Home Sports Raúl Albiol: "They call me old in the stadiums of Spain, but...

Raúl Albiol: "They call me old in the stadiums of Spain, but I’m not worried about age"

Raúl Albiol lives from day to day. This Saturday he turns 36 and he already knows that football is going to take advantage of opportunities. Now the National Team has called him again and he wants to help win the three games so that Spain is in the Qatar World Cup. If he gets to play it later, all the better. It was hard for Chori to forget the penalty he missed in the Super Cup final shootout against Chelsea, but he has already assimilated it and it has served him as learning.

Don Raúl Albiol, the only one on the list twice European champion and world champion. It started with Luis Aragonés and continues with Luis Enrique.

You always have to be excited and work to improve every day. You have to try to take advantage of the opportunities that come your way, when you get older they are less and less, but you have to be prepared when they come to you. You never know if the National Team can call you and you have to be prepared in case they call you, being at your best level. I want to enjoy being summoned again.

Qatar 2022 is 15 months away, can Albiol arrive?

I don’t know if I make it to the World Cup. I am thinking every week about being well every game and being at my best level, helping Villarreal have a good season and from there make things difficult for the coach. Soccer is about seizing opportunities and being prepared for when they arrive. For the World Cup there is still 15 months is a long time. Now I want to enjoy these three games concentrated with the National Team.

Those who came for the positive of Busquets to the parallel bubble gave a great example, especially Albiol.

I dedicate myself to playing soccer and if they call me for the National Team, even if it is to train and be prepared just in case, it is not an effort, quite the opposite. We were very well cared for, we enjoyed those days of work. In the end everything went well because I think those who had called the coach deserved to go to the Eurocup, there were no positives and that was the best of all. It would not have been fair to enter the Eurocup for some positive. We were happy because those selected by the coach enjoyed that Eurocup, it was logical and not to miss it due to injury or the virus.

One of the debates of the Eurocopa was to put two left-handed centrals together, how did you see the debate?

It is normal that there are debates with the defenders, the media, the forwards. In all the teams there are debates in the press. The image that the National Team gave was that of overcoming obstacles, growing, of camaraderie and that speaks very well of this group and of the base that was created in that European Championship and that from there many successes can come in the future. It was not easy to overcome each game, after the first two draws, the criticism. The companions gave an example of how to overcome adversity.

If Spain does not beat Sweden this match, the classification is complicated, and here there are no overtime and penalties. It is a final.

These classifications are always complicated. Sweden is the strongest rival in the group and you have to win. The objective is to be in the World Cup in Qatar.

Qualifying for the World Cup is complicated, out of 55 European teams, 10 qualify directly and three places per play-off.

It is clear that you have to be first in the group! The objective is to be first and go straight to the World Cup, but we have seen great teams like Italy suffer that were left out of the last World Cup. The margin of error is small and the game against Sweden is very important.

Better that Ibrahimovic not be there …

You always like to play against the best. He is a top-level player, one of the best strikers football has given, and he is still there with 40 years at Milan. We have to play a good game and go out to win, which the National Team has always done, not think too much about the rival.

Spain has also qualified for play-offs before becoming champions.

Yes, it is always difficult to qualify. I remember that my debut was in Denmark in a key match that had to be won and we won 1-3 and it was key to be in the Eurocup.

The style of Spain is non-negotiable with Luis Enrique, isn’t it too predictable?

Even if they know you, if you manage to develop your idea at the highest level, with maximum intensity, it is difficult for them to withstand the rhythm and intensity that the team prints with the ball and without the ball. The most important thing is us and grow in our game. If we develop our football, even if they know us, it is difficult for them to stop us.

Is winning the Nations League with Spain a goal for Albiol?

My goal right now is to be here for ten days with the National Team and win these three games. Next month I don’t know if we are going to be the same, we have to win each one of us being here every call and we know that it is difficult, there is a lot of competition. The Nations League is a title but it is more important to be in the World Cup in Qatar.

Italy plays with Chiellini and Bonucci and they are proud, here in Spain veterans are less respected.

That’s how it is. I have played in Italy and I have lived it, I had 38-year-old teammates at Naples and they had no problem when they went to the stadiums. They call me an old man in the stadiums in Spain. Baressi and Costacurta played until 40, Totti until 41. In Italy seniority is respected. You have to give the level and that’s it. I’m not worried about my age, I’m just worried about being well.

Have you taken the Super Cup penalty many laps?

Yes. I am quite stubborn and I think about things a lot and it has cost me a bit. I was annoyed for a few days because it was a title and for Villarreal it is difficult to play a Super Cup final again. You cannot imagine having to shoot penalties in two rounds in such a short time, long rounds on top. I was disappointed at that time, but it has to help me grow, when you fall you have to get up and continue and not everything is perfect.

Would you shoot another batch?

You are right. I can’t hide. You have to shoot and you have to shoot. I will prepare better, but I will have to.

How did the game against Atlético go? What an intense match!

In the end, the rivalry and competitiveness that we have with Atlético de Madrid is beautiful. We are having tough games, last year we also drew at Wanda. The other day they were superior in the first half, they had their moments, they pushed a lot and with the public in the stadium it gives them a plus. In the second half everything went well with 0-1, we made a mistake at 1-1. And we were screwed as we were missing ten seconds with the accidental play. This must be forgotten, the pain has to last 24 hours, because there is no time. We have to keep going.

Does that competition with Atleti show that Villarreal can be in the Champions League?

That’s what we want to show, we did it against United and Chelsea in the finals, they looked like they were going to sweep us and we went to a shootout against the Champions Champions. And against Atleti we have played as equals and that for us is very important because this year in the Champions League we are going to have rivals like this. Manchester will want us, we will go to compete, to try to go from the stage to the second round.

Would you like Mbappé to come to LaLiga?

If I would like to see him in the League, he is a great player, world-class and I think players like this are needed in the Spanish League after the departure of Cristiano and Messi, it is important that they come. Above Real Madrid, which is a team in which I have been.

No Comments

Leave A Reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Exit mobile version