Aymeric Laporte: “I go out to work in the countryside, they don’t pay me to enjoy it” | Soccer | Sports

He seems like a dry, distant guy. It is not. “I am very close to my friends and I am with the people I love; with which no, no”, summarizes Aymeric Laporte (Angen, France; 29 years old). He presents himself with a thoughtful, but not premeditated, speech. He is spontaneous, although he runs away from his friends. He appears on a bicycle in the Las Rozas Soccer City and without question delays his nap time to chat with EL PAÍS and finish the photo session. After winning the Champions League with Manchester City, the Spanish national team centre-back moved to the Arab League to play for Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr. He now returns to Europe to wear the Red shirt in the last break before training for the Euro Cup in Germany. Spain faces Colombia this Friday (9:30 p.m., La1) in London and next Tuesday they host Brazil at the Santiago Bernabéu. A match with Vinicius as the protagonist, marked by the fight of the RFEF and the Brazilian Confederation against racism.

Ask. Is football behind the rest of society?

Answer. In football everything is maximized. What happens in football happens in many other sports; but, nevertheless, it is not given so much importance. Of course, that does not mean that the problem is that in football there is a greater showcase. The problem is racism. But it is also true that it is difficult to combat. What do you do with the racist? Do you put him in jail? Will he stop being racist because he is in jail? Are you going to fine him? Will he stop being racist if you fine him?

Q. So?

R. It has to do with how you instill values ​​in people, how you educate them… And, when it is instilled in you as a young person, that is when you best learn that there is no difference between one person or another based on the color of their skin.

Q. Have you ever felt angry or embarrassed by someone else’s comment in a field?

R. In the end, you are used to hearing everything: insults, threats…

Q. But do you understand the player who says enough is enough?

R. Of course, but we must also say enough with other things.

Q. For example.

R. Harassment on networks, verbal abuse. The person who is trying hard to do something, whether they are a footballer or not, and in the end what they receive is a lot of criticism, they are only hurt. And that contributes nothing to society. On the contrary, it harms her.

Q. How do you go about dealing with that situation?

R. The footballer is already cured of fear.

Q. Custom should not be a justification.

R. Correct, but the problem remains. The way to get over it, or rather the way to deal with this, unfortunately is to look the other way and move on with your life. You can’t keep an eye on people, who, in most cases, are boring people who have nothing else to do but talk bad about others. And they do it just to be in the spotlight. I already told you that Jeff Bezos (president of Amazon) is not speaking badly about anyone. He is made by people who do not put effort into their things and who are unaware of the effort that other people make. People who don’t know what sacrifice is. So, they have more time to talk nonsense and insult. I don’t care too much about those people.

Q. As a child, what did you want to be?

R. Soccer player.

Q. However, you don’t like football very much?

R. I like football, I like the ball, but I don’t like what surrounds football. If you tell me that they take away the cameras and all that and I go with my friends… I would be happy to play. But I am a professional footballer and on top of that I am a defender, which is the one with the worst task.

Q. Worse than the goalkeeper’s?

R. The goalkeeper saves one and saves the game. The defender is the last man, he is the one most exposed to committing a penalty, the one most exposed to arriving late and seeing the red card. We are the ones who eat all that.

Aymeric Laporte, after the interview with EL PAÍS.Jaime Villanueva

Q. And how do you work on it mentally?

R. Do you think I want to be expelled? Obviously not. If I get more criticism I’ll have to eat it. In the end, you can make a mistake that hurts you. But I try to do my best. And if I can score a goal, then I’ll score it.

Q. Did the environment kill your passion for the game?

R. Like all jobs, I guess. Football is a passion and a job.

Q. But football is still a game, you go out to play on the field.

R. I go to the field to work. When you are a professional you have many responsibilities and you get paid for having that responsibility. They don’t pay you to enjoy yourself. You have a boss and a boss who demands of you. And it’s normal, that’s what you have a contract for. It’s not like when I go with my friends and I play forward and I don’t go down to defend.

Q. Does this justify his transfer to Arabia?

R. I don’t know if it justifies it or not. Obviously, I don’t forget when I was five years old and I was the one who paid to play football. Well, actually, it was my parents who paid.

Q. Do you remember the moment when click and stopped taking football as a game?

R. I still take it as a game, but as a professional you have other responsibilities. I enjoy it, but it’s work. They are two things that go hand in hand. But there are many things I would like to do that I don’t do because I am a professional.

Q. Like what?

R. I would like to have two days off a week, but I have to follow the training plan.

Q. Is your position the one that has evolved the most?

R. No, the one that has evolved the most is that of the goalkeeper. Before they only had to stop and now they have to stop, but also play with their feet and help the defense. Obviously, ours has changed too. From just defending we have moved on to improving ball release, directing the game… Now offside is more complex and you also have to be more coordinated with your teammates.

Q. Is Guardiola the one who has helped you the most in that?

R. Number one, without a doubt.

Q. For you who are in Saudi, are these two games more important?

R. They are two friendlies, the only difference is that they are the last ones before going to the Euro Cup. Obviously, it’s good to do well to demonstrate both personally and collectively. It is important for the ambition we have.

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