Galán: “My first salary was 25 euros… if we won”

Javi Galan (Badajoz, 1994; 28 years old) is very shy. With a sweet and frank look, she appears in the room of the Hotel Sierra Segovia with tense shoulders and that confession in her mouth. “I don’t really like interviews.” His thing is to play. Where the shyness disappears turned all into claw. Arrive at Atleti like a football worker.

He is from Montánchez, Cáceres, but also from Badajoz.

My town is Montánchez, but my parents worked in Badajoz and that’s why I was born there. I’m from both places. They are an hour away by car. In the town he spent every weekend.

There he did competitions on the slopes, with a friend, Diego, to shoot penalties…

(laughs) Yes… It’s just that we friends spent a lot of time there, on the slopes, the futsal field there. Then there was no Football 11 or 7, which is now being built, and I spent a lot of time there playing football. Every afternoon, every morning. We did competitions and everything.

What is the first football memory you have?

I don’t have a first per se, because they are always. My father was a very soccer fan and he passed it on to me. In all my memories I always have a ball.

Did he sleep with one like Koke?

I don’t know how to sleep, but I always went with one! I always went to the park with mine because the others were older and, if I took my ball with me, I knew they would let me play (smile).

His first team?

The one in my neighborhood, San Roque. My father signed me up when he was three or four years old.

So small?

Yeah! I don’t know! I know they signed me up a year earlier and they did me a favor so I could play or at least train. My father already knew that I really liked soccer and he convinced him.

Javi Galán, during his interview with AS.
Javi Galán, during his interview with AS.JAVIER GANDULACE DAILY

Soccer is closely linked to his figure.

We watched a lot live, he sometimes took me to Badajoz and came to see me at training, he liked it a lot.

He had played? Because he worked at a school, right?

Yes, I worked at a school. I had played in my town’s team, over there, but at a professional level.

And what was he playing?

Central defense, he was tough, he was tough (laughs). And they said it was very good, but before there weren’t the resources now, you couldn’t go to the city to play or anything.

You are the second defender with the most dribble in EuropeDo you think that this type of player, a gabetero, is losing out?

It is true that there are no encaradores or that, in some aspects, it is being lost. Mine comes a bit from, as before I always played as a winger, I have a tendency to haggle.

Did you learn that way of playing on the street?

(Smile) Yes I think so (laughs). I have played a lot in the park, in my town, in the square, we put two stones, whatever.

How are you growing in football after San Roque?

There I was in three or four clubs. After San Roque, I went to one called Puerta Palmas, then to Don Bosco and later to Flecha, before arriving at Badajoz.

Then he was extreme and even played false 9.

Yes, midfielder, right winger. I never thought he was going to end up on the wing!

“I played as a midfielder, I never thought I would end up as a winger”

Javi Galan

In which position did you feel most comfortable?

Half Point. In Segunda I also start as a winger and that’s when they started to put me as a winger and now as a winger, a winger. It is a position in which I feel comfortable, which I like.

In their social networks it is @JavierGalan10. Is it the number you like in football?

Yes, because it was my favorite number before, before I started playing on the wing.

At the beginning of his career his name was Rooney… Yes, he looks like the English striker.

And as a boy it seemed even more! And there in Badajoz they knew me a lot as Rooney. They gave me that nickname in high school. And I liked him. But I prefer that he be better known by my first name.

Luis Carrión was the one who told him to put it on, his name.

Yes Yes. He told me when I got there, but it is true that people in Córdoba already knew me as Javi Galán.

His father must have been very proud to see him grow in football.

(Silence, emotion) Yes, indeed. He saw me debut in the First Division (in Huesca, 2018-19 season), he came with me and now I know that, in everything I achieve, he is with me.

In 2013-14, when he was promoted from Regional Preferred to Third with Badajoz, Godín scored at the Camp Nou to give him to Cholo his first League with Atleti… How did that goal look from afar?

From far, far away. I never imagined that I would make it here. I was looking at it from Regional Preferred, but year after year we were climbing, climbing and this opportunity has come to me.

“If you work and believe, you can.” There cannot be a player who pays more tribute to that phrase from Simeone.

I am happy with my roots, with everything I have achieved. I’m happy for that.

Know all the categories of soccer.

I have had to shower many times with cold water! (laugh). Many fields, dirt, mud, but with effort I have managed to get here, to the top, so I am very happy.

Javi Galán, during his interview with AS.
Javi Galán, during his interview with AS.JAVIER GANDULACE DAILY

What was your first salary in soccer? I read that it had been 300 euros, with 21 years in Preferred, is it true?

No (laugh). My first salary was lower. We charged per match won or so. I don’t know how to tell you an amount, but maybe it was 25 euros, something symbolic, because in the end we were in preferential regional. Then we ascended and it was something else.

It draws attention in a sport in which numbers with many zeros are always read.

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Yes, but in the end I lived at home, with my parents…

Montánchez ham has the Dehesa de Extremadura Protected Designation of Origin.

It’s very good, very good (smile). I recommend it to everyone who reads this interview. It is very good. Always, in all the clubs I’ve been to, at Christmas, many colleagues ask me to bring them ham. And, as I always ask for myself, I also do it for the colleagues who want to.

How have you lived the first days of preseason at Atlético? Did he know of the existence of the Professor’s slope?

Yes, yes, in the distance I had already heard about her.

Is the preseason very intense on a physical level?

Now you suffer, but then we will reap the fruits of all that effort to make the team fly.

Do you notice much difference in the preparation compared to the teams you have been through?

It’s true that it’s hard, especially the intensity that everyone transmits to you, any position, any passing wheel, that intensity that I’m sure I’ll appreciate in games later.

But do you arrive after training and say: ‘I’m short of breath’? It happened to Griezmann in his first year in Los Angeles de San Rafael.

Okay, yes… (smile) Because it’s tiring and it’s hard for you to move (laughs).

What can Javi Galán bring to Atleti?

What the coach asks me.

Have you asked him in these first training sessions?

Above all tactical things, of the team. In the end I come new and they are different concepts from other teams I have been in. I’m taking them little by little, especially learning, learning a lot.

What are those different concepts?

Above all, get used to playing in a line of three, in a line of five, in a line of four. In the end I can give him that versatility, I think.

He has not suffered any injury in three years at Celta, they tell us that he takes great care of himself.

I prefer not to say those things than to see if now… (laughs). I take good care of myself. It is one of the things that has made me grow so much and get here. I take preparation, eating and rest very seriously.

“I take preparation, food and rest very seriously”


He is the player in the competition with the most duels won.

I characterize myself as being intense. Whenever I have the ball in front of me I try to win it.

Carrasco is a winger who seeks to go inside and you win the band with natural foot.

We all know what a great player Carrasco is. In the end, that competitiveness will make the team grow.

How have your colleagues received you?

Very good, the truth is that I am very happy. They’ve made me feel very comfortable, it’s usually a little difficult for me at first, I’m more shy and the truth is that they’ve made me feel as if I’ve been there much longer and I appreciate it.

Because you didn’t know anyone on the staff.

No, not personally. To suffer a lot against them, but in person to none.

Who suffered more?

Everyone a little. I used to have to mark their right wing attackers.

Would you like to have João Félix all year round?

I see João Félix as one more teammate, a player with a lot of quality and we hope he gives us a lot.

Javi Galán, during his interview with AS.
Javi Galán, during his interview with AS.JAVIER GANDULACE DAILY

And did you speak with Simeone or a teammate before signing?

Someone sent me a message, I saw Griezmann’s on the networks. Everyone has received me very well and I’ll stay with that.

When they tell you about Atlético’s interest, what do you think?

First a very big illusion. Then a lot of nerves so that it was done as soon as possible. I am happy because both parties have benefited and I am very happy to be here and to be able to start the preseason with my teammates.

It was very fast.

I really wanted to come here, an agreement was reached soon, I wanted to be able to be here as soon as possible.

Filipe Luis arrived from Deportivo and took control of the band. You come from Celta, are you a model?

I wish I could get closer. It is difficult to reach the symbol that he has been at Atleti. But I am looking forward to adding and contributing as much as possible.

Can reaching Atlético bring you closer to the National Team?

It is true that a team with as much impact as Atleti makes them see you more. But there are great players in Spain, it’s complicated. I dream of that and I am sure that with work one day it will come.

“With as much repercussion as Atleti makes them see you more”


It is one of the positions with the highest competition, with Jordi Alba, Balde, Gayá…

It is true that there is a lot of competition. In all positions there is a high level of Spanish players. In the end it is to be well and try to take advantage if an opportunity comes your way.

Talk about level, do you see a ceiling for your former teammate Gabri Veiga?

He is a player who deserves what is happening to him, he has worked for it, he has suffered, I don’t know what will happen to him, but everything good that happens to him will make me happy.

Your discoverers say that what you lack is something of a goal.

Yes it’s correct. I have aspects to improve, but I come here to learn the most.

But at the end of the game the body pulls him up.

It is clear that I like to attack. But without neglecting the defensive part, I know what position I play in and how important it is to keep a clean sheet. But it is true that if I have the chance to attack a lot, it is because the team is in good shape in the game.

What was the hardest thing for you to learn how to defend?

Tactically learning concepts is difficult. Accustomed to not timing, when they began to reconvert me I was going to yellow for a game (smile). I was going so strong that it was hard for me. I have learned to time, and tactically to close, knowing when to read each situation.

He is too shy for interviews.

The truth is that yes, I feel much more comfortable in the field in front of thousands of people than in an interview (laughs).

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