“Linares is no longer going to be news for closing El Corte Inglés”

Alberto González (Tolox, Málaga, 7-6-1979) receives AS in the sanctuary of Linares, the local dressing room of the old Linarejos, where this Wednesday he will give his players the last talk before trying to bring down Barça. He tells his feelings, those of his boys and those of the city before receiving the Barça giant.

What do you intend to say to your players here this afternoon so that they are convinced that they can beat Barça?

I have spoken to you before in other games against First-class teams like Alavés. The most important thing is to remove the masks from the rivals in front of us, to forget the capacity that is assumed to be ourselves and that that does not condition us. That we take out our maximum capacities and that fear or excessive respect do not influence us.

From what is breathed, this is more than a match for the city of Linares.

Completely. After one hundred and odd years of soccer history in the city, a rival of the greats of Spain arrives for the first time. It is the maximum. The expectation is brutal, the fans are excited and above all you do not arrive only with desire, but with belief. The habitual thing in this type of parties is the desire and to think that the flute can sound. But people believe that it can be won and that it can be done. We are on a roll and, at the same time, as Barça is not at its best, people think they can get a grip. People believe they can do something great.

On a social level it is also important. This city has suffered many blows.

We have been saying it since last year. We talked about this a lot, about our city finally being on TV for good things. That is not because they have closed El Corte Inglés or because there has been a fight or a brawl, an accident. That we are in the news for beautiful events that transmit good things about the city.

What is the best thing they have said to you on the street these days?

The messages that we are going to win. People do not say we are going to enjoy, but we are going to win. That people have that in mind seems very significant to me. I like that people have that mentality, regardless of who is in front of it.

“I have not been of autographs or photos, but facing Xavi is a dream”

What is Linares like?

A cheerful team in every way. We try to make people enjoy ourselves. Our style is to look for the opposite goal, that there is the maximum number of “uys”, which are the ones that light the flame in people. As soon as we find the way, we like things to happen, to step on the area and for people to get hooked on the team. And when it’s time to defend, then the same. Be aggressive, take the initiative away from the rival and have our weight. We try to play everything. Today there is a lot of analysis and everyone is going to know you. But if one door closes, another must be opened.

What is its history? Because he has been working for 20 years. First in training, he was even runner-up in the Youth Cup with Málaga, but later as head coach in more modest teams.

From the beginning, when at 17 or 18 I discovered the spark of what I wanted to do with my life, which was to dedicate myself to this, my idea was to be a coach. There was a time when I decided to study and do INEF. And there I combined training a youth team with being second in a first team. And there I discover that I prefer to be first, even in lower categories, than to be second. Because I had the need to develop my ideas, see how they were embodied. And if I had to correct, qualify … Because if you are second to someone you have to respect the idea of ​​the first to the maximum and go to death with it. So, I saw that that was not the way. I would rather stay in lower categories but being first, than to be able to aspire to higher categories as an assistant.

And that youthful Malaga …

I was training in Third Division and they called me to be first in the Junior team of the Honor Division and, in one of those two years, we managed to reach the final against Espanyol. It was nice because we eliminated Villarreal B, La Roda, who had been even above Villarreal A, Valencia and Barça. It was nice to play in the Mini and to see those players that you later see go up to Barça B, to the Barça first team … Of ours, Samu Castillejo, who is now at Milan, reached the elite and was the most outstanding. Fabrice Olinga was also there, who soon played the first team, Juanpi Añor … Rafa de Vicente is now at Depor …

This Wednesday he shakes hands with Xavi, a contemporary of his. How did you see him as a player? Because almost all his training coincides with him being a star.

Well, I already experienced it a month or so ago, when Raúl came. They have been two of the great references that I have had because they are the ones that I have lived in my most passionate days of football. I told Raúl that I had never been much of an idol because I have not lived football like that, with the photo and the autograph. I was more attracted to the game and other things. But I have had them as references because I saw how they took it, with the responsibility they played, their understanding of the game without having gifted physical conditions. You value to get where they have arrived. Apparently they weren’t players that you said were like Cristiano or Messi who are physical beasts. In Raúl’s case, he didn’t even seem so technically fine. And Xavi, apparently so small and covering so much field and being so strong and playing so clear, making it so easy with how difficult it is for others, having that vision of the game … For me it is a pleasure to face them. Having you when you had them so far away … Facing them and seeing each other’s faces on a soccer field is a dream, why not say it. A dream come true that you have had since you were a child. Facing a Barça first team, someone who was a benchmark … It’s going to be a very exciting day.

Read Also:  Automating Reporting And Analytics Processes

Alberto González, at one point in the interview.

From what you have seen of the last Barça games, is there a real change?

Yes there is change. In the end each one gives a touch to the teams. Just as there was a difference between Guardiola and Luis Enrique being an associative game, but there was more verticality with Luis Enrique, because with Xavi there is a point of even more illusion. Barça transmits a little more enthusiasm. Apart from the game, I really like the illusion that a team transmits in terms of values. And there is a little more energy there. I base almost everything on values. But not values ​​as punctual little phrases, but how you transmit those values ​​in the game. What level of energy do you put into that, activation, heart? Here is an extra point of nuances that give it a different identity, always bearing in mind that now there are no such contrasted players. There are very, very good young people that we are going to see in the coming years, but when you are not so tested, you have to put that extra point of spark and energy; and I think they are putting it on.

All coaches have that point of ego that makes them think that they can hit the key to win a game. Does Alberto González have the potion to beat Barça?

It is not about ego; it’s about it’s our job. Hit the key, play the appropriate keys so that your team has more possibilities. I don’t know whether to win or not, because there is a very great rival ahead with great capabilities. But I am sure that when we consider ourselves eleven against eleven, if we develop our ideas we will have options. We have to hold on to them and let them lead us to win the game.

It is always often asked which footballer would he remove from a great, but now in the situation of Barça the same does not even think that …

I wish the most recognizable faces had come. But not for me, but for the people. In the end, people come to see recognized faces. The show would lose if people don’t recognize it. And there are players like Ilias who in two years are going to be recognized and that people will remember and say: I saw him play in Linares. Because they are good. But the fans, because they like to see recognized faces of people who have won so much and so much … From then on, I think that in this Barça there are not as many decisive people as when Messi was there. Now what is imposed is the collective. More things happen with Dembélé when he is on the pitch but with the others, from what I see, there is not so much decisive player. Man, there are players with the hierarchy of Piqué or Busquets who will not be so decisive in terms of showiness, but if they play they would be decisive.

Linarejos will soon be renovated, but here it smells like football from another team. There is going to be noise here …

Yes. I have lived it a few times because of the pandemic because last year there were no people or, at least, restrictions. But here I have lived from outside, as a spectator, a Linares-Jaén and it was spectacular. And this year, in a one-off match, against Alavés, Castilla or Barça B … But this is going to be a pressure cooker. That there are 10,000 tickets sold, and more sold ten days before, I have never experienced it. The environment is going to be unique and unmatched.

“The most important thing is to remove the mask from the rivals; let it not influence us, be us”

Are they going to try penalties?

We usually do it before each knockout match. We end up like this, gambling some money to give us incentive. But trying penalties, at the level of fatigue and emotionality, is very difficult.

Can Xavi stay calm with the state of the grass?

I think it’s very good. This year a very large investment has been made in changing the whole, in drainage, lower layers. A company like Royalverd has been hired, which runs many First Division courses and is a large company. And you try to have it in the best conditions. It is true that there is a lack of grass density but the field is smooth, the ball slides well. I have been in other fields that combined different types of grass that made it not rise … Here it is in very good condition, so I think the ball will slide well.

He says that people not only believe that they are going to enjoy themselves, but that they think they are going to beat Barça. What percentage of winning options would it give you?

… I can’t quantify them … But we’ll hold on to whatever there are.

Recent Articles

Related News

Leave A Reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here