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Esteban Granero in London

October 31, 2012

Marca recently interviewed everyone’s favorite pirate, Esteban Granero (so far, it hasn’t been published on the web site) and he had some wonderful things to say about his beloved club and his beloved idol (hint: his initials are X.A.).  Here are my favorite parts.

How are you [in English]?

(Laughs) Very good, thanks [in English].

How are you doing with speaking English?

I came in at a good level and now I believe I have improved a bit, especially my footballing vocabulary.  I can do interviews in English and all that, so good.

Do you know how to say “pirate”?

Yes.  I’ve done everything without a translator and everything has gone well for me.

How is your life in London?

Very good.  I’ve been here for two months and I’m very content on the personal level, and also with my professional situation.  At the moment, the results aren’t the best, but they will be because there’s a good foundation.  I believe it will be a great season.

Are you feeling like a footballer again?

I’ve always felt like a footballer, but when one doesn’t have much confidence in his possibilities, it’s necessary to test oneself constantly, and the way to do that is on the field.  Here, I play more and I needed that.  It’s a new project, very exciting, and with all the incentives that I needed: it’s a club that wants to grow, it has confidence in me, it’s a spectacular league and a great city  for me to grow in all sorts of ways.

Does your new look have anything to do with this change?

You can’t separate the professional side from the personal side, as everything is connected.  They might have something to do with each other, taking into account that I’ve gone from living on the second floor of a skyscraper to living in the attic of a house.  Facing this challenge fills you with energy, and it’s a challenge for me because I didn’t have to leave Madrid, which for me is the best club in the world.  In fact, I could have stayed there for many years if I had wanted to.  But I changed my life because I need challenges, and that was important for me because I am confident that it’s going to make me a better footballer and person.  That’s why I needed to face up to it.

What do your teammates call you, do you have a nickname?

They normally call me by my name, Esteban, but also sometimes they call me Pirata [or Pirate, I’m not sure].  They already know how I got that nickname.  They call me Esteban or Pirata more than Granero.

How come you didn’t do your patented goal celebration for your first goal in the Premier League?

Because we were losing and it wasn’t the moment to celebrate it.  I believe I will continue the tradition, although you never know.  I might end up doing the cockroach (laughs).

Was it a mixture of ambition, craziness and need that made you leave Madrid?

Ambition for sure, because you’re leaving the best place in the world to make a life for yourself, and you’re looking more for something on the inside than on the outside, because in Madrid you have everything you need for the outside.  But I look at myself in the mirror and I want to be honest with myself and knowing myself, I know what I need, and that’s the ambition that you referred to.  Craziness?  For me, it would have been crazier to remain in the situation that I was in, but if you’re referring to craziness in the sense that I was risking everything to come here, then yes.  But life is like this, you don’t play football for very long and I like to play.  I like the field, the ball, and football is my life.  I’ll go anywhere in search of that.  For me, it’s not a risk, and if it is, I don’t care.

Do you regret not having left before?

No.  I left in the moment I had to leave.  I hung on for as long as I could.  If I didn’t leave before, it was because I was playing and because doing that in Madrid has been my dream since I was a boy and I had to achieve it.  If I had left before, I would have been fleeing, but now it isn’t like that.

Is your “white” adventure over, or will it continue?

Madrid will always be there, I can’t forget it when it’s been my team ever since I can remember.  I received my first kit when I was four years old, I’ve always gone to the stadium to watch games and I played there.  Now I’m no longer there, but I feel as close as when I was a player.

It’s a part of my life and always will be.  I don’t know if I’ll play with Madrid again, but that’s not important.  What is important is that I’ll always be with the team spiritually because it’s a part of me.

What did Mou tell you when you told him you were leaving?

I’ve always had positive talks with him.  My memories of these conversations are good.  He always put my well-being above all other things, which is something I’m grateful for.  With regards to our last talk, I remember that he didn’t want me to leave, but he understood.  He wished me the best, he gave me advice and he helped me with my decisions.  I remember him with a lot of affection.  He told me I was going to be happy.  His point of view is important.  I don’t speak often with him now because he’s very busy (laughs) and I don’t want to bother him, but we do have a good relationship and we will continue having one.  We exchange messages sometimes and I have a lot of affection for him.  He taught me a lot, and I wish him the best.  He’s a great coach and he was great with me.

You wear the “14” for Xabi.  What advice has he given you about English football?

I also wear it for Guti.  The former teammate that I speak to the most is Xabi.  My relationship with him was great.  He was one of my idols and he became a teammate.  He continued to be my idol as a teammate, for the way he treated me.  And that’s not easy, because many times when you get to know someone you admire, you end up learning things that ruin that image for you.  But that hasn’t happened with Xabi.  Xabi has great memories of the Premier League and he also told me that it would be good for me.  His words are important for me.  He told me that the football suited me and he was right.

What would you like to tell the madridistas?

I’m just one more of them now.  Before, I was at another level in the club, now I’m like all of them.  I would like to thank them for their affection, which has been impressive from the first day to the last.  I will continue supporting Madrid.  Ah!  And I hope they continue supporting the players from the cantera.  They had a special affection for me because I came from the cantera, and I believe that’s fair.

I miss Esteban so much!

On the subject of the cantera, it would be much easier for us fans to continue supporting the canteranos if there were actually any of them on the first team that get regular playing time or even a start once in a while (Iker doesn’t count because he has passed beyond that level).  Although 14 canteranos have debuted with Mou in official games, which he likes to constantly remind us of, only three have played more than three games.  One of them is Morata, who has played a grand total of 50 minutes in five games.  That averages to 10 minutes per game.  The majority of the minutes given to the canteranos were during garbage time of unimportant games, of course.

This article from Hugo Cerezo (from Marca, but bear with me) sums up the other things I felt after hearing Mou.  It reads: José Mourinho spoke about contradictions in the formation of the canteranos during the press conference.  A contradiction is promoting a centerback to the first team to play as a fullback, and then when the three pure fullbacks on the first team get injured, use a midfielder to cover that position.  A contradiction is promoting Nacho to the first team and after more than two months of competition, not allow him to play one single minute.  A contradiction is insinuating that Nacho should be a rightback with Castilla because his place on the first team is as a fullback, and then signing an unknown rightback to replace Carvajal.  If Nacho is going to be a fullback now, what is Toril supposed to do with Fabinho and the 1.5 million the club paid for him?  A contradiction is saying Castilla’s system hurts the players when it’s known that Toril asked for a pure “9” to replace Joselu and cover Morata’s promotion, which he was denied.  That’s why he has to play with a “false 9.”  When Mourinho allows Morata to play with Castilla, then Castilla plays like the first team.  A contradiction is saying publicly that one respects the autonomy of Toril, and then to immediately follow up by saying that he should decide whether he wants to help the first team or fight for fifth place in the second division.  It’s a fact that Mourinho has no confidence in the cantera.  But that’s his decision, for good or for bad.  However, insinuating that the responsibility lies with Castilla, which is enjoying one of the best moments in its history, is contradictory.

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20 Comments leave one →
  1. October 31, 2012 14:21

    Reblogged this on teresamunoz91 and commented:
    Pirata 😥

  2. andi permalink
    October 31, 2012 14:29

    I have just discovered this blog and im obsessed with it!
    Thank You UM!

  3. October 31, 2012 14:33

    I really like Granero’s boots.

  4. October 31, 2012 16:18

    I miss Esteban weared Real Madrid’s jersey >.<

  5. October 31, 2012 19:03

    I have missed your posts more than I realised. I can’t tell you how happy I get when I see that you have posted.

    I miss Esteban and love him. But, why on earth did he cut his hair?!!!

    I’m actually watching QPR these days thanks to a certain player. Hope he does really well and comes back to us.

  6. camille permalink
    October 31, 2012 21:27

    I will read the actual interview, thanks for the translation, but omg his hairrrrrrrr, why????? His hair was so beautiful.

  7. Flora permalink
    November 1, 2012 00:36

    omg I miss el Pirata so bad D:

  8. anna permalink
    November 1, 2012 02:08

    oh all these problems with castilla make my head hurt

  9. Sara permalink
    November 1, 2012 08:53

    It´t so nice to hear that he enjoys his new life i London, and I think it´s even better that he still feels so close to “los blancos” =) Many thanks for translating this interview for us Una!

    I must ask you though Una, are the English speaking skills generally very low in Spain? Even among young people? I just can´t help thinking that the questions about his English knowledge are really odd and maybe even a bit downgrading, but that might just be me being biased… (living in Sweden, where you pretty much take for granted that everybody under the age of 50 can handle the English language…). Isn´t English a mandotory subject in school in Spain?

    I´m sorry for my off topic questions, but the fact that the journalist thought it was good idea to ask an intelligent and successful 27 year old football player how he handles the English language… it seems strange to me and makes me curios. I do know that you´ve made fun of Ikers rather limited English knowledge (and his google translates…) a few times, but up to now I´ve thought that´s just Iker being adorably goofy… It never occurred to me that it might actually be considered an “achivement” among Spaniards if someone actually speaks good English.

    Thanks again for your awsome blog Una! We love having you back, and you should really know how much madridistas all over the world appreciate you.

    • unamadridista permalink*
      November 6, 2012 13:07

      A lot of people learn English, but not all of them can actually speak it! The majority of the people I know who speak it well studied abroad, such as Erasmus.

      As for Iker, not many footballers from his generation or older learned English, unless they were going to be playing abroad.

  10. November 1, 2012 14:51

    What a class act he is. He is going to be missed. How does he know how to speak English? Did he take classes before or what?

  11. Arshjot permalink
    November 1, 2012 17:23

    You are awesome Una, I found out that you are back just now. Following Real Madrid was never the same without you.

  12. Pammie permalink
    November 1, 2012 18:13

    Thanks for the translation! It confirmed some of my theories about his decision to leave. He wears the #14 for Guti and Xabi :’)

  13. Ubi permalink
    November 1, 2012 23:48

    I thought denis is a 9?

  14. Dale permalink
    November 2, 2012 00:35

    I miss esteban too!!! I have such mixed emotions reading this. I would be lying if I said I was happy when he went to QPR but I have a lot of respect for him in making the move. So many players would be quite content to sit on the bench and collect a salary but then he is not the “typical” footballer. I really hope – as Xabi says – that the premier league is good for him! London is a wonderful city As a Fulham fan I cannot bring myself to cheer for QPR but I wish him the best!

  15. MissLadya permalink
    November 2, 2012 22:19

    What the–? God, we let that boy out of our sights for a minute and he’s gone and chopped off his hair! What’s this new anti-long-hair sentiment going around among footballers. Seems highly contagious. If Marcelo rejoins the squad next year without his nappy fro I will be most displeased! 😡

  16. November 5, 2012 13:40

    I really miss him! So I do believe that he will come back to Spain one day!

    But for now, I wish him all the luck and I am sure he would enjoy the stay in England, it suits him somehow, even though I will miss him in RM!

    Imagine all the hipsters’ concerts he could attend;-)

    He is following the English adventure, just like his Master, the Classy Xabi Alonso. It’s gonna be good!

    The other topics: canteranos. I have a problem with analysing this situation, I do not know what to think exactly. I understand that with the team packed with stars like now, it is hard to debut the younger guys, not yet so known. For God’s sake, this is the team that has Kaka on the bench, so I get why not play the younger, not so known players, the bench is just too short. On the other hand – this is the best time – the amount of experienced players should make the debuting comfortable -you can always count that if the young one screws up, the older guys will fix it on the pitch;-)

    The logical explanation, although quite hurtful, is that Mou may not see the great potential in the cantenaros, like he does not see the future shiny players. That would be sad and I would not like to believe that.

    I don’t know what to think exactly, so I will stop for now.

    Cheers!

  17. rojafan permalink
    November 5, 2012 18:23

    He really does give the best interviews, doesn’t he? My heart breaks every time I see a QPR result. He deserves so much more!

  18. November 6, 2012 05:10

    i think the move is a great thing for him, though it still breaks my heart. london’s a great city, especially given his interests, and to have his bestie there, too, is going to be all kinds of fun for him. it’s too bad QPR isn’t doing better, but it’s great that he’s getting so much playing time.

    i just wish he didn’t cut his hair! no bueno!

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