Snart är det äntligen dags för fotbolls-EM i Frankrike, och den som inte är taggad på detta borde genast göra en hälsoundersökning. BAWS fick förmånen att snacka lite fotboll med Barca-spelaren Gerard Piqué. Hoppas ni kan engelska, annars får ni skylla er själva.
How has growing up in a city like Barcelona shaped you? How has it made you the person you are?
I suppose part of my personality, or all my personality, is thanks to Barcelona. I was born and raised in the Mediterranean culture. So I’ve been able to take a bit of everything from the way the Catalans, or the Spanish are. Obviously my parents have had a huge influence on me, but I also believe there is a common model we are all based on. We’re all from the Mediterranean, so we’re all similar in that regard.
When you have a day off and you’re here in Barcelona, what do you do?
Now that I have a family, I’m normally with my children. If I can get away, I go off with my friends, or if it’s the weekend, I have a family lunch or dinner. As for the activities, I like to go to the cinema. I like concerts. We’re lucky that Barcelona is a great city with plenty to do.
What do you most like to do when you’re not on a football field?
When I’m not on a football field, I just like to switch off and step away from the spotlight. As we are subject to a lot of pressure and always in the eye of the storm, with everybody watching you, I like to disconnect and disappear. I’m most comfortable at home, with my people. If not at home, I like to go to places that, while public, don’t attract large crowds.
When you retire from football, how would you like to be remembered?
I would like to be remembered as someone who people have enjoyed watching. This club has given me everything and I’ve tried to give it my all as well. I’d also like to be remembered as a person who really enjoyed their work, playing football.
What does it mean to play for the club from the city you were born in? Does it mean more pressure or is it a dream come true?
It’s definitely a dream come true. It does mean more pressure, as you’re playing for Barça. But I think that if I hadn’t been born here, the pressure of playing for such a huge club would be the same. Maybe there’s slightly more responsibility because you understand more than anyone what this club means, what people feel when we win, when we lose. You remember that before becoming a player, you were a fan. You came here to the stadium when you were small, every two weeks to see your team. You also know the history of the club, one that has always played the right way but hasn’t always been successful, but is now lucky enough to be winning trophies. So there’s a little bit more responsibility perhaps.
What most excites you about this summer’s championship in France?
Spain has a chance to win it for the third time in a row, which would be a major achievement. I couldn’t be there in 2008, but I obviously was in 2012. It’s probably one of my best tournaments. Beating Italy in the final 4-0 was incredible. I also think we played throughout at the highest level. We really played together as a team. It’s true we have undergone important changes since the World Cup. Major players have left the team. Nevertheless, I think others have made the step up and we will be good enough to have a chance of winning it again.
How do sneakers fit into your day-to-day wardrobe?
We train early and I don’t like to spend a lot of time getting myself ready. Basically I don’t have much time and it’s always a rush, so sneakers are a good way to get dressed quickly. I really like them. You can wear them with jeans, with a tracksuit, with almost anything. You’ll almost always look good.
You wear Tiempo on the field and now you have a pair of Tiempos to wear off it. Do you like having a pair of sport style sneakers to connect you to the way you play on the field?
At the end of the day, I think the Tiempos are part of my personality. I really identify with my Tiempo boots because I’ve played with them since I was very young. They’re the most elegant boots around. They have the best leather, the best touch. They’re what you need when you play center back. Having something that can showcase my personality off the field, like these sneakers, is really great for me.
What is it about the Tiempo you normally play in that you would like these Tiempo to have?
When I put them on, they fit me like a glove. The first time I wore them it was like I’d been wearing them all my life. Often you put boots on for the first time and you’re not comfortable, sometimes they can give you blisters or sore spots, but with the Tiempo boots, you put them on and it’s like you’ve worn them all your life. It’s the same with these sneakers. It’s almost like you were destined to wear them.
Tiempo are classic boots, as you said before. How do you think they fit your personality?
I like classic things. I like anything that has a history to it. In the end, I think we are what we are because of what we’ve done, the history we have. In this sense I think the Tiempo have a great deal of history. They’re maybe the most classic boots that Nike has made, and as I said, I feel very comfortable in them, like I’m a part of them.
What does “Without risk, there is no victory” mean to you?
Obviously, in life, if you don’t take risks, or never take a chance, you won’t achieve as much. Maybe you won’t achieve anything or there won’t be any victory. It’s like anything else, if you really want to achieve something big, something important, you have to take a risk.
For some people, football’s not just a game, it’s a way of life. Is that the case with you?
Football has been everything to me since I was small. Your mother always tells you. “You’d better study because if this doesn’t come off, you’ll need to do something else.” But since I was very young, I was really clear. What I really loved was football. I lived for it and was lucky enough to be able to dedicate my life to it. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do since I first fell in love with the game. So I enjoy every moment, every minute I play. I love studying it, seeing what I can do with our opponents and I hope I can spend as long as possible playing it.
How has football influenced your life off the pitch?
I’ve always thought that football has great influence on your life. Not just winning or losing, but also sharing moments with the team, with your people, making connections. You learn to accept when you win, when you lose, and to play fair. A lot of what football gives you are lessons for life that help you mature and grow as a person.