Updated on Saturday, 19 September 2020 - 22:46
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The history of Valverde.
The Boy with the Mended Boots
"I've never had a problem with Bale"
A year ago,
(Montevideo, 1988) was a substitute in a Real Madrid that started the season in fits and starts.
The appearance after the young midfielder in the starting eleven coincided with the reaction of the team, finally champion.
Just as Casemiro was the pillar where Zinedine Zidane sustained his first winning project, back in 2016, last season the coach relied on the energy of the Uruguayan, a footballer with a dominant stride, who runs without rest, as if escaping from
He now rewards the efforts of his parents to move the family through difficulties.
Tonight he aspires to a place in the white eleven that will jump to Anoeta to play his first league game.
To have a six-month-old baby at home, it has few dark circles ... It is very good and it lets me rest.
As a parent, I get up two or three times a night.
But it is a pleasure to help my wife with the task.
As a child, what memory do you have of Real Madrid? We were a struggling family, and we didn't have the resources to watch European games.
To see them you needed cable television, the Movistar.
You have to have money for it and sometimes it didn't reach us.
It was hard for us to watch the games.
Once we had the money, I remember spending all day watching football from any country and league.
It caught my attention.
Of Madrid in Uruguay all that was talked about was achievements, titles and good news.
As a child who loved football, he
looked at Real Madrid as if it were the unattainable
As a boy, from what I have explained to you, I followed little international football.
I started when I was something bigger.
And, at that moment, I already saw many of these colleagues of mine who were winning the Champions League as if they were summer cups.
Being here with them is a huge illusion.
His parents fought hard to bring the family forward, yes and that's why I really appreciate where I am now.
It gives me happiness and pride.
I use as motivation the values that my parents taught me, which led me to be where I am.
They always told me to keep my feet on the ground.
Also that she never believed me more than anyone else.
Not less, but without looking over at anyone. His mother would mend his boots when he was a child, and my father would make bandages for me.
We went to the games as a family, they are nice memories.
He grew up in a very humble neighborhood in Montevideo, La Unión.
Do you come back there from time to time? Yes, when I go with the national team I always go there.
My brother still lives in the same house.
A neighbor who was teased with the ball when he was a child is gone.
They moved, but not because of me [smiles].
How would you define the character of the Uruguayan player? Everyone has talked about the Uruguayan claw.
It seems that we are always in inferiority and that we must take out that spirit that nothing is impossible, that everything is possible.
It is a small country and we have a hard time getting things done.
We fight one more ball for the people who pay their tickets, for those who help us on a day-to-day basis.
Many things come together.
A Uruguayan player will always leave everything on the pitch because it took a lot for most of them to get to the top and they have gone through millions of things. What did you feel on your first visit to the Bernabéu and Valdebebas? Unfortunately, the day I visited the stadium did not end Good for Madrid [elimination against Juventus in 2015], but my happiness was maximum when I saw those stands and those players.
I thought, 'I have to fight to be there.
A dream that I later achieved and that is why I enjoy it.
And Valdebebas was a summary of everything a child wants.
It is an installation that I, being from Uruguay, had never seen.
Everything so comfortable so that young people can train and live well.
I spent my first three months there, in the home for the youth squad.
The people who work at the club made me feel as if I was surrounded by family. The year before,
[club's chief scout] lived almost with his family in Montevideo, monitoring their evolution.
Juni is an excellent person.
I appreciate the work you did with me, the help you have given me.
We are good friends.
We went out to dinner with the families.
He corrects me and I take criticism well.
That last year in Uruguay was tough.
On the one hand, I saw close to going to the best club in the world, but at the same time the day I would have to leave my family and friends behind was close.
I enjoyed the year, but it was sad at the same time. How was your arrival? In sports it was slow, because it is difficult to adapt.
He was practically all day stuck in the residence.
I missed my parents, my brothers, my friends ... It cost me.
I had colleagues who invited me to go for a walk, to do things, but outside of football I am a
, not to go out.
After three months my parents arrived, we were able to have a rental house and there we got on much better.
We went out for a walk and to know Madrid.
Everything was a luxury. What caught your attention about Madrid and Spain? Everything.
Everything is pretty.
It is first world.
You see everything normal here, but for me there were excellent things, a show.
The people are very polite, they welcome you very well.
There is security in the streets, something that I value a lot because I come from a country where security is not very good, where you go out for a walk and you don't know if something could happen to you.
You have to be checking if they rob you or not. Did you have any scares there? Yes, yes.
It's weird to say that it's almost normal for it to happen to you ... although it shouldn't be.
It was nothing serious, but yes, leaving school.
On the way to training with soccer teammates.
We went with our sports bags and every two by three they wanted to rob us.
But nothing happened, just scares.
What was the first gift you made to your parents? I am very attached to them.
Now I have a wife and son, my own family, but I was always very close to my parents.
We would go out for lunch or dinner.
He gave them t-shirts.
Although the most beautiful thing was chatting at home with them, playing board games ... When I made more money I asked them not to work anymore.
It was my goal and the award they deserved, after they fought hard.
They had already worked enough [he security in a casino, she cleaning houses or selling clothes in markets].
Her effort was my pride. Do you know how to make roasts? No, I am more than sitting down to eat them.
I don't have the patience to be around the grill, but I'd love to know, your childhood idol? Diego Forlán.
I remember his World Cup in South Africa, where he scored goals in any way, with his right or left leg.
Later, when I started watching European football, I noticed Toni Kroos, with the luck of having him now as a partner.
It's admirable how he keeps his nerves. Does the German never lose them? Never.
Surely he has nerves, but he takes them in a different way and makes us enjoy the field. He came to play as a center-back for Castilla.
What is your favorite position on the field?
Midfielder, all his life.
That time in the subsidiary, with Solari, it was because they lacked defenses and I volunteered.
I tried it and it was quite good, tell me about your experience in La Coruña.
Good experience [he was there on loan for the 2017/18 season].
Very nice city.
They received me very well.
Playing in a team as big as Deportivo fills you with satisfaction.
But I will always have the thorn that things did not go well [he descended to Second].
We missed the city.
That sadness and that pain will always be in me, until Depor rises again, hopefully soon.
I always encourage him from afar. How is Zidane in the deal? Very close.
When we chat, he always asks about my son and my parents, something that fills me with pride.
Zidane as a person is great and as a mister he does not have to explain everything he has won. Is it true that he asks for more offensive daring? Yes, that he let me go a lot more, that I develop all my potential, that I play with confidence, that I do taken off with the ball and without it, let it sting ... And let it shoot.
I personally think that the best thing I have is the shot, but sometimes I don't take advantage of it for giving a pass or for not wanting to risk.
He asks me precisely that, to risk a little more. One of the plays of last season was his kick to Morata in the Super Cup.
Would I do it again?
I never did it before, it was something of the moment.
I did it for the team.
I feel how the play went, because if I had had the option of doing something else, like, for example, grabbing him by the shirt or throwing him in another way, I would have done it, so as not to have to kick him.
But I didn't give in for more and I made that decision.
I fight for my team and I will do anything for this shield.
I decided it in a tenth of a second, I tried to catch up with him running, but Morata is fast and he was leaving me ... it's tenths of a second, and I didn't want to take a penalty either.
The play changed the game.
Valverde trips Morata, in the final of the Super Cup.EFE
What relationship do you have with your compatriot Luis Suárez? I thank you very much for the gestures you have had as a person with me, my wife and my son.
And as a footballer, I think that if someone does not want him on their team, they are making a serious mistake.
He always goes for everything.
He is a Uruguayan who fights for a goal, for the team.
I enjoy it in the national team, I hope I can spend a long time with us.
We young people will appreciate it because it gives us a lot. Did the dressing room really believe that Messi was leaving? We were on vacation, and the team chat did not talk about that.
We are a team with very clear objectives, and getting into the problems of others does not suit us.
You really didn't make a comment on the subject in your player chat?
Really? Honestly, no. Which player has given you the most trouble on the pitch?
I do not like to highlight any rival.
The best are here, in Madrid.
For example, Luka [Modric], I have to suffer it in training.
It is very hard to play against him.
He's very good, a whole Ballon d'Or. Who is his best friend in the dressing room? I get along well with everyone, but better with the South Americans.
has helped me from the first day I got to the first team, through thick and thin, to advise me and to criticize me.
I take it in a good way.
He is a
, who has won everything.
And as a person, great.
What life are you doing in Madrid? The situation does not help you get out much.
What is happening in the country is very ugly.
Hopefully everything returns to normal.
We rarely go out to dinner because of all this trouble. Are you worried about the situation?
Are you afraid of a new confinement? Those weeks were hard.
The only good thing is that I was able to enjoy my newborn son, something that when you are a footballer, with travel, you cannot do.
But hopefully everything returns to normal in Madrid and Spain.
My appreciation for the health workers, who are giving everything.
Valverde celebrates a goal with the Uruguayan team DuarteAFP
According to the criteria of The Trust Project
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