It feels good to win 3 points. The cold British winter has arrived and it feels cosier if we add 3 points onto 3 points. If we want to get out of the bottom we need them. If only we could win 2 or 3 games in a row, staying in the Championship wouldn’t be an impossibility. I imagine that, for our coach to beat the team he was sacked from, was amazing. Before the game, I read that for him the game against Birmingham was just another game. We all say that but if you have played football you know that playing against your former team is always special, even more if you were made to leave that team. I am happy he was able to reaffirm himself with a win as we really needed it.
Wining has always had a calming effect despite the fact that, on a personal level, my day was one to forget. It was very cold when I left home and the car, that is normally ok, didn’t want to warm up. I stopped to put some petrol in and I realised there was a piece of the car missing, I saw it lying 100 metres away so you can picture me running, slowly so I don’t slip down, against the wind in the freezing cold, with a frozen bogie coming out of my nose… ridiculous indeed! I looked like a penguin. I arrived at the Blackpool ground and, in a silly manoeuvre, I scratched my car. As I parked I was thinking to myself that it was really not my day. The coach gives the starting 11 and I start on the bench again. I started to warm up and the pitch was horrendous but the ball was really fast, perfect for my game. I was thinking, if we don’t win I’ll go home and go to bed. I didn’t play a single minute but the important thing is that we won!
This week has been similar to the previous ones. Not having a game during the week allows you to work better and harder. I mentioned before that we had a game set for Tuesday, and we had it although it only lasted 18 minutes. The truth is the opposition were not too good. With all due respects, to play against young players of a poor standard is not a challenging test. The incident occurred when I took a very closed corner and the goalie tackled his own defender and knocked him out. It’s good it wasn’t too serious because it took 45 minutes for the ambulance to arrive. So the game didn’t last too long. I felt bad because I played again with my beloved Edu and Joan Oriol. I feel bad for them because they don’t fit in with the coach plans. It’s hard to see your colleagues having a rough time especially if those who are not playing are your friends.
Looking back and thinking about everything that has happened to me in my career I think I have been lucky, because I managed to get to where I am now (nowhere some might think) without having to step on anybody. Professional sport is very competitive, just think about the amount of professional players out there… You don’t know how many times someone has tried to step on me, from the veteran who doesn’t want to lose his place in the team and makes your life hell, to the team mate who sees you as a direct competitor and talks bad about you behind your back. I have never done that, I wouldn’t be able to do it. Although to be honest, I think that to make it all the way your principles have to be as low as the actual temperature, and you have to be really strong mentally. If you let somebody steal your place in life it is really hard to claim it back. Some people have that strong mentality from a very young age, others like me, get it later on in life. I was watching a documentary about Barça’s first team when Messi got here. He was in the under 13s and the interviews with the players who were with Messi at that time were devastating. These kids were suffering from migraines because they couldn’t sleep at night due to the nerves of having to go training the day after and pass yet another test. And they were only 12 or 13 years old! Once out of there, the migraine was completely gone and so were the nerves.
I wonder if I would do the same if I had to start again. I want to believe so because I love this game. But sincerely I am not sure whether I would like my son to go through this. You start playing to have a good time and it should always be like that. But I went through all those nerves when I was 12 at Espanyol and is easy to give up. I was lucky to go to Damm team and I met really nice people there who made me rediscover the faith I had lost in myself.
Anyway, this world is not easy although it might look like it. Now I am lucky enough to go to training with a smile on my face and with the aim to have a good time, although with the responsibility of having to feed a family of four. In life you meet lots of people, my father used to say, never trust the first person who approaches you. I am not that radical, I always give everybody a chance. But it is true that lots of people will try to make you doubt yourself. The secret is to always trust yourself. It is easier said than done but it is what I always try to do. Whether it is at the office or when 30,000 people boo you for missing an easy goal.
By the way, you know I am Cubero’s spokesperson. He is still in Costa Rica, recovering from his ankle injury. He should be available to play before Christmas… if he recovers psychologically from having lost his barber again. He is moving to Edinburgh! I haven’t given him the news because he is a very sensitive lad.
Wrap yourself up as the cold days are approaching. We will keep working so the winter is not as hard for our fans.
Translated by Alfons Vinent.