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José Callejón – the Real… interview

September 24, 2011

I absolutely adore this Real… interview with José Callejón.  As you all know, I have a soft spot for our canteranos, so the day I heard José would be returning to us (returning home), I was ecstatic.  I had liked him back then, and I still love him now.  And if you don’t love him, I think you will after reading this interview.

No one touches the hair but José!

He comes across as a humble, down to earth, super nice guy.  The highlights of the interview for me are the parts where he talks about his family: his parents (and how proud he is of them); his twin brother and best friend Juanmi; his sister “Tata” and her daughter, his niece, Daniela; his cousin Antonillo; and his partner Marta, who has a daughter, Paula, whom José treats as his own.  Plus, it doesn’t hurt he comes from a family of lifelong madridistas!

“Háblame” by Malú, that’s a beautiful song that you have chosen to start this interview with.  Good evening, and welcome to RMTV.

Good evening, and thank you.

I think we should start this interview by talking about your hair.  I’ve never seen a more luxuriant head of hair than yours, especially when compared to mine.  This is quite a bit of an irregular start to the interview…

Well, it’s true that some people are a bit envious of the hair that I have…

I’m sure of that.  Why did you choose “Háblame” by Malú?

I like it, because it reminds me of when I met my partner, Marta.  We listened to this song a lot, and it has a lot of significance for me.

Not all couples have a song.  You really like Spanish music, especially flamenquito, El Barrio, Camarón…

Yes, as a person from Andalucía, I really like flamenquito, El Barrio is my favorite singer, Camarón also has some great songs.  But this song of Malú, I identify a lot with it because of my partner, and I really like it.

(The translated English version of this interview on Madrid’s web site made me laugh.  Whoever did the translation must not know a lot about this topic, because s/he translated “El Barrio” as “neighborhood.”  While the word “barrio” does mean neighborhood, in this case Óscar and José are talking about José Luis Figuereo, who performs under the name “El Barrio.”  Plus, the translation left out a lot of great parts, including where José talks about his sister, his cousin and his partner, and for some reason the Spanish one only provided a transcript of the last 10 minutes or so.)

You’re from Motril, and you carry Motril in your heart, it’s very noticeable.

Yes, for me, Motril and Andalucía are great, I was born there, I consider myself and I identify myself as andaluz because it’s always said that we have a lot of arte, a lot of humor… in the locker room, there are other people from Andalucía such as Sergio Ramos.  I also identify with him, because we get along really well and because being from Andalucía makes you a bit different.

You’re from Andalucía, you have that arte, but you’re also funny and nice and like to joke around.  What do you have more of, that arte or are you more of a joker?


Or a bit of everything?

Yes, a bit of everything.  I don’t have too much arte, but I am a very happy person, always in a good mood, because I believe that it’s very important to be happy in life.

What was the neighborhood that you grew up in Motril like?

Well, in my neighborhood, I lived on a small street (“callejón” in Spanish).  My last name is not because of that, but that’s where we lived.  I played a lot with my brother (Juanmi), who’s my identical twin, and the greatest person because he’s always supported me.  And then there was my grandmother’s house, which had a small piece of land where two trees were the goal.  I played there a lot with Antonillo – my cousin Antonio –  and Juanmi.  And the truth is I had a great childhood, some of the best times in my life.  I have a twin brother, and that’s the best thing that’s happened in my life, because I shared many things with him.  To me, he is fantastic, my brother, my best friend, we talk a lot, we talk about almost everything that goes on with us.  Having a twin is incredible.

Explain to us what José Callejón’s callejón was like.

It was a normal callejón, with the house at one end, a front door, and there was always a ball out there.  We tried to make sure that it never went out onto the streets.  We would always be playing with it, and my father was the one who instilled the love for football in me when I was small, around the age of five, when I began to play with my brother out on the callejón and at my grandmother’s house.  Bit by bit, I became better and I began playing in Motril, and I was lucky to be able to do that.

If I’m not mistaken, your parents still own the apartment where you lived.  What was that apartment like, what was your room like?

There were a lot of posters of footballers, I had a lot of footballer trading cards…

Which ones did you have in your room?

A lot, Luis Figo, Ronaldo, a lot of the ones we emulated when we were small, because they were the ones we would always watch play.  There were also a lot of toys, but mostly balls and football-related things.

What did you dream of being when you were in that room?

I knew from the time I was small that I wanted to be a footballer.  I was very small, only five or six, but it was the thing I liked the most, and what I wanted to do.  Both my brother and I started out very young, we had a lot of hope, and bit by bit we moved forward, and we’re lucky to have gotten to where we are now.

You always talk about your brother, with whom you played, but we also have to talk about a Javi, a Raúl, a Carlos, this group of kids. 

Yes, they were my best friends.  We played on the same team when we were small, Javi, Raúl, “Carlo,” they’re still my friends now, Javi also lives in Madrid and we see each other quite often, and when I go back to Granada or Motril, I see Raúl and Carlos.  We get together for a beer and talk about things, my friends have always been there for me, and I believe they always will be.

It’s difficult to talk about those people who have taken different paths in life.  You’re a professional footballer and you’re very privileged, but what are they doing now?

They’re studying.

Is it difficult to talk with them about how tomorrow, I’m going to play a Champions League game with Real Madrid, we beat this team…?

Yes, but they’re also very happy that I’m here and that things are going well for me.  It’s clear that I’ve had more luck than they have, but they understand me very well and they really support me.  When they heard that I was going to sign for Real Madrid… well, they’ve always understood me and they wished me a lot of luck because they’re very happy that that both my brother and I made it to where we are now.

So you haven’t lost contact with them.

No, because in life, you have to be humble and respectful.  I believe friends are a fundamental part of life, just like your family or your partner is.  You should never lose them and always stay in touch because they do give you a lot of support.

Were any of them better than you at football?


Or were you the one making the difference back then?

It was always said that the Callejón brothers had something special that others didn’t have, any friend you asked would have said that.  But it’s true that they were good, that we were a good team, that we won almost everything we played.

You played fustal?

I started out playing futsal, and then seven-a-side football, then association football.

You come from a very madridista family…


Your father is very madridista, and your father was also a footballer.

My father played for Motril, he was the captain of Motril, and that’s why he pushed my brother and I towards football.  When we were small, he played for a club in Motril.  On Sundays, he would play at eight in the morning.  We would get up half an hour earlier, and wait to see him play with a ball in the dining room.  While he played, we would also play a partidillo.

What is the best advice your father has given you?

The best advice my father ever gave me was to always stay humble, to respect football and life.  He also told me to always give it my all both in the training sessions as well as in the games, and to never to back down.  On a day to day basis, if you work hard, it will bear fruit for the future.

You’re very family-oriented.  Let’s talk about this family.  We’ll start with your parents, José María and Encarni.  If I’m not mistaken, they owned and own a fruit shop in the market of Motril.  What can you tell me about them?

For me, my father and my mother are very special.  The fruit shop we had was very special, it was in the market in Motril.  I’m very proud of my father the fruit seller, I always said this and I always will.  When we were small, we would always help out my father in the fruit shop, he always got up very early to go to work…

At what time?

Around six, seven in the morning, because he had to go buy the fruit, then set up the display.  He only worked from eight in the morning until two in the afternoon, but it was a hard job.  I’ve always been very proud of the fact that they sold fruit and that they still do.  My parents have always been very special to me, and when I came here to Madrid when I was 14, they would come each weekend to watch me play, home games, away games, all the tournaments at the cadete and juvenil levels.  I’m very proud of the parents I have and the support they’ve always given me.

It’s emotional to hear you say how proud you are that your father is a fruit seller. 

I’ve said it and I’ll always say it.  Hard work is always rewarded, it doesn’t matter whether you sell fruit, you work in construction, or any type of work, with a lot of hard work, effort and sacrifice during many years, you’ll get what you deserve.

What do you remember about that fruit shop?  How did you help out?

We would go there before school, my mother would always give us a lot of fruit to eat during our breaks, and we’ve always liked fruit.  After school, we would go back and wait for my father to finish, or help out if he needed us.  We would then close up the shop and go home to eat.

They must have been very proud when you realized your dream of returning home, to Real Madrid, as an important player.  What did they say to you?

Yes, they were very excited about it, and it was also a dream come true for them.  They knew that their sons wanted to do this, and we’re on this road, and we’ve achieved part of this, and we have to continue working hard and fighting each day, so that our parents will be proud of what we are and what we’re doing.

Fathers always encourage you to play football, but mothers tell you to study, in case things don’t work out with football.  What did your mother tell you?

My mother was always more critical, she would always say that perhaps things wouldn’t turn out with the football, but that one’s studies would always be useful.  She would warn us that in any moment, a footballer’s dream could be cut short, but we always studied well.  Our father had a completely different mentality, that we were going to become footballers, even though he hadn’t done that well.  So we concentrated on the football.  I think he believed that we would make it and get to where we are now.

I’m telling you, with your skills, you would have been pretty successful as a fruit seller.  You would able to sell me four kilos of peaches, even overripe ones.

I would sell them to you quickly.

Another person in your life is someone who is indispensable, Juanmi. 

To me, my brother is someone very special.  He’s my brother, my best friend, everything in my life.  When I was small, I was always with him, sharing… during school, recess, playing football, good and bad moments.  We spent our entire lives together, which is a lot of time, and when we left Madrid and he went to Mallorca and I went to Espanyol, we suffered a lot, because it was a big change in our lives, with each of us going our separate ways.  But we kept in touch, we spoke often, and it’s clear that for me, my brother is the best thing that’s happened in my life.

Was it very difficult to be separated from him?  You were together in school, you boarded together at school, you shared an apartment, and then football took one to Barcelona and the other to Mallorca.

Yes, it was difficult, because when we left Motril for Madrid at the age of 14, we went to the SEK school, where we shared everything – a room, we spent the entire day together, and when we turned 18, which is the age when you have to leave, we shared an apartment.  We also shared many other things, things that were great and beautiful.  The truth is that having to separate from your brother, well… for us it was very tough, because it wasn’t like having a normal brother, who was a different age, we were twins, which meant that we had a more special, a more emotional, a more sensitive relationship.

What is the prank that the two of you pulled that you will never forget?

Well, there were a lot in school, when we were younger and completely identical.  We would fool the teachers, during tests…


We would exchange the tests, or the teacher would call roll, call José and my brother would say “here!”  Those types of things.  But we were just joking around, not trying to trick anyone.

When you were small, you would eat very quickly, so that the two of you could go play football.

Yes, because we always wanted to go play football.  Any minute that we had to play was incredible, spectacular, it was our favorite part of the day, the happiest part of the day.

I’ve been told that you weren’t a bad student, but you weren’t very good at math.

Yes, yes.  Both my brother and I were good students.  But we were horrible at math.

Were you mischievous kids?

Yes, mischievous.

I asked Carvalho, and he said he was timid and shy…  He was the same at the age of eight as he is now at 33.

Well, that might have been because he was alone, but my brother and I pulled a lot of pranks and we were pretty bad kids.

You said it was very tough for you to go to Barcelona, while your brother went to Mallorca.  Is it also tough at this moment now, since one of you is at a higher professional level than the other?

Yes… I consider him a fantastic footballer…

He’s playing for Hércules now.

Yes.  I think that not because he’s my brother, but because he’s demonstrated that he is, and he’ll continue demonstrating that.  I believe that he has a great career ahead of him.  He’s very excited about his season, in Alicante with Hércules, and I speak with him every day.  I cheer him on, I require a lot from him as well because I know he has a good head on his shoulders, that he never gives up, and I always encourage him to go far and to get better with each day.

You’re the one that requires things from Juanmi, but who is the one that requires things from you?  Who’s the one that calls you and says, hey José, you didn’t play well yesterday, you should be more like this…

My father, because he understands how I am, how I play, and he always knows when I play well or badly.  When I play badly, he of course tells me.  And my brother also demands a lot from me.  When I play well, he tells me, and when I play badly, he tells me how to correct those things.  I’m one of those players who never gives up, I’m very constant, and when it doesn’t turn out like that, I pay attention.

Between all the mischief, there was another person, the intelligent one that brought order and balance, your sister Vanesa. 

Yes, but it was hard for her to watch over us when we were small, because we were mischievous and a bit bad, but Tata, which is what we call her, was always there, she helped us out a lot and she’s been very important to us.  She gave us a lot of advice, both when we were younger and even now, and she also demands a lot from us, and we have a very special affection for her.

[I love how he talks as if he and Juanmi were one person.]

And what does Tata mean to you?

She’s been like a second mother to me.  When we were young, my mother was busy with the fruit store, and so for example in the mornings she couldn’t make us breakfast, so Tata was always there.  She always made my Colacao for me, my sandwiches, and so for me, my sister, my Tata, is like a second mother to me.

She was also your confidant.  It’s rare for a boy to have as his confidant his sister.

No, we’ve always had a lot of confidence in her.  We had that when we were small, and we still have that now that we’re older, we’ve continued to have that.  She’s also always had a lot of confidence in us, and we’ve told her many things.  As I said earlier, she was always there for us as our second mother, and so we would tell her things because we knew that she would always help us out.

And what about Daniela, your niece?  Your face changes when you hear her name.

She’s beautiful, she’s great.  When she was born, I was very happy, but not just me, the entire family.  My sister sends me photos and videos every day, because I can’t live close by due to my job.

They live in Motril.

Yes, in Motril.  And when they go do something, such as going to the beach, they send me videos.  I just received one where she had learned to say my name, José.  It’s very special to me that she learned how to say my name and she also calls me tito (uncle).  She’s precious.

She’s only two, but she gets on the phone and says things like “tito, goal.”

Those were two of the first words she learned, because she used to watch me when I played with Espanyol, and they would point me out to her on the television and say, “¡tito, tito, gol!”  For me, that’s very special.

Speaking of special people, we spoke about the song “Háblame” before, and there’s someone named Marta.  She appeared in your life, she changed your future and you probably wouldn’t be where you are now without her.

Yes, she’s also very special to me.  She came into my life at a very important moment and she provided me with a lot of maturity, a lot of education, a lot of respect.  She’s always been there for me, in the good and bad moments.  Her daughter Paula is like my daughter, I consider her my own and we share a life like other families.  I’m very happy, and I see the future with a lot of joy and hope, and the truth is I owe her a lot.

You seem to be very much in love.

The song says it, the song shows it.  I chose it for her.  I’m in a very good moment now and I believe she’s changed my life.

When you talk about a person like this, when you have someone that you feel so much affection for, it’s for all that they can give to you, because all of a sudden, the person who can change your life appears in your life.  What has she contributed to your life?

She’s filled me up completely.  As I said before, she’s provided me with a lot of maturity, a lot of sensitivity, a lot of joy, a lot of hope.  Now I see the future with a lot of joy, because I know that things are going to turn out, that I have confidence in myself.  She’s made me see things in a completely different way, than the way my brother or father could have.  She’s very direct, she’s very mature and she’s very special.

It’s great to have someone who tells you both good and bad things.  I say this because in many cases, footballers are surrounded by people who only tell them good things, and there are few people who say the bad things when they need to be said.

I think that the good things never need to be said, but that the bad things always need to be said so that you can correct things or change.  With good things, you already know that you did well.  But with bad things, if you’re not told, then you won’t correct them.  I believe that you have to learn from the bad things, and if we do things well, we have to try and continue to do them well.

I know that you don’t iron, but you can cook very well.

Quite well, yes.

What does “quite well” mean?  Does “quite well” mean that one day you can prepare a meal for the entire Real Madrid squad?

Well, I don’t know if it’s for that many people, but at home I do cook quite well.  Marta is quite strict with what we eat, we always eat very well at home.

What is your star dish?

My star dish?

Your specialty, the specialty of the Casa Callejón.

I like to make pasta, rice… I remember an anecdote from when my brother and I were in Madrid.  We made a paella, and it turned out great.


Yes, yes.  We didn’t know what we were doing, but it came out spectacular.  I make simple things, I also help out Marta when it comes to cooking, but I prefer for her to do it.

We’ve spoken about the Callejón family, but we can’t forget about your cousin Antonio.

Qué grande.

You mean physically, or…

Physically, also his heart, everything.  Antonillo is a crack.  He’s two years younger than me, but es muy grande.  He was always there with us when we were young, we played together, we went everywhere together, we got along really well, I remember his mother, my aunt Fina and his father, my uncle Antonio… he’s incredible.  He’s always thinking about other people, he calls us and sends us messages, he goes to Alicante.  We shared many things with him and he’s also a very special person in my life.

Is he studying?

Yes, in Granada.

Your first team was called Costa Tropical.  How old were you when you joined this team?

It should have been when I was seven or eight, more or less.  There was a dirt field in Motril called La Nacla.  Javi and Raúl were also on the team, and we would train each afternoon with our teammates.  We had a great time, we had a very demanding coach, Fernando Muñoz, who taught us a lot, and I will always remember him.  That was where we trained, where we began to dream…

You will always remember Fernando Muñoz.  He’s been one of the key persons in your life.  Was it because he showed you the road to professional football?  Why do you always say he’s been a very important person in your life?

Because he took me under his wing when I was very young, and he helped to form me as a person and as a footballer.  He demanded a lot from us.  I spent many years with him and that’s why I believe I owe him a lot, because he was the one that helped to shape us as persons and as footballers, until we were 13 or 14, when we left.

At the age of 14, you came to Real Madrid.  What do you remember from the first day when you put on the Real Madrid shirt?

Well, the first day, we had a training session in the old Ciudad Deportiva, on La Castellana.  We arrived in my father’s car, we got lost and we almost arrived late.  It was very special, coming from Motril… for us, it was a dream come true, because Madrid was the team we had always supported, we always had the first team players in mind and on our trading cards.  It was very special to train with that shirt, with the escudo on the chest, it meant a lot to us.

Tell us an anecdote from your time in the cantera that you will never forget.  A game, something that happened in a training session there on La Castellana…

I remember many games, and winning many tournaments with people who are still playing now, such as Granero, Lora, Adán.  I’ve had many teammates.  And I also remember the SEK school, where we studied and boarded for three intense years, and where we also made many friends whom I am still in touch with today.

Who is the best player that you coincided with in the cantera of Real Madrid?  It doesn’t matter if in the end they made it or not, just someone you thought was very good. 

There were many.  There were some that were fantastic, better than me.  But due to circumstances and bad luck in life, they didn’t make it.  But there were many that had great games, and that caused you to say, that one is going to make it as a footballer, but due to circumstances in life, they didn’t make it.

You always say that one of the players that made the best impression on you was Iker Casillas.

For me, he’s a reference.  He’s the captain of the team, the captain of the national team.  He’s also a very humble person, very close, very caring, very sensitive.  I pay a lot of attention to him, I notice everything he does, because I want to learn from him and try to be like him, since I really like his personality and how he is, so I try and observe everything he does.

How have you grown during your time in Espanyol?

I became more mature, and I grew as a person.  I learned a lot from Pochettino, and he demanded a lot from us.  From him, I learned things about football and things about life that I didn’t understand when I was 18 or 19.  I learned a lot during that time, since I was only 21 or 22, just a boy.  He taught me a lot as a coach and I’m very grateful to him.

When you say that he taught you many things about life, what are you referring to?  Tell me one of those things.

He taught me how to be constant, and humble and respectful.  I believe the day to day things are fundamental, this day to day hard work.  I believe that without this, you’ll never get anywhere.  In each training session, you have to believe, you have to be ready, whether you’re going to play or not.  I believe this day to day work helped me to play many games with Espanyol in the Liga and to get to the level where I am now.

Then all of a sudden, a person named José Mourinho from Real Madrid decided he liked José Callejón.  What does it mean to you to have someone like José Mourinho say that he wants you on his team?

I didn’t believe it.  For me, it was a dream come true, with all the players in the world, for me to catch his eye… that is a dream come true.  I didn’t expect it, I didn’t believe it, but it became a reality, and I have to thank him and the club for having confidence in me.  It’s very clear to me that I have to demonstrate many things during the five years of my contract.  I’ve been a madridista since I was small, I came through the cantera and I will always defend this escudo to the death.

What does Mourinho mean to you?

He’s the best coach in the world, a very special, close person.  He tells you things clearly and to your face.  I think that’s important.  He’s very direct, nothing he says ever has a hidden meaning, he tells you both good and bad things to your face.  In this way, you learn much more as a footballer and as a person.

Why do you think there are so many people on the outside who don’t view Mourinho in that way?  They have the impression that Mourinho is colder, more tense, why?

Because they don’t know how he is.  They don’t know how he is on a day to day basis, they only know of him from his appearances in the press.  He defends this club to the death, just like all of us, the players, do.  They don’t see him on a day to day basis, they don’t see this close person, who is demanding and who spends the entire day laying into us.  It’s a mistake for people to view him like that because it’s the complete opposite.

What does it mean to you to have returned to Real Madrid?

For me, it’s a dream come true.  When I left here at the age of 21, I had some unfinished business because, well, I always saw canteranos playing with the first team, such as Negredo, Javi García, Granero, and I thought, why couldn’t it have been me?  But that’s the way life is, for the circumstances in life, and as I said, those three years away were very important for me, they shaped me as a person and as a footballer.  Anyway, the work I’ve done each day has brought me to where I am now and I’m very proud of that.

When you left, did you think that you would return?

No, if I tell you the truth, no.  I thought I would be at Espanyol for many years.  I liked Espanyol a lot, because it’s a very family-oriented club, a very respected club, and they’ve always treated me very well.  I was very happy there and supported by the fans, the players, the coaching staff.  But having the opportunity to return to Madrid, the best club in the world, with the best coach in the world and the best player in the world… I believed I couldn’t let that opportunity pass by.

How is the team after yesterday, the tie against Racing?

The tie was not what we wanted, but we still have hope and confidence, because we know that this is just the beginning, that there’s a lot left ahead, and the important thing is not how you start, but how you end.  Right now all we’re thinking about is the game on Saturday, and we’re treating it like a final, as three very important points are at stake.  We have to give it our 100 percent at the Bernabéu and win for us and for the fans.

You know that Real Madrid generates a lot of news… each movement, each statement, each image, each word from a footballer or the coach… and right now it’s said that the team is divided.

Whoever says that the team is divided doesn’t know what the team is like, they’re not inside the locker room, they don’t know the players, they don’t know the persons.  Inside the locker room, we’re a family, we’re like a ship where everyone has to row in the same direction.  We always watch out for each other, to help each other out, and you can see that every day, in every training session, every game.  Whoever says that is completely wrong.

Is this the best locker room that you’ve been in?

Yes, without doubt.  I’ve been in great ones before, where the people were very respectful and gave you a lot of advice, but… I believe this one, with the humane group and the players that there are, is the best.

What is your reaction when you hear that there are cliques based on nationalities?  There are people who may believe this, especially if no one on the inside comes out to say that this is all nonsense.

It makes no sense.  It’s true that there are a lot of nationalities, but we all get along super well.  There are some who don’t understand a lot of castellano, but we help them to understand and to speak, bit by bit.  We joke around… as I said before, whoever says these types of things has no idea what Madrid’s locker room is like.

Who stretched our their hand to you when you got to this locker room of Real Madrid, which is one of the most important ones in the world?  Most people would look to their right and left and say, I’m not going to make a lot of noise, since I just got here.  Who said to you, “come over here, chaval, let me explain to you how things are here?”  Who was the one who helped you out during your first days there?

Practically everyone, but the canteranos a bit more, the ones I already knew, such as Arbeloa, or Iker, Sergio Ramos, Granero, Adán.  I’ve played with some of them and coincided with others in the cantera of Real Madrid.  But the rest also stretched out their hands to me, they helped me a lot.  I have no complaints about this team, this group of players, and I’m very proud to be where I am and to train with these people every day.

The tie against Racing was a setback, but today I saw a team with their heads held high.  I see that here, when one fails, when one doesn’t win a game, and here in Madrid, failing is losing, he could be in a bad mood after the game and during the night, but the next day is a new day and our lives go on.

Yes, it’s clear that no one likes to lose or to tie.  And Real Madrid always needs to be thinking about winning.  But it’s clear that we can’t ever give up, and we will never do that.  We need to know that we’re in Madrid and that we always have to go out to win.   The Liga will be very difficult this year, and we’re seeing many good teams and rivalries, and…

It’s not a two team league...

No, it’s not like what people say.  We never give up and we have to be ready for each game to get the three points.

In addition, the season just started, we’ve only played a few matchdays, and the end doesn’t necessarily resemble how things start, no?  

No, you can start out very badly, but you could end up as the champions of the league.  We started out with a victory, then had a loss and a tie, but we need to get a good streak of wins going in both the Liga and the Champions.  We have to get as far as we can in the three competitions and try and win all three of them.

The game against Rayo has become very important to Real Madrid.

Yes, it’s important.  We need to be convinced that those are three fundamental points that we have to get, and that since we’re Madrid, we have to go out to win each game, because that’s the objective of this club.

Many madridistas watch this program, and they were interested in getting to know you better.  You’re the apple of José Mourinho’s eye. 

Why do you say that?

I say that because I saw that he wants to change some pieces in your wardrobe, a shirt that he didn’t really like…

It was a pair of pants.

What message do you want to send to the fans, those people who are watching this program tonight?

My message is that we’re Real Madrid, that there’s a spectacular group of persons and a wonderful coaching staff which is one of the best in the world.  We are Madrid and we have to play each game to win.  We have to defend this escudo to the death.  No one should doubt that we’re going to do everything we can and that is within our reach to win the three titles this year so that everyone will be super content.

I’m going to give you this felt tip pen because we have this tradition here [didn’t it just start this season?] in this program for you all to autograph the desk where we do these interviews as a souvenir for the RMTV people and the fans.  While you write, you can tell us what your dreams are for this season, your personal dreams, and your dreams for the team for this season.

My dream for the team is, without a doubt, to win the three titles.  I came here to Real Madrid not only to grow as a footballer and as a person, but also to try and win titles, because Madrid always has to be at this level, they always have to try until the very last minute to win a title.  That’s what we’ll try to achieve.  And on a personal level, as I said before, I want to grow as a footballer and as a person, I want to become much more mature and try to play many minutes.  I want to take advantage of this opportunity that I’ve been given, to justify my signing on the field, to show that I can play here for many years, and to defend this escudo to the death.

[I like how he stopped writing because he was answering the question so earnestly.]

It’s said that it’s as important to be a great professional as it is to be a great person, and I, after getting to know you, watching you train every day, seeing what you’ve contributed to the team, can only tell you one thing: that for any madridista, it’s an honor to have, as is said on the web page of the club, your heart beating for this club every day.  Thank you for being here and lots of luck for this season.

Thank you very much.

As I said, fantastic interview, no?

13 Comments leave one →
  1. Pipita permalink
    September 24, 2011 23:56

    I love José Maria Callejón and his twin brother Juanmi! Seems like a wonderful family los Callejón, I just wish that Juanmi would play in the first division as well. Hopefully next year.

    It’s a little weird that Arbeloa hasen’t been interview in the Real…series yet. He’s a canterano and his been here fore some time now. I don’t know why, but I think that Kaká will be with Oscar Ribot next week.

    • unamadridista permalink*
      September 28, 2011 15:51

      You must be happy, because it’s Alvarito’s turn this week!

  2. Sarah, Madrid permalink
    September 25, 2011 00:27

    Callejon is so the guy next door!

  3. Whiskey permalink
    September 25, 2011 00:36

    LOVED this interview – Una thanks so much for the translation. I adore Jose (and Juanmi) and this is really a terrific interview (minus the cheesy thumbs up pic – which seems to be de rigueur at Real) – he says some wonderful things about his family and friends. It is probably sacrilegious to say this, but while i was happy to see him come “home” this year part of me was sad to see him leave Espanyol – he really flourished there and I fear he will spend a lot of time warming the bench here. I hope I am proven wrong. Nice to see him mention Pochettino’s influence as well. Reading this made my day (well that and the win against Rayo!). Cheers.

  4. September 25, 2011 19:15

    I’m very impressed with Jose’s answers. He comes across as such a mature, thoughtful, down to earth person. I’m glad that he’s back with us again.

    Thank you for this Una. Doing such a lot of translation couldn’t be easy at all.

  5. Sara permalink
    September 25, 2011 19:49

    Again, I love those interviews. I wish José all the best. I hope he gets a chance to prove himself and stay for a long time in RM.

    Does anyone have a pic of his twin brother?

  6. Pammie permalink
    September 25, 2011 22:20

    thanks for the translation! What an interesting interview! It’s nice to get to know him better and his background.

  7. Alyssa permalink
    September 26, 2011 08:50

    THOSE DIMPLES! I felt like I didn’t have much of a sense of who he is as a person before this but you’re totally right, he seems humble, down to earth and a great guy!

    I love how he spoke about his brother being his best friend but my favourite of the mentions of his brother was when he spoke about how he was playing at a higher level that his brother. He was so matter of fact about Juanmi being an incredible footballer. You can tell he wasn’t saying it to be nice or because he thought he should, he finds it obvious that his brother is fantastic. And even though he’s playing at a lower level, Jose spoke about him with such pride. He spoke with that sense of pride when he talking about coming to Real Madrid for the first time :).

    The way he spoke about his sister melted my heart. I have 2 younger brothers myself and I can honestly say that how he speaks about her is everything a big sister wants to hear.

    I also love that he scoffed just at the mention of separation in the locker room based on nationalities. You could tell it was a completely honest reaction.

    What struck me the most about this is how sincere he is. He seems like such a kind-hearted person. All of those things make me so fond of him! Not that he needed it, anyone who speaks about Iker like that is automatically in my good books haha.

    And of course, thank you so so sooooo much for the translation! I really don’t even know what I’d do without you!

  8. black widow permalink
    September 27, 2011 04:09

    thank you for the translation! it’s always wonderful to read and learn more about our boys, and jose sounds like such a thoughtful, sincere, hardworking, terrific guy.

    i’ve always been fascinated by identical twins!

  9. Alexandra permalink
    September 28, 2011 23:54

    You are best who translates these interviews!! Do you know if Ozil has been interviewed and if so where I could find it (in English)?

  10. Eliza permalink
    September 29, 2011 07:26

    Una, do you know who is the elder brother, Juanmi or Jose? I couldn’t find the information and I was always wondering. Thank you 🙂

  11. April 22, 2013 08:12

    Muy orgullosa de mi apellido de soltera callejón somos Segundo primos de Jose aunque nunca nos hemos conocido vivo en Canada y mi familia en Andalucía España.Le deseo lo mejor a José que le siga la Buena suertes.mi abuelo se llamaba Federico Callejon Olivero.

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