Pablo Lima starts his last samba in Abu Dhabi

With 36 years of age and about to face an intense season with a new partner twelve years younger (Coki Nieto)Pablo Lima has announced that this is his last season as a professional. He is not just another player, but rather one of the best left-handers in history (1.80 meters)a number one who came from Brazil to be the most prominent in his country, and to which he plans to return to establish himself starting next December.

Is it a final decision?

-And thought. I am already 36 years old and the time has come to pick up the shovels. It is better to leave the sport at the top and go through the front door, than to put up with it and in the end it is the sport itself that leaves you. The moment has come. That’s all. Although I will not abandon the paddle; I will still be linked in some way.

-He will play with Coki Nieto, a young man from Madrid who is not allowed a very long project. They start next week in Abu Dhabi (WPT).

-Physically I have suffered in recent years with my knees, and now I’m fine and I think I can perform all year, while I couldn’t guarantee that for a second season. It’s easy to play with Coki because he’s a good and educated boy, whom I’d like to say goodbye to in the Final Master, which would be good for him, and for me as a climactic moment to say goodbye.

-You have played with some of the best, and you have been number one. With whom have you formed the best couple?

-By results, without a doubt, with Fernando Belasteguín, who was the best couple for three years. But I couldn’t forget Juani Mieres, we fought to be the best and we were together for six years, something unthinkable now at a time when people separate after one or two years.

A few days ago Ale Galán remembered that they played together for half a season, that they were the best couple of that part of the year, but in the end he decided to leave him to join Paquito Navarro. That year Galán and Lebrón began their reign. Do you regret that decision?

-No not at all. It was a decision that had to be made. Also, Paco and I were not the fortieth couple, but until I got injured we were number two.

How do you see the competition this season that is already starting?

-I have the feeling that Lebrón and Galán are the favourites, and that there are two couples that can create problems for them, like Coello and Tapia, who have joined precisely for that, and Di Nenno and Stupaczuk. I think they are, from the outset, the most solid couples on paper.

Between WPT and Premier, more than 35 tournaments. Aren’t they many for, let’s say, their last samba?

-From the outset I want to play them all, and don’t think that the players move only for money, because the initial American tour of the WPT will be deficient for many players, because the prizes of the first rounds do not cover the expenses of the trips. You could say yes, it’s my last samba, but not all Brazilians dance samba, nor do Argentines dance tangos, nor do Spaniards dance flamenco.

-With whom to play as a partner and has not done so yet?

-Hahaha…We have a year ahead of us to arrange a match together now that I’m living in Madrid again.

(If it ends in victory, we win; if it ends in defeat, you lose)

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