“Being his friend has never conditioned me. We both know our limits”

BarcelonaThe Mendizábal bar in Barcelona’s Raval is one of Lu Martín’s favorite spots (Barcelona, ​​1967). This journalist, who for two decades followed Barça news from the newspapers Sport i The countryhe quotes us there because it is the place where he finished his last book, When we were eternal (Grup62), where he remembers the great Barça that won almost everything, from 2008 to 2012, with Pep Guardiola on the bench. A work that, he explains, he wrote twice.

How is it?

— Because when I finished it, I didn’t like it and didn’t want to hand it in to the publisher. It was summer, in the town, in Vilabella (Alt Camp), with horrible heat. And since I wasn’t convinced, I turned it upside down.

And are you satisfied with it now?

— I’m never happy with what I’ve written. I always think that this is missing or that. Or that it could have been better. But I’m happy about it, yes, because I have the feeling that I do he currat. I talked to a lot of people!

Talk to Guardiola, Xavi, Puyol, Pedro, Laporta, Rosell…

— Something curious happened to me. Everyone wanted to talk about that time. But most of them remembered almost nothing! More than one asked me to call him after a few days and give him time to memorize.

But he couldn’t talk to Messi.

— I am convinced that, if I had been here, I could have spoken to them. Because he is extraordinary for these things. And he would have proposed to me and I wouldn’t have been able to say no. But in Paris he has a guard surrounding him and it was not possible.

How was the conversation with Guardiola?

— It was mandatory. When I was commissioned to write the book, I said that if I couldn’t talk about it, I wouldn’t write it. He was also one of those who had a hard time remembering. Many times he said to me: “Woah, I don’t remember that.” And I thought: “Here we go again!” It conditioned the title of the book. The comment of being eternal is his, it is what he told the players in Abu Dhabi, before the final of the Club World Cup. From everything we talked about, I was very impressed by the feeling that everything they won was very difficult. That there was a lot of work behind it.

I know that you are a friend of Guardiola. Has this simplified or complicated the job?

— Guardiola is one of the best people I know. But our friendship has not conditioned us. He never did, not at all. We met him as a player and I as a journalist. We are very clear that he does his job and that I do mine. We know where the limits are.

And you, who covered that time, how do you remember it?

— I had a hell of a time! But not only then. One day I went to the psychiatrist and told him I thought I had San Fermín syndrome: I thought every day was a holiday. And that’s why I’ve had so many excesses and taken so many beatings in life. But that time… I met Pedrito; I met Valdés, I traveled with them to a fotimer of places; I saw things that I could never have imagined, like a 2 to 6 at the Bernabéu that makes you think “wow, but what is this?”; I saw Messi doing barbaric things… To me, that team gave me a lot. But not only me. It is generational.

It is also the time when locker room bunkering begins. Before, players were more accessible.

— It is clear that, as a journalist, it makes the job difficult. However, if you looked at what was happening in Italy or England, you saw that this here was not normal. They realized it was healthier for them to close the workouts. And it’s understandable. We were still able to travel with the first team. But, a few years later, they were also closed.

Apart from explaining some new things, the book mainly looks for the human side of the characters.

— People think I’ve written a book about Guardiola. And no, it is global, because the success of that team was collective. And that they overcame many things, like diseases [de Tito Vilanova i Éric Abidal]. Things that mark the resistance of a team. I have written a club book. Because great value must be given to the entire group of people who surrounded Pep. An example? The story of the 75 cushions to travel by coach to Milan.

The tie against Inter, marked by the volcano!

— They were about to leave and Manel Estiarte asked Carles Naval, the delegate, that they needed 75 cushions. It was a Sunday morning. And Naval didn’t understand. “If we go to Milan without pillows, we will arrive without neck braces!”, he told her. In short, they were found at the Princesa Sofia hotel. In the end they lost, but everyone arrived with a healthy neck. Things like this, which I didn’t know, make sense of the wholestaff who worked with Guardiola. Because yes, Messi scored goals and Valdés stopped many balls, but everything was possible because of the immense team behind them.

2023-04-22 06:00:42
#friend #conditioned #limits


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