t have to.  He’s let me play many games already.  I try to show him that he’s not making a mistake and he can count on me in any moment, and I won’t let him down.  I think the míster is happy with me and I’m very happy with him.

Q:  What have you learned from him?

A:  Es un tío muy exigente, he keeps you at your highest level and you have to commit the least number of errors possible.  He helps you grow with each day.  I think that you can learn things from all coaches, whether it’s positive or negative.  He keeps the team on alert, he’s deeply involved.  It’s a virtue that he has.  In general, he’s very good – he’s won 17 titles.

I love how diplomatic Raúl was!  He couldn’t be baited into saying anything controversial! Muy bien!!!

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. IsaBella permalink
    February 13, 2011 13:07

    ‘He said that ever since he almost died in a car accident in 2004, he views things philosophically.’ – omg, I had no idea abt this. I’m speechless.
    It’s a very nice picture, by the way.

  2. February 13, 2011 14:25

    love the pic!

  3. mar permalink
    February 13, 2011 15:41

    Wow! He is so diplomatic, he managed to slip out of every trap the interviewer had laid for him… That accident has surely turned him into a philisopher

  4. RealLisa permalink
    February 13, 2011 16:23

    Thanks Una, Raúl A. and Álvaro are rarely interviewed, because of the more famous players that we have (hey reporters, Dudek’s alive too!). Although I wasn’t very satisfied with his (Raúl’s) appearances lately, he’s right, when he says that “the team has had bad games with Pepe and without Pepe”. But he shouldn’t rely on that when he’s playing bad. He should’ve just used well the chances he was receiving due to Pepe’s absence. I know he’s working hard, and I hope we’ll see the result of it on the pitch.
    As far as I know, El Pais’ always publishing great pictures from our players alongside the interviews. Or maybe’s just that the boys are looking good in every picture, no matter what are they wearing. Who knows.. 🙂

  5. February 13, 2011 16:39

    Every time I read about his accident I find myself imagining how he and his family must have felt, it brings back personal memories of my own family’s suffering when my cousin was seriously injured in a car accident ,but like Albiol my cousin is doing fine now 😀

  6. LaBlanca permalink
    February 13, 2011 20:34

    nice interview i really like it! And thanx una for translating!!! I feel really honored! Haha! I love the pic too!

  7. Ang permalink
    February 14, 2011 03:22

    i love the pic…. in 04 he didn’t know if he would be able to play and spent 4 days in a coma look at him now … a dad and world champ …. I didn’t know he was a “tranquil” person….

    ok & I have to be honest…in some pics he looks soooo sexy and u just want 2 eat him up … but in others he doesn’t look that great…

  8. Ravneet Kaur permalink
    February 14, 2011 08:01

    AWWW I LOVE ALBIOL! ONE OF MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITES ❤ so diplomatic and classy. i hope he returns to the starting line up.

  9. DebS permalink
    February 14, 2011 14:28

    Boy, they really were trying to trip him up about Pepe, “central defenders” and Mou. I mean how many different ways can you try to ask the same question. yeesh!

    I also didn’t know about his horrible accident. On my way to google now… :p

  10. Annee permalink
    February 14, 2011 19:16

    Wow, I knew he was in a car accident but I never knew it was that serious.

    Here’s how cute that picture of him is: I looked at it at least 10 times before I noticed he was wearing a tee-shirt with a gun on it.

    Sometimes I worry that he’ll take off for a team where he’ll get more starts. I couldn’t blame him for it and would love for him to stay in Madrid. There was the rumor that Arsenal were interested in him during the January transfer window. More than anything, you can’t split up Chori and Alvaro. 🙂

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