The day before the end of the year, the fog spread through the Aragonese capital during the first hours of the morning. Moments later, however, the Zaragoza went to the training camp of the sports city and the cold and haze gave way to the sun as if it were an allegory, because since the arrival Víctor Fernández (Zaragoza, 58 years) for the third time to the bench of La Romareda everything seems of another color, more luminous and optimistic.
Question. In the last decade he had three rounds on the benches and went to direct the quarry of Madrid. Did he take it for granted that he was not going to train anymore?
Answer. The vocation and the worm are never lost. In the quarry of Madrid I was delighted and spent two fantastic years with a different football that excited me. It was another stage, perhaps of maturity, because he had already enjoyed and suffered many matches. So I was not worth anything to return to the benches and I would only move for something that would excite me. What I did not expect was to return to Zaragoza.
P. At home they did not tell him why he got tangled up?
R. No no. My wife told me to take me for what my heart dictates. He did not give me any trouble. Although I did have many friends who called me crazy and asked me to think with my head. But it is my decision and I am going with all the consequences because I have hope and energy.
P. Does it bother you to be criticized for your age, when you are the same years as Löw, Sarri, Benítez, Ancelotti …?
"I was not worth anything, but I did not expect to return to Zaragoza"
R. There is a law in football that says that when you move away from the circuit, it seems that you are missing or that it is no longer interesting, regardless of age and the matches you have directed. But one has a permanent obligation to watch football and I can say that in this time I have seen everything and more. Maybe as an amateur and not as a professional who analyzes and crumbles, but forced me to keep up with methodological issues and new ideas.
P. And in what has football evolved in this decade?
R. He has gone towards figures, numbers, statistics and computers in exchange for abandoning a bit of the essence of the game. As in the technical bodies; Now, it would be inconceivable not to be seven or eight because there is more information, data, figures. And that has kept us from going deeper into the game, which is what is seen and excited.
P. Did you always seek to excite?
R. Forever. The Zaragoza of the Recopa I played with a 4-3-3, which at that time was unusual. Maybe it was because I was very young and had more spirit of adventure and made risky decisions. But he did it because he felt them. Perhaps with age, calm, security and conservation take over.
P. Well, your soccer proposal has not changed much, right?
R. Not much… [RÍE]. It is that I do it from conviction. I have the right players for it, to defend the idea. And also because it was a necessary and obligatory discourse, that people needed to listen to. Be daring, do not be afraid to fail and make mistakes, get creative freedom … If you feel it, the player captures it right away. We must want to be protagonists, ambitious and always give the feeling that we want to win.
P. And everything does without charge?
R. Yes. Well, no. You have to be honest. I come with social security, so I'm not an illegal worker, huh? But I have not negotiated anything and I also want to clarify that there are no agreements as they say there. What if you bonuses for salvation, that will give me more years … Nothing at all. I do it because I want to reciprocate, and I will not succeed, to what Zaragoza has given me.
P. With the economic debt they have, would the club disappear if they descend?
R. I do not think about it because it is something that will not happen. I'm sure.
P. Do you see the light at the end of the tunnel?
R. We have a very long journey, very hard and full of signs of disappointment, moodiness and melancholy for times past. The solution is to ascend as soon as possible, but it must respond to a great plan in which social, political and strategic components are involved at a sporting level. Even with changes in LaLiga. They can not treat us like the others if we are the most seen in Segunda by far and also that many in Primera; it is something that is not matched by the distribution of television rights.
"Football has gone to the numbers in exchange for losing a bit of essence"
P. Is this situation reached when a leader wants to turn football into a business like former president Agapito Iglesias did?
R. Soccer is a sport that is a spectacle and that over time has become a business. Now it prevails over the game, over the social component. And when that happens you have many options to fail. For me the business in football is to have the best players because with that you get the rest.
P. And are you worried that you do not follow this directive?
R. Everything worries. But only the team occupies me. I have enough with that. I focus on regaining the confidence of the player to get away from the dangerous area. We have to clear our heads to be able to function.
P. What wardrobe has been found?
R. Then I came across a dejected team, with a lot of pain and without confidence, that has had three coaches in a short time. But also to receptive and eager young people, in addition to some captains with desire to help and add.
P. This was expressed in the victory against Extremadura, right?
R. Of course. Although I was wrong in the press conference before the game because I had very good feelings and I was too transparent. The group had assimilated the message and understood the plan, but did not know how it would compete. But in the end it worked and it was won, but what I am most proud of is how it was done: with courage and intention.
P. And that the half part were losing.
R. That was the key. I told them: "You are facing a maximum exercise of faith because we are losing playing well. We can not doubt or get out of the way. We are crossing the river and we can not doubt. " They responded very well.
P. The objective is permanence?
R. We can not think of another. It is a threat so latent and real … It will be long and expensive, but we will come out of the well.