Interviews

Q&A WITH SERGIO

19 May 2010
Sergio GonzŠlez is one of the captains at Deportivo and could be saying good-bye to the Galician club as he hasnít signed the extension of his contract. He talked to newspaper Xornal de Galicia about the issue and other stuff.

Q: The season has ended and Deportivo finished in tenth position in la liga. What is your balance of the campaign made by the team?
A: Overall, I think the balance has been positive. Itís true that in the second round we werenít at the same level of the first, but the important thing is that we clearly met the objective that we all had set at the start of the season, which was the permanence for one more year at Primera Divisiůn of the Spanish football. This year, for ten matchdays, we have been sleeping placidly, and that is a privilege. We'll see if we can say the same on next season, hopefully it will be so, because the calm of these last matchdays is priceless.

Q: What do you think is the reason for the downturn experienced by the team in the latter stage of the competition?
A: I know that it may sound a clichť, and although there is no excuse, we had many casualties that drastically reduced our level and that harmed us. For example, the most striking casualty for the fans has been the absence of Luis Filipe, especially because of the hardness of the images. Itís a very important player on the team and gives us many things, but it was not the only one. Juca has also missed much of the season, Guardado is a decisive man who was out in many games... Little by little, those casualties are accumulated, and eventually itís impossible not to notice them.

Q: And on a personal level, how was the season of Sergio?
A: Precisely, we were talking about injuries, and I think this season was the one in which I have missed more games for that reason. Not that there was any serious problems, but enough to see me losing the pace of the competition. Iím a player who in my career, fortunately, never had injuries, so I obviously was screwed up for not being able to participate in more games. But the team was fine and was able to meet the objectives. That's what really matters, the work we do in a collective sense. So, I'm satisfied.

Q: You have referred to next season. For now, your renewal, which looked like made, isnít closed yet. Will you continue at the team for next season?
A: For now, I am free on June 30. I assumed that would continue on next year, because we were only missing the signature, but now I donít see it so clear. I'm surprised. The media is asking me all year long about that issue, and at the beginning I even took it as a joke and said that Lendoiro was lazy since he wanted to have one more dinner with my father, because they have a good relationship. But now I'm pissed off. Time passes and the president didnít give any step. A couple of months ago, my father called him and we have not received any reply.

Q: But what exactly is causing the problem to not see you signing the renewal?
A: The economic issue and the years in the deal, because the president, at the time when I signed for Deportivo, made a contract in which a portion of it, rather than pay you the whole as a salary, he only paid you a part and the rest was going to be paid at the end of the contract as compensation, this because the salary is taxed in 43% and the compensation only in 26%. I just want to leave clear in the contract that the compensation is already mine, I earned it, and he wanted to put it as itís the current contract that he would pay me at the end or in a third year. What happens is that to decide if you want to change that sentence in the contract, which is what I ask, you donít need a whole year.

Q: You seem unhappy with the club...
A: I'm upset, not angry, but annoyed. My first choice has always been Depor, but right now, maybe I donít want to sign what the president offers, because after all, we all are persons, and people enjoy being treated well. I am not fourteen and neither a youngster for such treatment.

Q: Have you played your last game for Depor?
A: Well, if there is no change, I will end my contract on June 30... When I arrived at Deportivo in 2001, I signed for eight years, and if at the end of the last one the club didnít automatically renewed me for another campaign then they would have to pay me the compensation. Now I'm playing the last year of my first contract, the ninth, because itís the year I was entitled to receive since there was no compensation. But in June, as the contract is ending, I am free.

Q: And that taking in mind that you were already prepared to finish your career with Deportivo...
A: Yes. It's funny, because I, during the early years of my career at Deportivo, always said that my goal was to retire at Espanyol, because I came from its B squad and felt part of that club. However, with the passing of the seasons, and considering that I have always been very comfortable in A CoruŮa, I grew up with the idea that if I donít retire at Espanyol, then nothing would happen, because Deportivo was also my team. In fact, I had reached a point where I had assumed I was going to end my career on here, after next season.

Q: Your renewal hasnít been closed, but the other references at the team, as Valerůn or Aranzubia, are already made. How do you valorise these operations for the club?
A: Very positive news for the club. Itís important to keep the base, and the renewal of players like Dani Aranzubia or Valerůn is great news for the club. With Valerůn we all are a little surprised, because he always said he was going to Las Palmas. But renewed for five years. And now, we all joke with the fact that he is going to work in the office and become a presidential advisor. But apart from the jokes, heís a very important figure for Depor and is good to see him continuing at the team.

Q: The fact that veteran people are staying is particularly important in a squad in which young people is becoming increasingly prominent. Am I right?
A: Sure. Our young players are people who have high quality, but needs references, as in the past I needed them. Now itís up to us (me, Valerůn, Manuel Pablo) to perform that function.

Q: And how do you carry with it?
A: Very good. The truth is that this changing room is very united, and thatís very important. To young people we always give a lot of room, in the sense that we respect their opinion and listen to them. On many occasions, after practice, we talk with them and advise them on what we can.

Q: For them, the fact of having been so close to the Champions League in a few moments of the season could have caused an illusion. You should have stopped the euphoria...
A: Sure. And also at the end, when the team wasnít winning matches, we also had to relativize everything. For example, Raul had not won any match until the game against Mallorca. And that day we joked with him: "You finally won."

Q: What players would you emphasise?
A: I was surprised by the high level of Rochela, I see a great future for him. Also Juan Dominguez. He needs more games, because still has to polish some aspects at the highest level, but he has the conditions to be a great footballer.

Q: You relationship with the fans at the Riazor has always been a bit peculiar. Why are you always the target of all the whistles?
A: It's something that has happened on many occasions. The fans are free to express their opinion on the field. In some ways, I feel happy if I receive these whistles that serve to release pressure from other players, especially young people. But what I'll never do, as much as I am whistle, is to hide or fail to demand the ball.

Q: Does it affect in any way that you have been the most expensive player in the history of the club?
A: Maybe, but to see Deportivo paying such a high amount to get my services is not something that depends on me. In any case, obviously is a pride to be able to presume that I was the most expensive player in the history of Deportivo, because it gives me the impression that, for now, I will continue to be that person. In modern football, the clubs are no longer paying the amounts of the past, with the exception of the big teams like Barcelona or Real Madrid.

Q: Who has been the player that has impressed you the most?
A: There are many players that you meet throughout your career and that are impressive. For example, I always emphasise the figure of Mauro Silva, because heís a man with whom I had the opportunity to play and was a phenomenon. I learned a lot by his side at the club.

Q: Of all the coaches you had in your career, with how would you stay?
A: You learn something with all of them. I prefer Camacho, because it made me debut at Primera Division and also at the Spanish national team. And that taking in mind that when I say this, Paco Flores, with whom I have a very good relationship, gets angry with me. He was the one that discovered me, but I made my debut with Camacho. Then, you always learn things from every coach. For example, with Caparrůs I didnít have a good relationship on a personal level, but in a football sense, his model is also interesting.

Q: What is the thorn in your career?
A: Well, not wining la liga with Deportivo, because there were a couple of years in which we were very close to do it. We also had options to win the Champions League. I will always have that feeling, but you can not get everything.

Q: What is your best memory with Deportivo?
The moment we won the Copa against Madrid, it was great, for us, it was almost like winning the league. But I also remember the meeting in which we beat Levante three seasons ago, it was at the end of the first round, because if we have lost than we would have been very close to Segunda.

Q: What will you do when you retire?
A: Find a girl and have children (he laughs). The truth is that I would not have a problem if I spend a few sabbatical months, disconnecting of all this. And I donít know what I will do. As a child, I always wanted to be a sports journalist, actually I already commented games at TV3 (Antenna 3) and even commented the final of Espanyol in UEFA. I was nervous, but was feeling more relaxed with the pass of time.

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