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Ángel di María – the Real… interview

October 29, 2011
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Seeing that this interview with Ángel di María was also 53 minutes long (and unlike Kaká, Angelito speaks very, very fast) gave me a headache before I had even started translating, but slowly, it went by faster because it became quite enjoyable.  I love the parts where Ángel talks about his family, his friends (the anecdote about playing football on his friends’ team and his expressions and gestures as he described it are adorable!) and of course the love of his life, Jorgelina.

“Color Esperanza” by Diego Torres is the song you chose to start this interview with.  I also like this song a lot, so this is a good start to the interview.  Good evening, and welcome to RMTV.

Good evening.  Yes, this is a song that my girlfriend, now my wife, listens to, she chose it for me because it talks about hope and things that have happened in both our lives, it’s a beautiful song and she chose it for me.

And what were the hopes of that child named Ángel di María who grew up in the neighborhood of Perdriel?

It’s something very beautiful.  Each time I return to my neighborhood, I go to see my friends, my lifelong neighbors.  I think it’s nice… they’re a big part of why I’m here today.

What is this neighborhood like?  Each time you talk about it, you speak with admiration.  What is it like?  Take us there.

It’s difficult to talk about this, when you’re so far away, it’s not easy to talk about these things.  It’s the neighborhood where I grew as a person and as a footballer, I grew up playing on its streets, playing with my friends, the same ones that I still have now.  When I wasn’t anyone, they were there for me and they’re still here for me now that I’ve made it.  I’d like to take this opportunity to send my regards to my friend Gere, as his grandfather passed away last night.  He was a father for him, so I send him a big hug.

Speaking of this is making you a bit emotional, because they’re your other family.

Yes, that’s true.

That’s a great gesture to start the interview with, and we all send a big hug to your friend, whom we’ll talk about later.  You said it before, that your friends were there for you when you were no one.  Now you’re “someone,” but in the end, what matters in life is the person, not the profession.  Let’s go back to this neighborhood, where you lived when you were very small.  What was it like?

A very humble neighborhood, with humble houses, full of hardworking people, who worked hard to make a living for themselves.  I think that’s where the values of a person come from: humility, to become someone in life, and to support your family and get by with the little money that you earn from working.

When you talk about getting by, what do you mean?  Having enough to eat?

Having enough to eat, having enough to buy necessities, which is what it was like in my family.  Both my parents worked so they could afford to buy me a pair of boots to play football in.  I think this is something you always keep inside of you, because you never forget the things that happened to you when you were small.

When you were a child in this neighborhood, did you ever imagine that life would bring you to where you are today?

No, but…

Because all children want to become footballers, or at least a lot of them.  But getting to where you’ve gotten…

The truth is everything happened really fast.  Playing with Rosario Central, playing in the U-20 World Cup, playing with Benfica, coming here.  Everything happened really quickly in four to five years.  But the important thing is to have fun both on and off the field, and that’s what I do to be happy.

When Pepe was a child, he raised fish to sell them, to earn money for his family.  But one time, he sold a fish not for money, but in exchange for a Real Madrid shirt.  When you were a kid, did you ever dream about playing for a team like Real Madrid?

No.  The truth is I watched the team on television, and I dreamed just about playing in the first division, since Real Madrid was a much higher aspiration, but when things happen, and like the song I chose with my wife says, having the hope that all your dreams will come true one day, that’s what I did to get to where I am today, and what makes you want to continue growing as a footballer and as a person.

Many people get to where they are thanks to their family.  What was your family like?

My family was very humble, always very united.  The entire family always got together every weekend for a barbecue.  My family was very united, and so it’s sometimes difficult for me to have them so far away, but all of them know that even though I’m here, I’m also there with them.  I speak often with them to see how they are and all those things.

Let’s start with Miguel, your father.  He worked in a coalyard, and I suppose he worked very hard to provide for his family, giving you all more than enough to live.  What is your father like?

My papá is a person who tells me when I do something wrong, but he also tells me what I do well.  He was nearly a professional football player, he was very close to becoming one, but then he injured his knee playing in his neighborhood, one time when he came back there from playing with River Plate, and…

He played for River Plate?  At what level?

He was on a reserve team, which almost got to the first division.  And… he had played and trained a bit with the first team, and the coaches were happy with him because he was like me, skilled and fast on the wing, and…

Was he left-footed?

No, right-footed.  After that, he returned to Rosario because he missed his family a lot, and while playing with his friends, he injured his knee.  At that moment, the only option was surgery, there weren’t lasers or anything like that, and so he had to give up football.  He’s still playing now, with the veterans team, at the age of 52.  But every two to three games, his knee swells up and he has to stop.  But anyway, he’s been a great help to me with this, he’s a person I learned a lot from when I worked with him and I owe him a lot.

That’s what life is like, no?  He almost got to the first division, then that thing with his knee happened, he had to go work in a coalyard, and now it’s like you’re continuing his dream.

Yes, he always tells me that.  Well, he always tells that to my mother, and my mother tells it to me, that what I’m doing now is what he wanted to do in that moment.  He loves football very much, and as I told you, he’s still playing now at the age of 52.  Anyway, he worked for 16 very tough years in the coalyard.  In the winter, it was very cold, and they only had a metal roof over their heads.  When I debuted in the first division, the first thing I did was tell him to stop working.  When I was sold to Benfica, I could finally tell him, “papi, I don’t want you to work anymore, and you can start enjoying life a bit, for the first time.”

You worked with him in the coalyard?

Yes, I started helping him when I was 10 or 11, and by the time I was 14 or 15, I was helping with the deliveries, filling up the bags and sealing them.  The work was very tough.  But it was the only one we had, and so we had to do our best so that we would have enough to eat and buy things.

What memories do you have of that time when you worked alongside your father?  You were just a child, but you must have observed everything, because these are things that you don’t forget.

No, nothing, as I told you, I grew up learning from him, the sacrifices he made, what he did for his family.  Now that I’m starting my family with Jorgelina, having kids of my own, all these things, I just want to be like him.  I want to love my children in the same way that he loves me.

[Pause to wipe away a tear or two.]

What is the best advice your father has ever given you?  Out of the advice he’s given you, which one have you kept close to your heart?

I think it’s one that every father gives.  He’s always given me advice, but I remember when Benfica came to purchase me, and he told me, “son, this train only passes by once in a lifetime, and so you have to get on and go forward.”

Although he would no longer be with you.

Although he would no longer be with you.

Every boy has a weakness, and that’s their mother.  In your case, Diana.  What can you tell me about her?

She’s incredible, unique.  She’s the person who blesses me and gives me strength before games, she’s the person who’s always watches over me, even though I’m married now.

Son, eat well, take care while driving, don’t go too fast…

All that.  All of that.  But anyway, as I said, mothers are like that and it doesn’t matter whether you’re 50, 60 or 70, she’ll still be watching over you, telling you the same things.  My papá was always the person behind me, but my mamá was always the person who told me, whenever we passed by the grounds of Rosario Central, where I debuted, one day you’ll be playing there.  And well, it happened.

You said she always blesses you before games.  She lights candles for the Holy Spirit?

Yes.

She’s very religious.  Does that give you strength?

It gives me a lot of strength.  My wife also lights candles for the Holy Spirit, for God… to give me strength.  I also believe very strongly in this, and I believe it’s because of this that I have the strength and the desire to give it my all during each game out there on the field.

I don’t know if it has any influence on the result of the game, but the energy you have on the field… I don’t know if it’s from the Holy Spirit, but it’s crazy, it’s not normal.  You never stop running!

Well, I always say one thing.  When the ball’s not doing what you want it to, you can’t distress yourself over it.  When the ball’s not doing what you want it to, you have to give it to someone else.  I give all of me during each game, I make the biggest effort I can.  When I exceed myself, it makes things much easier for the midfielders, for the defenders.  I know that it’s this way because they tell me that, they thank me.  The rival defenders tell me that I never stop running, that I’m tireless.  I think this gives you even more desire to continue running and helping.

You must be proud of that, to have the rival defenders tell you that you’re very annoying because you never stop running.

Yes, I’ve been told “eres muy pesado tío” but… it’s just the way I am, I’m very fast, I never stop… after almost every game, someone tells me something like, you run a lot.

Are Vanesa and Evelyn, your two sisters, as fast as you? 

Well, Vanesa doesn’t appear to have come from my father, because she’s very calm, too much so.  She’s very calm, very calm.  The other is fast, she loves playing football, all types of sports.  Vanesa is very tranquil, too much so.

They’re very different.

Very different.

What was your house like, the one in La Perdriel?  Did you share a room with your sisters? 

The living room and dining room were connected, the kitchen was separated by a little barrier.  When I was younger, I shared a room with my sisters.

Isn’t that horrible, for a boy to have to do that?

There was no alternative, we had to share, and we were taught to share.  There was this little room next to the living room and dining room, as well as another little room outside of that.  When I was 13 or 14, if I remember correctly, my father and grandfather knocked down the wall separating the two small rooms to make a bedroom for me.  And I was happier having my own room.

What was that room like?  Did you have posters of footballers on the walls?

It was really small, it had a small closet, a small 14-inch black and white TV, the bed, it was really small.  There was a window looking out onto the patio.  There were photos of me, and on the headboard, on the wall, there was the crest of Rosario Central, mi equipo del alma.

Is it true that your mother was told to sign you up for some sport when you were small because you were too hyper?  Is it true?

Yes, yes, yes.  My mother got tired of seeing me break everything in the house when I was four or five years old; no, I was three.  She took me to a doctor to see what could be done, and I was there, running around the examining room, and the doctor told her, you have to sign him up for some sport.  And that’s when my career started, when I was four, with a club in my neighborhood.

What kind of mischief did you do when you were a kid?  Kaká said he broke a duck belonging to his mother, and glued the head back wrong… what did you do?

Well, there’s something my mother always tells me about.  When I was about a year old, I had a baby walker, and we had just moved into the house, which was in bad condition.  There was a well in the patio, and I was walking with the baby walker, and I fell into the well.  They saved me just in time.

You’ve spoken about your mother.  She was always the one who took you to training sessions, on bicycle.

When we lived only four blocks from the neighborhood club, we would walk there.  Sometimes when my teammates or the coaches would pass by in car, they would pick me up, because my mother worked with my father and she had to help him.

She also worked in the coal yard?

Yes, she did work there, she worked very hard when I was young because she had to earn money, no?  Then my sisters… that’s why I said Vanesa is calmer, because she’s the second child and the one who helped out more around the house, washing dishes and things like that, she grew up really fast.  She’s the brains of the family.

What do you remember about those walks to the training sessions with your mother?

They were great, because when I began to play at Rosario Central when I was six and a half or seven, it took us 30 minutes to get there on bicycle.  We were always in a rush, but I was always happy.  In winter, things got a bit more complicated, with the rain and…

The two of you would still go by bicycle when it was raining?

Yes.

How did that work?

I would sit in the back, and my second sister, since she was smaller, would sit in a seat that hooked up to the handlebars, and the three of us would go to the training session.  Thirty minutes to the training grounds where I trained, and we did this more or less for seven years.

And how do you pay back your mother for something like this?

When I could, the first thing I did was buy her a house.  I was very happy that I was able to do this for her, and to give her everything that I can.  She’s happy for me, for where I am now, for the national team, for everything.  That makes me happy, because I know that her life is easier now.

When you were younger, you suffered a lot, because there wasn’t much money at home, and the little money that there was was for your football boots, so your sisters didn’t receive many presents.

I gave my mom a house, and I’ve also given my sisters many things, and I enjoy giving them things and buying things for them.  I know that when we were small, they had to spend the money on boots for me so that I could play, and so my sisters couldn’t buy things because the boots were expensive.  Anyway, now I’m happy because now I can give my parents and my sisters back everything they gave to me.

They must be very proud that all the effort they made has resulted in you getting to where you are now, and that’s the best present.

Yes, that’s the most beautiful thing, as I said, to be able to repay my mamá and my papá for everything that they gave me during 17, 18, 19 years, to help me become someone.  I’m able to pay them back for everything they did for me and hopefully I’ll be able to continue in this way until my career ends.

Let’s go back to the Perdriel, because we have to talk about “la banda de la Perdriel.”  Tell me if I’ve forgotten anyone: Alexis, Nicolás, Bryan, Gere, Mauri, Diego and Ángel.  This is your other family, no?

Yes, this is my family of friends, those who knew me when I wasn’t anyone, who came to watch me play with Rosario Central, who were always there for me, who congratulated me for my goals.  Nowadays, when I finish a game with Real Madrid, they congratulate me in the same way and continue to watch my games, although they’re far away.  Well, some of them have come here to watch the games up close, others still have to come but they will.  They always watch the games on TV and I’m very proud of that.

What does a person need to have to be your friend?

Humility, principally.  They have to be very humble, friendly… and as I said, very humble.  For me, humility is the most important thing.  My neighborhood was very humble, my friends were very humble, my neighbors were very humble, and that’s the most important thing a person needs to have to be my friend.

I always say that a person shows that he’s a true friend when he’s there for you in the worst of times, when things aren’t going well.  In the beginning of the interview, you spoke a little about what your friend Gere is going through.  Everyone is supporting him now, no?

Yes, my friends spent the entire night at the wake with him, then they went home to rest a bit because they were there for a long time, before returning to bring him to the funeral.  I tried calling him, but it didn’t go through, so I sent him a message and he answered me.  He told me that he appreciated my message and that made me really happy.  He said he wasn’t able to take my call, but that I had made him happy.  And that’s important for me, knowing that I’m there for him.

What moment stands out from all those you spent with your friends?

Choosing just one moment is difficult, because we were always together, every day, morning, afternoon, night, kicking the ball around.  I would run home from school to drop off my things and run back out again to play football.  But what I liked the most was the first time I returned from Lisbon.  I returned for Christmas, after six months away.  It was very difficult for me, because it was my first six months away, and it took a lot out of me.  But when I got back, all six of them were waiting at my house for me.  I didn’t sleep at all during the four days I was back in Argentina.  We spent the entire time together, going to the island, playing football, having drinks, spending Christmas together.  It was… I will always remember this.  After six months away, it was the six of them waiting there for me, to give me a welcome back to the neighborhood hug.

You all have the same tattoo, no?  La banda de la Perdriel… Whose idea was it?  Who said, we’re not friends, we’re brothers and we have to show it?

This happened right before I left to go to Portugal.  We were spending the summer together and I asked them if they wanted to get tattoos to show that no matter how far apart physically we were, we would always have each other on our skin, in our blood, that no matter where we were, we were always going to be from La Perdriel.  I had barely gotten the words out when they said, “yes, let’s go.”  Four of us got it on the first day, and the other three the next day.  It’s something very nice, because when we’re together, joking around and laughing, someone always mentions, do you remember that time when we got the tattoos?  How crazy we were!  We were only 18 years old or so at that time, and some of us had to bring our fathers, because they had to sign a permission form for the tattoo parlor.  It was an experience.  But we’re happy with it because we all did it and because we know that no matter where we are, we belong to La Perdriel.

Were you the best player out of your group of friends?

There were some that had potential…

We’re going to have to speak with Zidane and Pardeza!

There were some who played very well, but as I said, it’s all down to luck.  I had the luck of having a club buy me when I was seven, I went there and I was able to triumph.  There are other people like my friends who played football until recently, but things didn’t turn out, and at the age of 22 or 23, no club wants you anymore, because you’re too old and they have to sign you to a contract.  And they have to start working in order to support themselves.

What are they doing now?

One is working at a sporting good store, since he likes football, another at a factory producing motorcycles, another works at a factory, sometimes he has work, other times he doesn’t, it’s complicated.  One works at a shop, another works with his father, and… who’s left… no, Diego also works at a factory.

You were very lucky to make it as a footballer, because everyone wants to become a footballer.  Is it true that Rosario Central purchased you from Torito for 40 balls?

Yes, more or less, around 30, 0r 35.

That’s impressive, no?  We’ll give you 30 balls and you give us the little kid who never stops running.  

Yes, it was during one day when we played Rosario Central on our field, in my neighborhood, and if we won, we would be the champions.  We won 2-0, and I scored a goal like the one I scored in the Olympics, but it was the opposite, because I scored it with the outside of my foot, and I was only seven years old.

I can’t believe it.

I kicked it and it went up… but anyway, that was one of the happiest days in my life, because that was when my career started.

Then you went on to Rosario Central, which was your beloved club, and where your idol, Kily González, played.

Yes, yes.  He was my idol because I always watched him play with the national team, he played the same position as me, and he played for Rosario Central.  I viewed him as a player with a fighting spirit, with strength, which was how I viewed myself, with the same abilities.  Thanks to God, and I’m still very grateful for this, I had the opportunity to play for one year with him at Rosario Central, and that was the best thing that could have happened in my life, playing next to my idol.  Having him say things like “¡Bien Angelito!” was great for me, and I will never forget it.

What do you always remember about Kily, about this year you spent together?  What moments are unforgettable?

When he scolded me… because we played with three players, with a winger on the left and me in front of him.  We had to cover the area but I didn’t do it, and so he had to do it.  And since he had too much to do, he told me, pendejo, you have to come back as well!  These are things that you don’t forget.  We had a good relationship, and I still talk with him.  I have a great relationship with him and I’m very happy that I was able to play with him and to have him as a friend as well.

You’re also a mischief maker.  How can you play for two teams at the same time? 

Well, you know what happened?

You were playing with your club and with your friends, until a referee figured it out.  What was that about?

I always played on Sundays, and my friends played for a neighborhood club, the Primero de Mayo.  They all played together, in the same category, as they were more or less the same age.  And one day, they told me, hey come play with us, just one game, one game!  I said no, what if they see me?  And they said, no, come on, let’s play.  So, we played.  I put on the shirt and everything, and in the first game, I played well, we won and everything went smoothly.  The next game, we were playing, and there was a person in the stands who knew me.  He began talking to the referee, and I was so scared, I wanted to run away.  But after that happened, the referee called me over and said that man had been confused, and that we could continue playing, and I was like, perfect.  So we continued playing.  When the ball went out of bounds, I asked to be substituted, I went off the field, and when my teammate entered, the ball went out the other side.  When everyone was looking over in that direction, I jumped over the fence and started running.  I was with another of my friends, who wasn’t playing because he was injured.  He had been waiting for me outside with a backpack, and we ran away.  After that day, I never played with them again.

These are the things you do for friends, no?

Yes.  I really wanted to play with them, but in reality I couldn’t, since I played somewhere else.  I was only 14, very young, and these are things you do when you’re young, the pranks you pull.  It was also an experience, because I never wanted to do that again.

Then came the jump to Europe.  You were beginning to make a name for yourself in Argentina, and there were teams interested in you, and you went to Europe.  You said you had a bad time in the beginning, because it was the first time that you were alone.

Yes, I had gone there only with my father; my mother and my sisters stayed in Argentina.  In the beginning, it was very hard for me because I saw my father crying because he missed my mother [awww!!!].  We had never been separated for so much time before.  In the beginning, it was very, very difficult for both of them.  And I wasn’t playing very much, which was bad because they had told me I would be playing, that I was going to start, and suddenly I was left off the list or sitting on the bench, things that happen in football, no?  It hurt me a lot, not for what was happening to me, but for my father, because I saw him suffer every night, being so far away from my mother.

You also learn from this, no?

Yes, you learn a lot.  A lot.  You learn from these things.

Did you have doubts?  Did you want to leave or continue fighting?

No, before I signed, I had told my father that I didn’t want him to work anymore, and that I wanted him to come with me, that if he didn’t come with me, I wouldn’t go.  So my father said, fine let’s all go, we’ll all be there to support you, but in the end, it was just my father.  But after some time, my mother and my sisters came.  I didn’t want them to lose any time in school, but my younger sister ended up losing three years.  I regret it now, because she’s still studying now, she hasn’t finished yet.  One of my sisters is studying to become an accountant, and I didn’t want to set her career back so that she could have her own life and I could have mine.

Later on, thanks to the support of your family, of your father, and the people who believed in you, you became a great player in Benfica.  People started talking about you.  And one day, someone told you, Real Madrid wants to sign you.

With humility, with hope, with all these things, one learns many things, learns from the things that happen in life.  That makes you stronger, no?  I had had a great year, though my family was far away, because I had Jorgelina with me, and things were going very well for me.  My family was content knowing that I had someone with me who would take care of me.  I was much happier, knowing that I had my now-wife with me supporting me and knowing that my family was content as well.  Things kept getting better and better for me and then the offer from Real Madrid came.

What did you feel when you signed your contract with Real Madrid?        

The truth is that until this moment, I was still in disbelief that I was going to play with Real Madrid.  My friends told me once in a while, do you realize where you’re playing?  I’m proud to play in the Bernabéu.  My wife told me that one of my friends, Nico, started crying when he saw the stadium and me playing there.  These are the type of things that fill you as a person.  My friends are proud of me.  That’s why I do everything I can, why I run so hard, why I make such an effort in each game.  It’s for my wife, my family, my friends, my neighbors, who watch each game, it’s for all of them.

Do you realize that the Bernabéu adores you for everything you do, because they appreciate those players who fight for this shirt?

Yes, one of the guys told me that each time I come out, the people applaud and chant my name.  It makes me very content, because it’s a sign of appreciation for the sacrifices you make, for what you do out on the field.  Although sometimes things don’t go well for you, it makes you want to run, to help, to stick your foot out, to work hard… these are the types of things that makes a person content and want to give everything they’ve got out there.  We know that people have worked hard to earn money for the tickets and to pay their Real Madrid socio dues.  So when they go to the stadium, they want to see the team with spirit, making an effort, and that’s why we have to do everything we can, to make them think that Real Madrid is doing everything they can.

Many people work hard so that they can go to the stadium to watch games, which to them is the best thing.  How do you see the team this year?

The team is much better than it was last year.  We were great last year in all ways, but this year, we grew even more as a team, because we had already spent one year together.  The new players adapted really well and very quickly.  When Fábio played, he played really well.  The team is very strong and it’s noticeable on the pitch that we’re united, that we don’t care who scores.  What’s important is helping each other out.  It’s something that we’ve all realized, and we know that this year, we can achieve many things.

Each time we do these interviews, we always ask about the atmosphere inside the locker room.  Everyone who’s been here has talked about the ambientazo.

Yes, as I said before, no one has problems with anyone else.  Everyone gets along well with everyone else.  The group is very good, and the same as last year, but stronger, with the players that have come this year.  No one ever had problems with anyone else.

In charge of all this is someone named José Mourinho.  For you, he’s the best coach you’ve ever had.

Yes, he is a coach that has taught me a lot.  He was the one who told me that he wanted me to come, and who made it possible for me to be here now.  I have to thank him for the opportunity he gave me.  That’s another reason why I try to give it my all out on the field during each game, because I want him to believe that I was worth it and to always think that.

What has Mourinho contributed to this team?

Everything.  I believe that he’s the type of person who treats everyone the same, whether they play or not, whether they count for him or not.  This is a very important thing to have in a coach, because those who don’t play always have low morale because they want to play, and he always keeps an eye on these players.  When I wasn’t playing, he was always there, and when I played against Betis, he told me, let’s go, cómete la cancha, all that, which are things that give one strength, because you know that even if you’re not playing, the coach has you in mind.  That’s very important.

The game against Málaga will be a partidazo.  What a team they have, no?

Yes, it will be a difficult game.  Málaga is doing quite well, and they have a good team.  If we continue along these lines, with the same intensity, the same strength, the same effort, things can turn out very well for us.

Some people took the míster‘s words on Málaga out of context, whether he would coach that team, and all that.  It’s clear that he and Real Madrid have the utmost respect for Málaga and for the rest of the teams.

No, there’s no need to pay attention to that, we have the same respect for Málaga, for the coach of Málaga, for the players, for those of Betis, for the coach of Betis, for all the players, for all the teams.  We’ll always have respect for them, just as they have for us.

Do you see the team at Cibeles?  It’s a bit early, but… you’ve already been in Cibeles, you know what it means to be there.  Do you dream about returning to Cibeles this season?

Yes.  Hopefully we’ll have the opportunity to return not only once, but twice or three times.  That would be great.  That’s not saying that the other teams won’t make an effort, but with the effort we’re making this year, what we’re doing this year, I believe that we deserve to be there.  As I said, there’s still a lot left to do but we’re going to give it everything we’ve got until the end to be able to bring this joy not only to ourselves and our families, but to all the people of Madrid.

Is your greatest moment in Real Madrid that Copa del Rey final?

Yes, I believe it was one of the… I’ve had good games, but this was one of my best games with Real Madrid.  I will never forget the cross and the cabezazo of Crís.  I have never yelled like that in my life, because I knew that it was my first Copa del Rey and it was something very beautiful for me.

Tell me what you were thinking when you gave the pass and started bouncing, I don’t know if you did that to give Cristiano…

… to give him more strength.  I always do that.  I give a cross and I do this movement to follow the ball and to make sure it doesn’t get intercepted.  When I kick the ball to the middle, I do this jump to help the other player jump up as well.  It was a golazo, he jumped up really well and it was a very important goal for Madrid.

[I love this!!!!]

Did you cry that night?  Have you ever cried due to football?

No, I’ve never cried, but I’ve gotten goosebumps and I’ve had my eyes fill up with tears after winning something.  That has happened to me.  No, I’m lying.  I did cry one time.  It was during the U-2o World Cup, when in the semifinal against Chile, I got injured.  I had gone into the tournament being one of those players that would only play if something strange happened, and I ended as a starter, playing four games and scoring three goals.  And missing out on the final due to injury was extremely tough and that day, I did cry.

You also get emotional over your people, your friends, your family and of course Jorgelina.  You mentioned her before as the person who’s by your side.  What has she contributed to your life?

A lot of love.  She’s given me a lot of love and a lot of affection.  She’s given me all of her so that I’ll be tranquil and happy, so that the two of us will be happy.  She’s the person I have by my side, who accompanies me wherever I go, who is always taking care of me, and although at times she nags at me to do certain things, she’s been with me in both the good and bad moments.

One month ago, I went back to my neighborhood, which is also a very humble neighborhood, with humble people, and there’s a football field.  There was a kid playing there, he scored a goal, and he did this with his hands.  The heart of Ángel di María.  This is the heart that you dedicate to her each time you score a goal.

Yes, I started dedicating this to her in Portugal, because she was the person who was with me, who always supported me when things weren’t going well, who gave me the strength to continue moving forward.  The least I could do each time I scored a goal was dedicate it to her so that she would know that I was always thinking about her.

You didn’t have a honeymoon.  You got married, but didn’t have a honeymoon.  How is that possible?

It was the míster’s fault, not mine!  We had planned to get to the final of the Copa América, but we were knocked out earlier.  The míster actually gave me many vacation days, more than Pipa got, even though we had started on the same day.  That made it possible for me to get married and travel to join the team right after.  I thank him for that.  The honeymoon will be this year, without a doubt.  If not, she’ll kill me.

We’re wrapping things up now, and now we have to answer a few of the questions from hundreds we received from the fans, via the web site and our Facebook.  

Yes, yes, yes, I always look at those.

We’ve already answered some of the questions in this interview, but there are others.  For example, this one says, “hello Di María.  I’m writing to you from New York.  My question is what has been your favorite goal as a Real Madrid player?”

My favorite goal was the header [against Depor last season], because it was my first header in the four years I’ve played football at this level.

Your first header in your entire career?

Yes, the first one I remember.  It’s definitely my first header in the first division.

This question asks, were you a good student?

No, I was a horrible student.

What do you do to cheer yourself up on sad days, since you have to be away from your family for such long periods of time?

I get a lot of support from my wife, she helps me to feel good and if I need to cry, she’s there for me.  That’s what I do.

We always end these interviews in a special way, which is with your signature on this desk as a souvenir for the people of RMTV.  Many people work hard to make this interview a success.  In this way, el madridismo can get to know the real Ángel di María a bit better, his dreams, his fears, the values of the Real Madrid players.  It also allows people to get to know their idols better, there are many children with photos of Ángel di María in their rooms.  You’re a footballer who came to Real Madrid from a humble background, who came without making any noise, and who is slowly winning the Santiago Bernabéu and Real Madrid fans over.  And as this song, “Color Esperanza” by Diego Torres says, the hope of all the Real Madrid supporters, of all the people watching this interview, is that you achieve many more things here, because you deserve it and because I’m sure that due to your personality, the passion you bring to the games, you’ll become a great player in the history of Real Madrid.  

Thank you very much, thank you to RMTV for this interview.  It was a great experience, and I also thank you, Óscar.

Thank you very much.

Note: there are probably a few mistakes here and there, because Ángel uses some typical Argentine phrases and words, which I’m not used to.

P.S. Real… Coentrão is coming, hopefully soon (but not too soon due to the puente, though we are gaining an hour early Sunday morning), because some help had to go on before I could translate that one.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. Maddi permalink
    October 29, 2011 20:08

    What a beautiful interview! It was so sweet!
    Haha when I heard that they were going to interview Coentrao I thought, “but he doesn’t even speak Spanish yet!” But his Portuñol is adorable! I cracked up when he kept saying things like, “Acho que…” “Depois” and “Meu”. So cute!

  2. Pammie permalink
    October 29, 2011 20:35

    “The honeymoon will be this year, without a doubt. If not, she’ll kill me.” haha, I think we know who’s wearing the trousers in their house 😀

    what a great personal interview, I loved the parts about his friends and how he played for two teams (lmao imagining him jumping over the wall and flee xD) and how dedicated he is to his family, who made it all possible. 8 years ago he helped his dad at he coal yard and now he’s wearing diamonds in his ears.

    Thanks so much for the translation, you’re a star!

  3. nabela permalink
    October 30, 2011 02:51

    wow, thank you una for that very lovely interview you are awesome.

  4. Jenny permalink
    October 30, 2011 06:25

    What a gorgeous interview.

    This “Real Interview” ploy is working – I love the players more than ever.

  5. Sarah, Madrid permalink
    October 30, 2011 12:47

    I forget about this interview!!, oh this one is so beautiful!, I always said when Di Maria first signed that he is kind of players that we need, he will give it his all because he know he needs to prove it!.

    His family the way he speaks about his family, it so nice to hear about how much he admire them, I love this it there was alot of awww moment.

  6. manie permalink
    October 30, 2011 16:57

    What a great interview! I love his attitude towards the game and his family.

  7. Jon permalink
    October 30, 2011 20:31

    Thank you. SO MUCH. We really appreciate your hard work.

  8. Keena permalink
    October 31, 2011 13:49

    Thanks for translating this, Una!

    Wow, I never really liked him before, but this interview definitely made me change my mind! He talks so sweet about everything, his friends and family and that part about madridistas, too!

  9. bokunotameni permalink
    February 15, 2012 18:06

    Thank for your translating, I know Di Maria more than before.
    He’s really a sweet guy and deserve to be loved by so much fans.

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