Sat. Feb 22nd, 2020

“It’s been a complicated year”

Sergio Llull (15-11-1987, Mahón) has had injuries, age and fatherhood changed. The documentary «Llull. Being me again ”in which he recounts the process of recovery of the anterior cruciate ligament rupture of the right knee has been inspiring for many people with similar injuries. A video of a colleague from the Sports section of LA RAZÓN –Francisco Martínez– in which he thanks him for having inspired the Madrid player before inspiring the talk. The base will again be the father of another girl in July and arrives at the Cup in a complicated season, as he confesses. Of course, the last time the tournament was played in Malaga ended with him scoring the decisive basket from a corner and with his team raising the champion trophy. The MVP of that edition was a Nikola Mirotic who now wears Barca.

–How many times have you seen that shot of the 2014 final?

– (Smiles) It’s unforgettable, unforgettable. That last shot was an incredible moment, it was a moment of absolute happiness. El Chacho left me alone in the corner and I did the easy thing. Because of the importance it had and the moment it arrived, it could be my most important basket with Madrid. Let’s see if we can repeat.

– When the recovery of the serious injury suffered in the summer of 2017 began and they propose to make a documentary, did you think it would be a reference for people suffering from a similar problem?

–You don’t think about it, but it’s something that fills you with pride. Knowing that you have somehow helped people is very good. People who have had a major injury and who watch that documentary and write to you thanking you or send you a video like your partner’s is exciting. It is a job that was done with a lot of love from the people of Real Madrid Television, they spent many hours, it was nice and teaches a lot of what is suffered and how they recover that type of injury.

– Does the irregularity of the team in recent weeks make them more motivated to the Cup?

– We are looking forward to it and with great enthusiasm because there is no use here as good or bad as you could have done in the previous weeks. It starts from scratch and does not count what has happened.

– And changes the way in which the competition is faced knowing that Barça arrives before the final, which appears in a hypothetical semifinal?

– Not because for the Cup there is no plan. The only plan is to worry about what you get in the first game and for us is the Bilbao Basket. They have a great team and they already beat us in Miribilla in the first round.

– Do you remember in the locker room the last two finals – resolved with controversy in favor of Barça -?

– No, nothing has been said. They escaped us by small details and there is no need to go any further. It is the past.

–Define how your season is going so far …

– It is a complicated season without a doubt due to the muscular lesion that lengthened – 51 days off. That makes you lose the rhythm of competition and at this point then it is difficult to catch it again because the calendar is very demanding. The World Cup, the Euroleague with more teams, more and more weeks with three games, there are more and more injuries like the one that has touched me this year, but hey, it’s more work to be able to return as soon as possible. I am calm, I am working well and I have the confidence of the people that I have to have it … the confidence of the coach, my teammates and the club so I will continue working to see my best version again.

–With this recent injury did the ghosts of the previous one return or had nothing to do with it?

– It is different, it is not comparable to be a month or a month and a half to be nine months off. Whenever you are injured, the important thing is to put in dedication and effort to heal as soon as possible and try to return with the team in good shape.

– What taught you those almost nine months off?

– Above all I matured a little. On the sports level I have tried to increase my technical and tactical repertoire. And on the personal level there was a change in terms of food and in some habits so that the body is one hundred percent. It is not that he ate something different or changed the regime. It’s about taking care of food and in my case sometimes I drank too much sugar. It is not removing anything from my diet, it is going more carefully. Before I turned 30, I based my game a lot on my physique, I knew they couldn’t stop me, and now we have to adapt to the new situation.

–The rehabilitation documentary was entitled «Llull. Be me again ». Has it been you again?

-Yes, because I have felt like a basketball player, which was paramount for me. There is a change in the style of play because that is also the law of life, but that is achieved with work and effort. It is no longer just for the issue of injuries. As you turn years you cannot assert yourself only from your physique. You have to add new weapons and maybe not being as fast as before, being somewhat slower, it also gives results.

–Even though it is still far from its best level. How do you take criticism?

– Whenever they come from respect they are fine. It’s about helping you improve, making you a better player. Many of the criticisms I make to myself before reading them anywhere else or on social networks. When I finish a game I know what I have done well, what I have done wrong and what I have to improve. I am calm, I am working well and the good run will come.

– What is the current Llull better than three or four years ago?

– I’m still no better than two or three years ago, but there are some things like I’m able to read the games better. That gives you the seniority, to take many years in the club, although if I compare myself with Felipe I am almost a junior.

– The recent statement of Pablo Laso called attention to the fact that he had many afternoons of glory in Madrid …

– That is appreciated because it is being a complicated year as I said before. We have known each other a long time and that vote of confidence is appreciated.

– The prolonged recovery time, made him establish new ties with other team members with whom he did not previously have such an intense relationship?

– There are many people here that make it easy for you to only worry about playing basketball. Doctors, physicists, delegate, second coaches, press people … they are all very good at theirs and are always there helping out.

–Do you remember your ACB debut? It was precisely with his rival in Cup quarters …

– Yes it was with Manresa in the old pavilion of La Casilla in Bilbao and I remember being very nervous in the warming wheel. I remember cheering from the bench and my first basket, which was not a basket because they made me an illegal plug. Of course, we lost a lot.


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