The exporter and coach Julen Lopetegui (Asteasu, Gipúzkoa, 52 years old) He stroked the dream of going to a World Cup with one of the favorite selections, and fulfilled that of train Real Madrid, but he woke up 48 hours after the debut of La Roja in Moscow dismissed, and Florentino Pérez stopped him at 14 games. Now he makes a blur and has a new account with Sevilla. "He is a coach who needs to succeed," said the club's sports director, Monchi, when communicating his signing.
Question. His father, uncle and grandfather were stone lifters. His must be one of the few parents who does not dream of a soccer son.
Answer. I was a little black sheep of the family. I practiced the Basque ball a lot and was able to be professional like my brother, but from the beginning I took the path of football. At that time the stone uprising had a lot of pull in the villages and they lived on it.
P. And who has more trophies at home? Your father or you?
R. My father is 88 years old and has a very beautiful history. I have grown up surrounded by my father's glasses. My mother made an area of memories of the sport of my father, my brother and some of mine.
P. It has eight Basque surnames.
R. Lopetegui, Agote, Aranguren, Arteaga, Eizmendi, Kalparsoro, Usabiaga and Ugartemendia.
P. And it's over in Seville, like in the movie. How was the adaptation?
R. Well as in the movie, everything ends well. They have welcomed us with a lot of love. Now we have to try to give it back with good game and results.
P. Have you already searched for Monchi cuadrilla in Seville? He has made a very strong bet for you.
R. He is responsible for us being here. It has not given me time to have a crew, but we are good to eat and I already know two or three nice restaurants in Seville. Some tinker we will do.
P. Does the vocational goalkeeper exist or does he always forget to take the ball as a child?
R. I was never a vocational goalkeeper. As children, everyone wants to be forward. In my town there was no federated team and when I started studying in San Sebastián, with 12 years, I had the opportunity to get a card. Goalkeeper? As a goalkeeper. And I was learning the trade. I had the restlessness of training before I stopped playing.
P. As a player, he signed for Madrid and Barça. He won a league with Real playing 90 minutes in two seasons and a cup with the Catalans without having played. In Lightning, 10 games. As a coach, he won two Europeans with the U19 and U21, was season and a half in Porto; 20 matches at the helm of La Roja and 14 as Mister of the European champion. Have you had very bad luck or very good?
R. Having the possibility of being 18 years professional footballer is something I would never have imagined. As a coach, I have been fortunate to train important teams. Now I have a fantastic challenge with a historical team like Sevilla, in a big city with a great hobby. There are moments of more joy, less; more frustrating, and less, but everything that happened in my career is positive. And the best is yet to come.
P. Is it superstitious? Do you have any ritual before the game?
R. I would tell you no and my wife would laugh. I surely have hobbies that I am not aware of.
P. Do you consider yourself a badge?
R. I am very lucky in my profession and in my personal life. It is true that the lottery has never touched me …
P. Do you regret anything?
R. It is a useless exercise. I have always tried to take each step honestly and courageously. If we pull the newspaper archive, each one has its history, I assume it with all the consequences.
P. Do you get along with your newspaper library?
R. Yes. Because my decisions have always been well intentioned. I am very calm.
P. Are ex-soccer players better coaches or does it happen like doctors, who say they are the worst patients?
R. Nothing assures you anything. Having been a player you know what happens in a locker room, what a player can feel, euphoria, frustration or anxiety, but like all professions it depends on day to day, work and results.
P. Happiness, like sports racing, is also shorter in football?
R. Happiness in football is very ephemeral, it is having dinner at ease after a game before you start worrying about the next one.
P. What is more difficult to manage: injuries or expectations?
R. The injuries are not controlled by you. The expectations – those of the fans, those of the player, those of the coach, those of the president – make football so great. They are part of the illusion. Another thing is that they are illusory.
P. Sometimes players have been taken ahead of them, like Bojan whom they called the new Messi.
R. There are comparisons that do a lot of damage and are a slab for the player. It seems that you have to put labels quickly and there is very little patience. There are the agents, the economic power, the teams … And you have to be careful, let the players finish their training cycle.
P. In football, unlike other elite sports, there are hardly any psychologists. Why?
R. There is more and more. The players themselves demand it. What happens is that they are sued in bad times and perhaps they should be implemented from the beginning.
P. Do you have a feeling of last chance now in Seville? Want to prove something?
R. Coaches always have to get the most out of the team.
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