Luis Enrique. "They will have to cover two or three"
Opinion.Adama Traoré, a Tyson in the Spanish band, by Orfeo Suárez
A happy guy.
Adama Traoré (l'Hospitalet de Llobregat, 24 years old) stands in front of the camera and jokes with the press officer about the leading Second Division team (rojiblanco, to be exact).
It is the day after the debut, the day after Spain discovered a footballer unlike any they have ever had before.
is a different player, also off the field.
And it is appreciated.
Raised in the blocks of La Florida de l'Hospitalet,
a difficult neighborhood, the most densely populated in Europe, where almost half of the population has an immigrant origin, does not deny.
On the contrary, in an interview with EL MUNDO, he boasts of the benches where he sat, and still sits, with his friends, of the street pachangas "even with bands that were rivals", of the vital scars left by childhood in a a place like that, so difficult, or perhaps not so difficult.
Just so special.
How many messages did you have on your mobile at the end of the game?
I couldn't count them, but hundreds.
There were a lot of them, all from people who are happy that things are going well for me.
Who did you call first?
To my family, first to my mother and then to my brother.
I always call them after games.
But the other day would be special.
Yes yes, it was very special.
My parents were very happy, with a huge smile because I had finally debuted.
They had finally seen me wearing the Spain shirt and representing the country, which has been a dream of mine since I was little.
There was a lot of talk about whether he wanted to play with Mali or with Spain.
Did you hesitate at any time?
I did not hesitate at any time, but of course, situations can sometimes vary.
I have played with the lower categories of Spain, I was born in Spain and I feel Spanish.
I have African origins and culture, and they, the representatives of Mali, came to see me.
I welcomed them and spoke with them out of respect, but I was born in Spain, I feel Spanish and my dream was to defend the shield and flag of Spain.
Thank God it has been.
Why do you think it attracts so much attention?
Because of his physique, because of the type of player he is, because he doesn't play in Spain ...
For everything you've said.
The fact also of my physique.
If you watch the game you know how I play, and that apart from physicality I have other things, which are what I contribute.
My physique is not that of a normal soccer player and my way of playing is also different.
I can contribute what the coach asks of me.
Also the fact of not being in Spain makes it a novelty for people.
Many tell me that they are looking forward to my return, but all in due course.
Speaking of the physique, I have read that he doesn't do weights.
I will almost believe him out of education, but ...
I understand it's hard to believe, but yeah, I really don't do weights.
There are not only doubts from the fans, but also from the players.
At first the new colleagues tell me: 'it is impossible that you do not do weights'.
I do gym work with my personal trainer, but it's not specific to weights, because I build up volume so fast.
Adama Traoré is very strong.
Your upper body is scary.
As the rivals no longer know what to do to stop him, the grabs were becoming the preferred weapon of the flanks.
Given that, the winger and someone in his team came up with two things: first, to wear size M shirts, which could not be tighter and, on the other, to smear his arms with oil to make it more difficult to catch him.
Total, that is how it plays, stuffed and spread in oil.
Is there something I never eat?
The only thing that I don't eat anything, zero, is pork.
And very little sweets, although I love them.
How many hours do you sleep?
They say that it is good to sleep about nine and a half hours if you are a high-level athlete.
I do not come to that.
I try to get eight hours of sleep.
And no, I don't nap.
What does it mean to grow up in a neighborhood?
You did it in one that, seen from the outside, does not seem easy.
It might sound like that, but I love it, I like my neighborhood.
It has its things, and if you are not from my neighborhood, from the outside you may not understand what happens there.
Being from the neighborhood marks you, shapes you, you see things that don't happen in other neighborhoods, and it can make you mentally stronger.
It teaches you that you have to be very clear about your path, because the temptations are always there, but at the same time I can be an example that, regardless of where you come from, if you have clear ideas and are clear about what you want to do, I always know can come.
He is proud of his neighborhood.
That sounds good.
It is also that now not because of the Covid, but whenever I can I try to go to my neighborhood, to the blocks of Florida, to sit on the same benches with my usual friends.
My neighborhood is a mix of everything.
My friends and I played soccer and competed against everyone.
At that time there were bands in my neighborhood, and they all wanted to play against us, because word got out that there was a group of kids who played very well.
We did a mini tournament, even between opposing bands ... At that time only football mattered.
I have that experience, and I appreciate having it.
I do not deny my neighborhood because it is part of me.
The 'Black Lives Matter' is a sensitive subject, and it is important that I give my opinion as a black that I am.
I have seen him active in the RRSS with the 'Black Lives Matter'.
Do you think famous athletes of color have a responsibility in this regard?
Yes, and I am aware of it.
It is a sensitive subject, and it is important that I give my opinion as a black that I am.
If I don't explain my point of view, you may not understand me.
But if I can express my point of view, and you listen to me, there may be empathy, it is easier to understand each other.
Many times, to understand the person next to you, you just need to listen to them, listen to their pain.
If the 'Black Lives Matter' were the other way around, it was violence of blacks against whites, it would be exactly the same.
If it is an injustice, you have to go out and say it.
Have you suffered a racist episode?
Yes, I have suffered racism, and so have my parents.
Here and in England, but that has not stopped me from achieving goals, and without going any further to be able to be here talking to you and say that regardless of skin color, I am not different from anyone, it is a triumph.
The fact that people have not had black friends, or do not know black culture, makes them a little scared, and then they get carried away by things that are not.
But knowing people, dealing with them, mitigates that a lot.
Knowing different cultures opens your mind.
And the same happens the other way around.
You will never know what Spain is like, what its tapas are like, its ham, if you haven't been.
On the Catalan footballers there is always a special magnifying glass in the Spanish team, not because of their fault, but because of the political situation.
You have played in all the lower categories with Spain.
Has it generated a problem?
I have been with the Catalan team when there were tournaments in the Autonomous Communities.
But on the subject of the magnifying glass, look, I have been able to decide between Spain and Mali and here I am.
Catalonia is a part of us, I have nothing to say.
I have never had any problem with being Catalan.
To continue reading for free
Sign inSign up
subscribe to Premium
and you will have access to all the web content of El Mundo
According to the criteria of The Trust Project