walks through the concentration of Spain with round glasses "with which he looks like an intellectual", say those who are with him.
"No, nah! Neither intellectual nor anything, I just need them.
I have astigmatism
The first explanation, prosaic and unadorned, allows us to intuit where the conversation will go with a 19-year-old player who on Wednesday, in Amsterdam, completed his first full game with the absolute, the last of the three in which he has participated , all with
García (Barcelona, 2001) talks like he plays, without haste, no matter how much it costs the viewer a heart attack.
Before continuing, it is mandatory:
Are you going to sign for Barcelona?
All I can tell you is that I am a
, I have a contract and I am very grateful because they were the ones who bet on me.
Grateful for the trust of
, everyone ... and nothing, just that.
What it does not say, because it cannot, is that the operation is closed for a month from now, when the winter market opens.
That Barça and its agents,
Iván De la Peña
, have an agreement with
(the English club knows that it will leave for free in summer and wants some money).
So the only thing missing is that, the money.
is no small thing, but everyone assumes that in December he will be at the club from which he left in the summer of 2017, at the age of 16, to go to England.
Then City, already in the hands of Guardiola and Txiki Beguiristain, bet on him and Barça saw another youth squad get away, another one, without being able to do anything.
In Manchester it has grown to be what it is today, a curious case.
He is not the undisputed starter at City (he has played three out of 10 games), but he is already a fixture for Luis Enrique in the selection calls.
The coach senses in him a future substitute for
, and although those are big words, the road leads.
"I have been in these last three calls and I am very happy. Coming here is the maximum already, because I have been in all the lower categories. The coach has given me confidence and I try to take advantage of it," he says from his room, telephone time and Zoom for interviews.
He, Eric, senses that he is part of a global commitment by Luis Enrique.
"It has been seen that he has bet on young people, not only me, but also
Ansu, Ferrán, Óscar
... This is important for young people, to see that it gives us this confidence."
The national coach usually says that he forces his centrals to
go out with the ball played
And football experts say that, for that, few like this son of entrepreneurs dedicated to the sale of accessories for animals.
Elegant, with his head always high, it is understood that it will not be a heart attack that worries him while he plays football.
The calm with which it unfolds indicates this.
However, it is curious that, questioned by this, his first sentence is not for aesthetics.
"My role is to defend, if you have to hit a kick, you do it. If you have to kick, you do it. If you have to go out with the ball played, you do it. If you have to clear, you do it
. I like to go out with the ball played, also because in the clubs where I have been I have had to do it, but my first mission is to defend ".
He recognizes that it cannot always be done, that the opponent also plays and that, sometimes, you have to pull that as outlawed as the clearance to the
"At City we take risks, and here at the national team too, but up to a point," insists an obsessive man about everything that surrounds football.
Since he went, with his grandfather and father, to play and watch regional football when he was just beginning to walk until today, where free time is divided between
FIFA on the Play Station and watching football
Well, with a new addition to leisure: "Lately I have started reading some books and I am enjoying it."
But going back to football: "In any league, I don't care," explains who is just one step away from getting the first level of the title of coach in Spain (there are three levels).
"I was about to finish it, but they just confined us before the last practice and I couldn't finish it," he says, and that leads to his luck.
"A day or two before all the flights closed, I was able to go home, so the confinement, despite the bad, I was able to spend with my family."
And he refers to spending it with his parents and his 14-year-old sister in Barcelona, not in Manchester, where he lives alone.
He started his
, but he has it parked and, on the horizon, a
The conversation enters, without really knowing why, on a delicate matter.
The fame and the money that boys like him handle, so young.
Some take their feet off the ground.
But he not.
Or it does not seem at least.
I have been fortunate that at home they have always instilled in me values such as humility and respect.
At 19 years old, I am very clear that I have just started in this, that it lasts a long time, and that in life you always have to be humble.
Today I'm at City, but tomorrow you never know where you can be, maybe because you don't give the level, due to an injury ...
And do you really think that you can go wrong?
Yes, of course I think so.
It is true that there are not many people who think about it, because in the end you are so involved in the day to day that it can go unnoticed.
But yeah, of course I think about it, and I feel lucky.
There are people who get up at six in the morning and come home at 10 at night.
In the end we are footballers, and we have made sacrifices, for example I left home very young to live in another country, but it is not comparable, of course.
According to the criteria of The Trust Project
Spain Soccer Team
Uefa Nations League
UEFA Nations LeagueLuis Enrique: "I don't pretend to like everyone"
UEFA Nations LeagueThe harsh reality of Spain: loses to Ukraine full of substitutes
UEFA Nations LeagueLuis Enrique-Ramos, a firm couple: "He's someone different"
See links of interest
CSKA Moscow - TD Systems Baskonia
Barça - Fenerbahce Istanbul