“After I arrived on the Madrid locker room, a film was being shot…”
Throughout his time as a footballer, Paul Garcia (Pando, Uruguay, Could 11, 1977) was at all times glued to a thermos and a mate. Like a very good Uruguayan. He arrived in Spain very younger and was unable to succeed at Atleti, one thing he did obtain at Osasuna (2002-05), a membership that opened the door to Madrid de los Galácticos after a switch of 4.5 million euros in the summertime of 2005. Now, from the space of time, he displays with the standards of the great conversationalist that he’s and is grateful for the decision to speak concerning the previous, current and future.
Beginning with the current, he has simply been with the Uruguayan nationwide workforce in Austria. What sensations did they transmit to you?
I’ve a variety of religion in Uruguay dealing with Qatar. I see her properly, I see her sturdy, with none roof. We perceive that you simply go to the World Cup to win, we can’t really feel it every other means.
What makes the Uruguayan participant completely different? Why achieve this many exit regardless of being a comparatively small nation?
The road and the eagerness. We performed day-after-day off, on the street. I keep in mind that we completed faculty and we had been enjoying till night time with the ball. I feel that approach and character are perfected there as properly. For instance, the workout routines now of 4 in opposition to 4 or 5 in opposition to 5 we already did on the time. And in unhealthy fields… Then there may be the DNA. Every nation has its means of being. There are numerous gamers in Uruguay even if we’re only a few. The Uruguayan competes and adapts to all circumstances. There are Uruguayans all around the world.
Valverde is one. Did you anticipate this evolution?
The reality is that if. I used to be requested earlier than about Valverde and I answered that he was an improved model of Kroos. He has a variety of dynamics, you noticed that Ancelotti places him on the wing, he closes inside, he additionally goes right down to defend the aspect… he hits him with each legs and he is younger, he can proceed to enhance far more. It’s a cannon, the reality is that it goes very properly.
Valverde is a midfielder, such as you, though completely different. How do you bear in mind the start of it?
Within the little subject We performed on an empty subject, with nothing, and we made the objectives as finest we may. We had been all day. Someday 5 in opposition to 5, one other day six in opposition to six… Someday somebody was lacking and we performed in numerical inferiority. That is what is finished now within the academies. What occurs now within the academies is that the youngest are informed ‘it occurs, it occurs’ and I feel that is the place the error lies. Earlier than we performed free, every one needed the ball for himself to make the play. Right this moment boys are restricted and ought to be left freer. Additionally earlier than you grew to become sturdy. You performed with older boys, who needed to intimidate you and you bought into it onerous and character was solid.
Why be a midfielder?
Typically, in Uruguay and Argentina there have at all times been massive 5, the place through which I at all times performed. There have been veteran gamers like Diego Dorta, who was in Peñarol, who I observed.
Earlier than passing by Osasuna and Actual Madrid, he was within the Atlético subsidiary. He by no means appeared comfy there.
It is onerous. I left a small city in Uruguay enjoying within the little subject. I had solely performed one 12 months in skilled soccer and also you arrive in Madrid and at such a fantastic workforce… It was sophisticated for me. Though the tradition is comparable, there are various new issues. And in case you are not ready, it’s troublesome. I arrived newly married and had a tough time settling in.
In Osasuna, however, he’ll at all times be remembered.
Earlier than I went to Italy. Javier Aguirre caught me for Osasuna and gave me a variety of confidence. For a participant that is essential and I discovered a spot the place they obtained me very properly. There was a very good group and I spent three superb years.
Was Aguirre so essential in your profession?
It was key. There are occasions when a coach doesn’t ask you or has a participant with different traits in thoughts, and it’s tougher so that you can play. He himself requested me for Osasuna. Within the first video games I did not begin enjoying properly and I keep in mind that he requested me: ‘what’s flawed with you, Uruguayan?’ I informed him that it hadn’t began properly and that if he needed to take away me, he ought to take away me. And from that day on he by no means mentioned something to me and he at all times made me play. He gave me confidence and I began elevating the extent. It made every little thing simpler for me.
You carried the label of a warrior participant, however you had a very good left foot. Has that fame ever weighed you down?
I at all times had a little bit of the signal of a tricky and tough participant, with many fouls. However if you happen to have a look at the statistics, somebody roughly who is aware of about soccer checks the efficiency. The reality is that I appreciated to play onerous, as a result of most Uruguayan gamers really feel soccer that means, with ardour, not giving up, taking benefit. However he had a very good foot, even he threw fouls. In Osasuna I received alongside properly with Puñal, however from exterior they at all times put a label on you. That is how soccer is.
The 0-3 on the Bernabéu in 2004 was a second that he will certainly not neglect. He marked Casillas with Vaseline. How did they expertise it?
I am already 45 years previous and my reminiscence is fading a bit… (Laughter). I keep in mind that Madrid was not doing properly and we went with confidence. The sport was happening. I keep in mind that Vasco informed us to play man to man with their pivots. When a workforce is just not in a very good psychological stage and also you rating a aim, it goes downhill. The second was seized.
Too unhealthy that in 2005 they could not win the Cup last in opposition to Betis…
It’s true. The great factor is that the ultimate was a celebration. There was a variety of pleasure and respect. The environment was superior. Then one at all times wins; we needed to lose. It was a disgrace as a result of we had executed a fantastic marketing campaign with Aguirre. We missed the icing on the cake.
Then got here his arrival in Madrid. How did the switch happen?
The primary one who informed me that Madrid needed me was my agent, who was Paco Casal. He informed me there was that supply. There wasn’t a lot to consider. No one says no to Madrid. It’s unimaginable to reject it.
It was just one season. Did he endure such a giant change of going from Osasuna to Madrid?
Every thing was very completely different. Madrid, as well as, was in that transition the place there have been departures, there have been some veteran gamers and a brand new coach like Luxemburg arrived. I keep in mind that at the moment a movie was being shot (Objective) and there have been actors and cameras within the dressing room. It was sophisticated for me. The reality is that I didn’t have a very good time. He was used to one thing else in each means. It was troublesome. And Madrid doesn’t look ahead to anybody. That was what occurred, nevertheless it was an unforgettable expertise.
Within the Osasuna-Madrid matches I at all times had a variety of clashes with Guti…
These are issues that soccer folklore has. We South Individuals like that and benefit from it. We had a chop since you need to win, however that is the place it ended up on the pitch. Later within the locker room they obtained me very properly. There was no drawback.
He was with Luxemburg and the magic sq. that gave a lot to speak about. How did they match into that system on the sector?
The magic sq. regarded cute, nevertheless it wasn’t that cute since you needed to defend and rating (laughs). The sphere was very massive for you. Accustomed to being all compact and with the strains collectively in Osasuna, every sport suffered since you needed to cowl a variety of house.
It coincided with Zidane. Did he think about at the moment what he has executed as a coach?
The reality is that it couldn’t wait. She was a fantastic individual, aside from being a participant. He was very humble, type of quiet, he did not speak a lot. When he took the Castilla I bear in mind I went to go to him in coaching. He did not achieve this properly, however then he had the choice to tackle Madrid and what he did is unimaginable. One thing has to must win so many Champions in a row. He’s admirable. And with out a lot noise…
With out a lot noise?
You possibly can know quite a bit tactically, however in Madrid it’s a must to handle nice figures. All of various character. It actually helped him to have been in that kind of locker room. Additionally now to Ancelotti, who’s a phenomenon, though I wouldn’t have the pleasure of assembly him. He is a superb coach and does not make as a lot noise as others.
Do you suppose that dressing room administration may have been key within the final Champions League? It was one miracle after one other.
That is the fantastic thing about soccer. Issues occur that aren’t within the plans. Madrid grew, grew to become sturdy and it was seen that that they had a united group with a fantastic coach. It was spectacular. And the t-shirt…
Are you referring to the successful character of Madrid?
The story weighs. The mystique that the shirt has is just not from now. Nothing is completed till the referee whistles. In the event that they did not do that earlier than, it implies that it will be one thing new… but when they did it earlier than, it implies that there’s something. That’s the reason they did it earlier than, they did it now and they’re going to do it tomorrow.