In this men’s European Championship in Hungary and Slovakia that starts this Thursday, the captain of the National Team will debut: Gideon Guardiola (37 years old) succeeds Raúl Entrerríos, and in this call he is the second oldest player (a few months younger than Antonio García) from Spain, and with a complete and superlative record: one World Gold and two Europeans, and one Olympic bronze. The leader for a decade of the Spanish defense playing in Germany, before in the Rhein Neckar and now in Elñ Lemgo with his twin brother Isaias. At 2.02 meters, it is a total pivot.
-How are you doing with the captaincy?
-It has never been a personal goal, but Raúl, Sarmiento, Aginagalde and Morros no longer come, and I play that role. But my work is not unique because we are all veterans who help new and young people feel integrated and comfortable in the National Team. We explain to them that together we suffer and that we are one block. With the two concentrations that we have had, I believe that we are all integrated.
-Do you tell them about battles?
– Well, of course I count them. When I was young I liked that veterans told me about experiences that I could not see on TV. They are things that they like, and since I also have the experience of playing in Germany and seeing things from another perspective and they welcome it well,
-You seemed like one of those called to leave it after the Games.
-I am very critical of myself, and when I see that I am not contributing to the National Team, I will be the first to say that I have to quit if the coach does not tell me beforehand that he does not count on me. But as long as it’s fine as it is now, then go ahead.
-In addition, now they also use him in attack.
-In Lemgo I even play in attack and rest in defense. And in the National Team, with Jordi when we are Peciña and I at 6-0 because I play in attack to avoid a change. I am neither Aginagalde nor Figueras, but I think I help and in attack they are happy with me.
– You are the protagonist of the announcement of the Federation. I have the impression that they are sending a subliminal message: a Spain in renewal that is presented in sheep’s clothing to mask the European champion wolf that it carries within.
-Well, it could be a good interpretation of that metaphor, although from the outset the idea is to show that we are a team, all together, like packs of wolves, which are always in collaboration. We go with the idea of doing our best, and we also know that everyone wants to beat the champion. Well that, we to defend our title.
-In the group, with the Czech Republic, Bosnia and Sweden, it gives the impression that if they defeat the Swedes the way is opened to the semifinals.
-You can lose a game, and in 2018 we lost it and we were champions; in 2020 however we did not have defeats. But finally, it is clear that adding all the points in the initial phase opens up many possibilities. We know that we play as a block in attack and defense and that is our alternative to the stars and individuals of other teams.