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Euro 2020/2021: Quique Peinado: “I’m a big fan of the national team because before it was like being from a poor club”

Quique Peinado (Madrid, 1979) is a manual soccer player who nevertheless escapes the Madrid-Barça binomial. Raised in a Vallecas on horseback between the eighties and nineties, he takes his neighborhood and his team, the Rayo, wherever he goes. He demonstrated it in ‘A las armas’ (2015), more than a football book, a vital and affective trajectory of a working-class neighborhood in Madrid. He had already made his position clear in ‘Left footballers’ (2013). Journalist from the Complutense University, from sports journalism he made television and press collaborations his professional field, but he has never lost sight of the boy who went to soccer in Vallecas.

This Luis Enrique has no name. Nor has he taken anyone from Rayo to the Eurocup …

– I had no hope. In all these years I remember Luis Cembranos being a Rayo player, because Michu I think he had already gone to England. You do see Rayo players with other teams. I also remember a European Championship that Rat played, a Romanian of whom all Rayistas had an image …, because he arrived injured and then he reserved himself precisely to get to the European Championship well and we went down. Now we have had Advíncula, although they have ‘released’ him and I do not have much affection for him. In the Peruvian elections he has opted for Keiko Fujimori, so he is not the one I love the most in the world. I also remember Wilfred as a substitute for Nigeria, but when you are a Rayo fan the final stages take you very far.

But he is very up to date with the Eurocup.

– I’m going to follow her because I’m a big fan of the Spanish team. I think it’s because until recently it was like being from a poor club. To follow Spain was to live in a tremendous fatalism and I became fond of the national team. By Spanish, of course, but above all because until the triumphant cycle of the two Euro Cups and the World Cup it was said that it was like being from ‘Atleti’, and they were right a little.

Vázquez Montalbán said that Barça was the unarmed army of Catalonia during the Franco regime. Is the Ray that of the working class or is that coming very high?

– Well, I think it could be one of those national teams of the working class. It is one of the few backgrounds where you can read ‘Working Class Hero’, as seen in the famous photo from L’Equipe when we removed Girondins. It has that unofficial slogan of working class pride.

Less talented players

Are you one of those who say that you had never heard some of the names of the footballers included in Luis Enrique’s call?

– To say that I don’t know them would be a lie. That is, I knew who they were all, but it is true that if you ask me the data, I would not know about some of them.

What opinion does the coach deserve?

– I have a lot of sympathy for him. He is a guy who believes in what he does, believes in it and has a difficult ballot. He has had to take the national team after a winning cycle and build a project with less talented players. Maybe you can stick it, but you have to wonder if there are wickers for more.

Criticism of the coach

Do you think that some media criticism of the coach is influenced by his past at Barça and his rudeness to Madrid, in which he also played?

– In Spain everything is politicized and the mechanism is the same in Madrid and Barcelona. Many journalists have it sworn to Luis Enrique. In his stage as a footballer, he identified in a very concrete way with Barça and against Madrid, with that thing about not being liked on the stickers or that celebration of a goal. In addition, he does not have an easy personality with the press and that generates a lot of preconceived spirit. Madrid and Barça give me a little the same, but I like Luis Enrique.

In his time as a footballer, the Asturian coach played against Rayo, the one from the turn of the century, already more optimistic, but it was the team from a poor and difficult neighborhood that he talks about in his book. Now, with the second economic crisis so far this century, are we experiencing an involution?

– I think that the neighborhood in which I grew up, which had tremendous things but at the same time it was magnificent, it no longer exists and it will not be repeated, although I would not put my hand in the fire either. My mother had a clothing store and she restocked the glass in the window sometimes up to twice a week. We are in a time of higher standard of living, but in which inequalities are also growing. If inequality widens, there is a greater risk of conflict and violence, and this particular crisis can make that happen. I think that luckily we are going to experience a quick recovery; and to see if we can build a more egalitarian society and country.

He’s moderately optimistic …

– There are drinks that it is difficult to think that they will happen again, although not long ago a friend told me that there are again people ‘snacking’ on the street. Groups of junkies always continued to be seen, but not that; and there is again; it is something that is coming back.

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