Interviews

Q&A WITH ÁLEX BERGANTIÑOS

12 Nov 2020
Álex Bergantiños conceded an interview to newspaper La Opinión A Coruña. The captain of Deportivo talked of his position on the field, the adaptation of the team to Segunda B and the Fuenlabrada scandal.

Q: Are you like an extension of the coach on the field?
A: I don’t know. Yes, a bit from experience, I try, and it comes quite naturally to talk with my colleagues. The coach doesn't cut me either, so I understand that he also agrees in what we are looking for. Logically, I want the group to do what the coach asks. Because of that experience, and for the moments lived, you try to help your teammates on the field, and especially when you are in back positions, because you see the game better.

Q: You have already passed all three levels of the coaching course, does your future point to the bench when the moment of retirement arrives?
A: I would like to continue linked to football, to be on the field as much as possible, but that doesn’t depend only on me. I always try to learn from each coach that I had and from the notions that they have also given me in the course. Then football will say if I can be linked to the kids or to the first team. It will depend more on the club, if I can be useful in any area.

Q: You are playing as a centre-back, nothing new for you.
A: In my career I have always tried to adapt to what each coach wanted, with my conditions. I have trained as a central defender, so it’s a situation that’s very comfortable for me. I have played games in Primera and Segunda as a winger, as a more defensive midfielder, as a more offensive midfielder, as a central defender. I have had experiences of all kinds and I have tried to perform as well as possible in each one, knowing that each position is different, knowing the limitations that I may have depending on the actions in the game, but always trying to add to the benefit of the team.

Q: From Imperátor your reached Juveniles at Depor and always playing as a central defender.
A: Yes. I was always a centre-back until Fabril. In Juveniles I played for two years as a central defender and then in Fabril there were casualties at the team and Tito [Ramallo] told me that he also saw me with conditions to play as a midfielder. I finished that season as a midfielder.

Q: Is delaying the position a natural process over the years?
A: Yes, I think my strength is always defensive and tactical, being well placed. By playing as a midfielder, I think that I was improving my offensive records and my ability to play with less space, but it’s clear that my natural position was centre-back, perhaps due to my physical limitations, maybe, I didn’t end up consolidating in that position as a professional. I was a better midfielder, trying to cover a little more of the field and improve what limits you to play with less time and space. I have tried to adapt as best as possible to each position and in both I feel very comfortable. Perhaps I have some more limitation at the back due to height or speed that I supply more at the centre of the field, but I can also do it perfectly there, trying to cover those possible shortcomings with anticipation or with my game reading.

Q: How is the adaptation of the team to Segunda B?
A: Difficult. It has been difficult for everything. Like when we went from Primera to Segunda, expectations are always very high with all the players who sign on a team made to move up, to win a lot. This process is always costly both individually and collectively, because you have to form a totally new group and get to know each other. At the moment, I think we aren’t making a showy game, but we are getting results and it’s the basis for growth, and more in a year and a league as difficult as this one, also because of what the league, the pandemic and everything entails. There’s an uncertainty that exists each day. We are adapting. This season becomes an exercise in survival. The one that best adapts will win the games and that team will be better prepared to reach the end in a good position, and even then, it doesn’t guarantee anything due to the format of the competition. The team has assumed that well. It has connected very well. I think we have a group of people who have connected very well and now we need to polish things on the field. Defensively we are seeing that we are conceding very little, and in attack I believe that the team will grow when the players can connect with other and get better offensive feelings.

Is this competition system very stressful?
A: Yes. You have to try not to think about it too much, but it’s true that it’s a difficult and a stressful system, because you have to be aware of passing each cut. Now we are with this first phase, and you also have to look at the other subgroup, see how they are adding up and how expensive the scoring level is going to be. It’s a bit uncertain because the points are not going to count the same for some teams as for others, because you are going to play against different rivals, so you don’t know how difficult it is in this subgroup or how difficult it is in the other, or the possible disadvantages that the teams have according to which community they are, this due to the pandemic, neither the games postponed or not postponed, nor in what conditions they are going to play, or the ones we are going to face... Everything is a bit uncertain and you have to go more than ever week by week trying to get points in the bag.

Q: Looking for something positive about the bitter experience you had to live last summer, detention included, do you get stronger after going through something like this?
A: Yes. It’s clear that it was very unpleasant, but like everything in life I try to extract the experience of everything I have lived, both the good and the bad things of the world of football, and I am proud of how I have faced everything , of how I have been overcoming all the things that have happened to me. It´s true that these last two years, both the previous one with my operation [in the mouth] and the frustrated promotion to Primera [against Mallorca], like this one, with the relegation and the Fuenlabrada case has entailed, it has been super intense, but I’m proud of how I have dealt with it and how the people around me have embraced me. I am strengthened in the aspect of having a very clear conscience and having always tried the best for my club and for my teammates. In that sense I do feel very calm and comforted.

Q: The responsibilities for the health risk of the trip from Fuenlabrada to A Coruña have yet to be clarified, what do you think of the fact that, at this point, you are the only one who has given a statement?
A: It's weird, surprising. I know why it is. I understand that, here, there’s a media machine that has wanted to take everything in one direction and there, I believe, that Deportivismo has come together very well and has shown that it isn’t going to be daunted by anything, and with my case the same. Justice, yes, I understand that it goes more slowly, but I understand that those responsible for all this negligence will have to pay. What they wanted to do with me has been a smokescreen to cover other things and I still have hope that there are people in charge who have to give explanations and even some consequence of how it was managed, because we all see and know that there are other interests above that wanted to stain my name or stain Deportivo. What they wanted to cover up were other things, and I understand that, no matter it too late, and I don't know in what proportion, but I believe that in the end everyone will end up answering for the acts they have committed.

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