Since his arrival in Lugo Manu Barreiro (Santiago de Compostela, 07/08/1986) has become the reference attacker of the albivermellos. But it also transmits sacrifice, work and honesty on the pitch. Identified by the fans as one of the symbols of CD Lugo, he celebrated his hundred games with a goal that was worth three points. His wish is to stay in Lugo while he can.
One hundred games already with CD Lugo. Did they go fast?
The truth is that if. I look back and they have passed very quickly. There have been many things and very intense, but the truth is that I did not think I was wearing so many. Nor did he keep score.
You have become a major player in the locker room. Is it a responsibility towards the youngest?
Well, veterans are supposed to be the ones who have to set the most example, but the truth is that we try to be one more within the group, not to be above anyone. Before, you almost had to ask veterans for permission to speak, and here it is the young people who are driving us. Pita, Seoane or Iriome are examples of how to carry the day to day.
All the players who have passed through Lugo emphasize the importance of their costumes. What is different about others you have been to?
How simple and how normal it is. In this world there are always individualities, egos, and the good thing we have here is simplicity, the Lugo wardrobe is like a family where we are all aware of what the rest need, including coaching staff, utilleros … That is not easy to see in the world of football.
You were always a player who sounded like Lugo, did you have any offers prior to your arrival?
No, curiously not. There was talk when we went up to Second B with Racing de Ferrol, that there could be options, but there was never a firm offer. Until Emilio Viqueira called me and a formal offer was made and everything was solved very quickly.
You have had the most complicated years of Lugo in the Second Division. How do you mentally link three seasons to the brink of relegation?
I think that more than Lugo I am, that I have been on a streak since I arrived … (laughs). Luckily it always went well, but it is difficult to manage that pressure during the week, you want the games to arrive as soon as possible. But it is also true that from the dressing room we gave it normality and with that and a pinch of luck we always carry it forward.
You have 24 goals with the Lugo shirt, seven of Cristian Herrera’s 31 as the top scorer in the Second Division. Will you reach them?
I wish. I’m not a fan of those statistics, but I would like to get there because it would be good for me and also for the team, which will go better the more goals the striker scores, but I don’t give it more importance either.
Right now in the squad are the two players who can reach that figure, yourself and Joselu. How do you run that competition?
Supernormal everything. From the outside it can look different, and Joselu will now be more screwed up because he plays less and that is complicated, but we all help each other and Carrillo, Joselu and I are together helping each other. Surely his time will come because he is a very good player and there will be times when he will play and we will not and we will be there to help him.
Where does that peculiar way of taking penalties come from that has made you almost infallible?
Well, we started half as a joke in a training session in Tarragona. Curiously, the first time I tried it was in a Cup match against Lugo, with Roberto as the goalkeeper. Every time I felt more comfortable and it was easier for me to throw like that and for the moment it is going well.
San Manu Barreiro, patron of two penalties … They have even made you a picture.
Yes, it is very cool (laughs). Everyone asks me for those stamps and I am very grateful to the people who have done it because it is time and recognition.
Your most important goal with Lugo?
I would say that of Vallecas from last season. Because of the importance of the game, because of that very complicated season and in which we had such a bad time. That goal was a liberation for all of us and it helped us to save ourselves.
You finish your contract at the end of the season. Will we continue to see Manu Barreiro from albivermello?
Hopefully, I hope so. I’m super happy here, it’s the best place I’ve been and I really identify with the club. In the end, a personal bond is created with the city, with the fans, with how well everyone treats us and valuing all that, I hope I am here as long as possible. It is clear that the club has to agree, that the conditions are met, but I am delighted here and if things go well I can be here as long as possible.