30 Oct 2019
Midfielder Alba Merino is living a dream with Depor Ladies; the 30-year-old is the second-best scorer at the team (4 goals) and talked with Deporte Campeůn about the season of the team and the planned strike at Liga Iberdrola.

Q: Depor are the best debutante in the history of the league, this with the current competition format, had you lived something like that?
A: Never. What we are doing is super difficult. At the beginning of the season, I thought we were going to suffer and Iím the first one surprised by this start, not only by the results, but also by the level of play, scoring many goals and receiving few. And I think we donít value it or enjoy it enough. This team is so used to winning that victories are not celebrated as it should.

Q: You donít lose in official competition since March 25, 2018, can you weigh that habit of winning when the first defeat arrives?
A: It's amazing, I haven't lost a single official match since I'm here, but we're aware of the work we're doing. We know that we are in a professional and very competitive league and that losing is normal.

Q The media exposure is increasing, how do you carry it?
A: It's very nice that they talk so much about us in the media and that we go out on the covers every weekend. We have already normalized it, but you have to enjoy this moment, I don't want it to be normalized.

Q: Do you feel that you have won against Tacůn or Real Madrid?
A: Itís true that they have the budget of Real Madrid, but itís still Tacůn. Until they donít wear the badge and the kit, it isnít Real Madrid.

Q: What were the keys to victory?
A: The three goals of the first part, especially the one of Gaby, a goal that arrived soon, and the second, almost next to it. They were affected by the previous results, began to make bad gestures. Itís a great team with top level players, but that doesnít work as a group.

Q: How do you remember the 2-0?
A: I see that Tere receives the ball and I know that when she has it, she can give me the pass and I ask for it. She puts it where I wanted, I saw that the goalkeeper was too advanced, I thought about chipping the ball and it went well.

Q: Special dedication?
A: I always dedicate the goals to my aunt Luli, who passed away a few years ago.

Q: Four goals in seven games, surprised?
A: I had never had such a start. Yes, I had reached ten or twelve goals in a full season. At Depor I have more freedom, because before I played as a centre midfielder, now I reach the area and I am seeing the goal with ease.

Q: What role does Iris play in the freedom that you and Teresa have?
A: It gives us the balance, security and the tranquility we need. Itís like the Casemiro of Madrid, who does all the coverage and is everywhere.

Q: Manu repeats the same starting eleven almost every week, fatigue?
A: Not at the moment, I feel very well right now. I think the adrenaline of the games makes us endure everything.

Q: Would you say you are in the best moment of your career?
A: Without a doubt itís the best moment of my career, living what I had never experienced and enjoying football very much. Coming to Depor is the best decision I've made in my entire career. I arrived with the aim of clinching the promotion, it was achieved almost perfectly and now, this. I couldn't have done things better. Not even in dreams.

Q: You are one of the oldest players and the one with the most experience at Primera in one of the youngest squads in the league, is it a responsibility or a greater weight at the changing room?
A: I have more experience and can provide some advice, but here all the players are important.

Q: You are 30, do you ever think about the end of your career?
A: I thought about it a few years ago, but since I'm at Depor I have hope again. I am living a second youth, I am very happy and I no longer think about leaving football.

Q: Have you managed to live of football?
A: Yes, I feel fortunate because since I left home at the age of 18, I live of football. Not all players can say this. Some donít arrive to the end of the month, even now. Hence we ask for a collective agreement.

Q: Why are you going to strike?
A: We are professional players, all day, not just the time we are going to train. We take care from when we get up until we go to bed. We donít ask for 100% of the salary in one day, we have reduced the demand, because the clubs cannot assume it, but a reduction of 75% and a minimum wage is something worthy for us.

Q: Do Depor fulfill with what you ask?
A: We are pretty good, we have no complaints. Itís one of the clubs thatís best at Primers and the least affected by the new agreement.

Q: How is your workday?
A: At Depor we are almost all full-time, eight hours a day, 40 a week. I had never had these conditions.

Q: And still will support the strike.
A: We support it, because we all go to one, we are like the same team, even BarÁa, Atlťtico or the national team players are supporting it, we have no problems.

Q: On Sunday you play against Atlťtico, how has it changed since your stage between 2007 and 2011?
A: From that team I think only Amanda remains and things have changed a lot, especially in the budget. Now they have world class players. It isnít a team of our league. We know that BarÁa, Atlťtico and Levante are well above, but we will enjoy, compete and try to win. We have nothing to lose.

Q: What memories do you have of your years there?
A: It was a very beautiful time, it was the first time I left home and I spent four years in which I matured a lot as a person and as a footballer.

Q: New full attendance in Abegondo and lots of noise.
A: The thrust of the fans is brutal when we score a goal or when they protest a play. They encourage us since we go out to warm up, with a full stand, people standing and even on the sides of the field...

Q: The stand is small, solutions?
A: I would like the entire audience to be comfortable and seated, but I can't get into that subject.

Q: When will you play a match at the Riazor?
A: We would love to play at the Riazor and the time will come in some game this season, but in Abegondo we feel like at home.




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