Interviews

SERGIO: ?THE TRANSITION IS NOT A SIMPLE EXCUSE?

13 Oct 2008
Sergio had a sincere conversation with Mercedes Cernadas, a reporter from newspaper La Opini??n A Coru?a. The Catalan midfielder pointed out that he would love to continue at Depor after the end of his contract, and that money won’t be a problem for it. Sergio also assured that it is not true that he had a discussion with Lotina while he analysed other issues like the rotations and the case with Valer??n.

Q: Deportivo is back in Europe. Do you feel that it has already finished its journey through the desert?
-No. I have the feeling that we are fulfilling our duties and with the famous transition of which is spoken for some time. Step by step, the team is gaining more things and fulfilling the times. That demonstrates that the work is being done well, and that the transition is not just mere words, nor is a justification for the times in which we were wrong. The team and the institution are beginning to make things right again, not because they were doing the wrong things before, but because we spent a downturn and we weren’t mad for it. We were calm, with a solid foundation. Little by little we are reaching the goals, which is what we wanted. That means the transition was not a simple excuse.

Q: So, can we talk of a new phase?
No, no. We are talking about the start of something, and hopefully it will be a new stage. In football you can not talk very loud, because at the minimum thing you do, there's always someone shouting your mouth. We're not consolidated yet, but this is a beginning and all beginnings are good and beautiful.

Q: Is a utopia to be competing at the same level in the three tournaments?
A: Yes, it is complicated, because any rival requires a very great effort, in la liga, in Europe, in the Cup. Currently, the physical aspect is fundamental, and each day this necessity is bigger. It's going to be difficult, but we are professionals and our mission is to try to maintain the same level in all tournaments, or at least that the bad matches will be the least bad possible. Each year a player has eight or ten bad games. The merit is that of those ten, you will only have three or four bad games.

Q: If you' have to discard a competition, anything but la liga.
A: No, we should not throw anything. We must be careful in all competitions, but not to say: "we are going to disparage something." It is clear that UEFA and the Copa are extra things. When you start playing, you fight for la liga. The UEFA is the cake that everyone wants for the dessert, and the Copa is your soda, your glass of wine, which also improves the menu. La liga is the food base, but the rest must be also enjoyed.

Q: What does a player that’s used to be a starter think about the rotations?
A: The true is that the word is very fashionable, but when there’s a football game, I always want to play. The other day a study came out saying that after reaching the age of 30, if you play more than ten consecutive matches, there is more risk of an injury. If you get to think it coolly, perhaps the rotations are the desirable thing, but as a footballer, and from the heart, you never want to rest.

Q: Do you notice the fact of been passing the barrier of 30?
A: Well, the study is sympathetic and came out after the issue with Ra??l, from Real Madrid, but now when you read something related to your age, you pay more attention to it, why deny it (he laughs).

Q: These have been controversial times after the polemic with the keepers or the shadow of relegation. What don’t kill you makes you stronger, is that right?
A: Yes, certainly. I think there are things that you need to live. It has always been said that in order to win a tournament, you need to pass a round by inches. In this life there are things that come like this and we have to deal with them. All we did was with the best of the intentions, we made our best effort and pulled from the heart to be the most logical and to look like normal people. Later each one will like it more or less, but it’s clear that all we have done is to strengthen the group. If with all we have went through, we are a more solid block, then it’s great.

Q: What is the real strength of Sergio in this team? Do you take decisions, do you face Lotina for what you do not like?
A: No, everyone knows what their role. The boss is in charge, who knows football, and we try to translate in into the pitch. Yes it’s true that sometimes they make comments, they ask you for an observation, I like to take part of that. I'm a fan of football, I love to play and watch it, and it’s great. The coach likes very much to have conversations with us, and it’s welcomed because it makes you be more involved, but he is the one who decides. We can not attribute anything to anyone else.

Q: Those conversations have never meant a confrontation with the coach?
A: No, we never had a confrontation, everyone knows their place. Lotina gives you freedom. He is a man of dialogue and that likes to talk, especially with those who have more time on here. He appreciates this thing a lot and we are very grateful.

Q: You are one of the captains, you take the penalties. You want to prove something?
No, it is not for showing anything. These are the roles in the profession. Some time ago, when I was at Espanyol, who had more responsibility were Pochettino, Galco, Esn??ider or Arteaga, people who had more time at the squad. You have to assume your role and it is nice. Before I was in a second place and now it’s my turn, and I'm delighted. In two or three years it will be another person, is a sequence. I do not want to be more or less than anyone, or to prove anything. Simply It’s my turn and I think that's part of what I do.

Q: Are you aware that you are not indifferent to anyone? People hate you or they defend you with fervor
A: I realise I have been here for eight years, which is more than the half of the life for a football player. That makes people feel affection for you or to be already tired of seeing you. But I want to stay with the most positive image. In A Coru?a, I’m feeling fine with the people, the balance is more favourable than against me, but it is true that sometimes, when there is a little doubt, it seems the easiest thing is to put Sergio ahead.

Q: I see you have already assumed it.
A: Yes, it is part of my job. You always like to be quiet in some occasions. You do not have to be alarmist when they are criticizing you, or been enlarged when things are going well. We must have a lot of balance, and when everything goes wrong, you must stay cool.

Q: Lotina wants to end up in UEFA positions, is not more realistic to speak of the permanence?
A: But the hope must be always there. The coach did not want to say that the goal is the UEFA, but that he would like to enter by its own merits, as the fifth or sixth place, and to be there. He knows that football does not allow you to see six or eight months beyond that. First we have to achieve the salvation, and I know it is a ?clich?’, but it's true. Then we're going to try, why not to reach the UEFA? In football you can not talk about goals, but you have to want the maximum thing and I think it’s legitimate to see Lotina feeling like that, as do we all want.

Q: After eight years you are ending contract. Are you dizzy?
No, I do not have vertigo. It is one more step and a new situation, because when I arrived at Depor, I did it with an existing contract, but I do not think about it anymore. I want to yield as much as possible and be at my best level in many matches as possible. From there I will start to look at what will be the situation, because I want to keep playing two more years at least. Until December I won’t think about it. Beginning in January or February, I will have to be more aware of everything, if not, I have nothing for June.

Q: The precedents in terms of renewals are not very positive.
A: I see, that's why my only mission is to be well, to play many games, to be at a good level, that the team would end in a good position. And with that, if not at Deportivo, I’m sure that I will have offers elsewhere.

Q: And it’s that your contract is not easy to assume.
A: Yes, but it also funny to see people always using that phrase. It’s clear that I have gained a lot, but I am a very consistent person. Now I know that my big contract has already passed, what I want is to feel valued and well in a team. Economically you want to make money, but now is not the main thing, it's not my priority. The contract and the money that I had to earn, luckily I already earned it. I'm very proud of it and I will not try to ask the same amounts that I had. That's a thing to sit down and talk about it. Among the possibilities, you value the effort of the club, and we all know how far we can go and how far they are not going. Once the bases are defined, Lendoiro knows well that he can perfectly talk with me, because my relationship with him is very good, and whatever happens, things are going to remain the same. He will know how far I can give, but we can’t think "Sergio has to continue earning the same." No. That's not going to be a big problem.

Q: How about a golden retirement in the UAE?
A: (He laughs). The true is that right now, I do not have in mind that, but I do not know what can happen. I want to play two more years in the Spanish league, but what can happen between now and June? Well, no idea. I do not want to think of it for a while. If this is going to be here at Depor, fine, if not, then we will see. And about going out of the country, we will see it too.

Q: What do you fear?
A: I am not afraid of nothing, really. I am proud of the career I've had and I know the strongest and difficult phase of football is something I already passed. Now I have to enjoy of football at the highest level, as long as my body can take with it and I think it’s absolutely certain that I could hold on for two more years, because I have been taking care of myself. I have had very few injuries. I am at a privileged position in this sense and I am not afraid for been ending contract or to find myself without a squad. I have always relied a lot on me and I know that if I do things as I should, I'm going to keep playing , that’s for sure.

Q: Some have left the club by the back door.
A: That's not what I want and I think that nobody wanted. I will try to not repeat the history. If we have to end the relationship, I want to do it in the best possible way. We can always look to our face and have a conversation. It is true that things that happen make you be more attentive, or a little more cautious, but until we live it personally, I do not want to talk.

Q: What do you think about the debate on Valer??n? Do you think it benefits or harms him?
A: I think that El Flaco is a little bit for us as Raul is for Real Madrid, because Schuster is tired and he has already said that he doesn’t want to receive more questions about it. Players of such magnitude and such level are indisputable. For me El Flaco is an unbelievable person, and as a player we are not going to discuss anything. The situation with this debate is a little weird, but he is a professional, he’s always with a smile on his face, and when he has to go outside, he will show why he’s Valer??n, because all of we are astonished with Valer??n. We all want to play, but he’s very practical, and during the time that he can play, he is going to be the crack that he has always been.

Q: He always stays in the shade.
A: Yes, it is his way of life, and with this he has become what he is, it’s just as lawful as it should be. He does what we all want to do: instead of having to talk so much, he does it on the field. And that’s great. There are a lot of people that need to balance what they do on the pitch with how they talk. For him, it is enough for what he does on the pitch. He does not need to claim it otherwise.


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