Alberto Izquierdo (Alicante, 1975), the computer engineer who completed the rosco de Pass word in 2012, a success that reported almost half a million euros, has once again conquered another eight thousand of television contests. This month he has entered the exclusive club of the participants of To know and to win reaching the top of 100 programs. Only 15 contestants have achieved it in the more than 20 years that the TVE space has been on the air. Izquierdo returned home with more than 90,000 euros and the next day he was at his job at the Villarreal CF Sports City, heading the club’s IT department. “Here I have a double pleasure: as a worker and as a fan. I am proud to help the team from my field,” he says.
Izquierdo discovered television competitions when he was 12 years old. “I saw The time is gold and got a lot of questions right. That’s when I thought that when I grew up I wanted to be a contestant. “His debut came at the age of 22, in 1998, in Who wants to be a millionaire, where he got 300,000 pesetas. He has been working for Villarreal for eight years and is now one of their most popular employees. The youngest players ask him to take photos with them and even the relatives of a player from the first team, whose name he does not want to give, follow him.
Last summer, the club made him relive his great moment in Pass word when he proposed to star in the presentation video of one of his signings. Izquierdo had to guess playing the donut … “With the O, name of the new signing of Villarreal”, he is asked at the end, when there is only one letter left. And Izquierdo answers: “Pasapalabra”. Ontiveros was presented to the fans.
The game show fanatic takes care of the connectivity needs that arise in an elite team. “These are questions that cannot fail: a football club works permanently with cameras, programs, touch screens, GPS, medical equipment,” he says. “Only for the first team we need 30 computers.” He makes sure that everything works correctly, with the same meticulousness with which he studied books, encyclopedias and dictionaries to accumulate close to a million euros between all his contests.
Izquierdo has found his place in the Ciudad Deportiva del Villarreal CF. “It is a very family-friendly club, with a very jovial atmosphere and where I open the door of my office and I can meet real soccer stars who pass by,” he says. He never thought of quitting. Nor could it. “People are very wrong about the contest money issue. A large part is taken by the Treasury ”, he clarifies. “You buy a home and you run out of a penny, but come on, it’s not bad!”, He jokes.
Left drags the ability since childhood. “I was good at memorizing things and in the encyclopedias of the time there were many. My sister says that when I was three years old I knew all the capitals and that I spent hours reading the atlas. It was a way of traveling, ”he says. In order to Pass word the formula is simple: read the entire dictionary until you are close to learning it by heart. That is why perhaps the last letter, D, was right: “Exemplary of a species that possesses in the most complete way its own qualities. Sampler”. It’s a skill that works for something else entirely: remembering URLs, IP numbers, or passwords more than anyone else.
Without doing it on purpose, the parallelism between the rosco and the current situation of the Yellow Submarine is obvious: “It is very difficult to complete Pass word. I had been very close several times, but between doing 24 or 25 there is a huge jump ”. A leap that the club where he works took a few decades ago. If there is something that Izquierdo does not betray, it is memory: “We must greatly value what we have today.”
Of the club’s players, who could compete with him in a contest? “Andrés Fernández [portero del Villarreal] it is a phenomenon. He studied Computer Engineering. It is a unique case. How many players can make such a difficult race compatible with training and competitions? ”Says Izquierdo. He, however, could not get into the field of play. “I’m so bad! What was not bad for me at all was basketball. I was federated for several years ”. The escort of the city team, Vila-Real, was until the age of 25.