Inma Lidón Valencia


Updated Friday, March 1, 2024-22:34

He is 25 years old but behaves and expresses himself like a veteran.

He leads and sets an example, perhaps because Pepelu (Denia, 1998) knows what dreams cost.

At the age of 13, Jose, as he is called at home, went to the Levante residence.

Valencia was beaten that time, but in June he went for a footballer with military discipline, essential for Baraja and in the orbit of Luis de la Fuente.

Fourth player with the most minutes in LaLiga, 10.7 kilometers per game and five goals.

How do you keep up with that pace? It reflects the work I do every day, both with the team and individually.

I feel very good physically and, furthermore, the energy that the team's game has, that intention to always go forward, to be together, makes me reach those numbers. Real Madrid has one of the best midfield centers in the world How can you beat them? They are incredible, but playing at Mestalla is a point in our favor.

We have to be a together, aggressive team that has a lot of energy and causes the biggest mistakes.

We are going to have to play a game of muscle and run for miles. Is the atmosphere worried about everything that happened with Vinicius? We know that they are historic games, that against Real Madrid there is always a special tension.

But the players have to be focused on the grass, because if we focus outside, we lose energy that we are going to need. Would it be better if Vinicius was not there or to forget what happened? The better the players on the rival team, the better we compete and the better you can know the victory.

Whether Vinicius is there or not, Madrid has infinite resources.

But if he is on the field and we manage to win, he will have much more merit. In a few months Pepelu will be an essential figure on the pitch and in the locker room. The truth is that yes.

I am 25 years old but by having younger colleagues, I have taken a step forward.

I feel comfortable trying to help as much as possible and playing so many minutes has helped me have that figure within the team. Is it Baraja's brain on the field? I try to convey what he tells me.

He played in this position and gives touches that help us a lot. He has given him the command of set pieces and penalties, where he was infallible until the failure against Almería...He had only failed one in Portugal in all the years that I have been as professional.

But, today, although it seems not, it is difficult to score a penalty, with so much study between goalkeepers and forwards.

I haven't thought about how I'll launch the next one, but I've been studying them. Do you know how Lunin deals with them?

Yes. We always work on them at the end of the week [he does it with Jaume Doménech, the substitute goalkeeper] Who is Pepelu? A humble, hard-working person, eager to help. But he will no longer be able to help his father in the plumbing business.

Imagine seeing him enter a house to fix a faucet... Of course I can!

I have helped my father in plumbing delighted.

And I would do it again. But you know? Some, not much, but what he sends me is not very complicated (laughs). He finishes the games with 10 kilometers in his legs and starts pedaling in the locker room, where he asked that they put a stationary bike...I work with people who are very aware of recovery.

Now there is a colleague who has joined because he gives results.

Setting an example is a way to help. He controls sleep with a ring, the type of light in his house,

He always eats dinner three hours before going to sleep, he doesn't miss a nap... Is it difficult to live with Pepelu? Seen this way, it's not easy to live with me because of my almost military routine.

Little by little you incorporate it and now I see it as normal.

When I'm on vacation, it feels strange to leave it. What was it like at the age of 20 to live through the pandemic in Tondela, a Portuguese town of 1,000 inhabitants? Complicated, because I was alone for many months.

That helped me to value many things and mature. Paco López has recognized that he was wrong not to make room for him in LevanteR.

We can all make mistakes.

That he says that in the end he was prepared to play in the First Division is something that makes him proud. De la Fuente already knows him from the U-19 and U-21 and he could be on the list, does he dream of the national team? Like all footballers, but it means having a good season at Valencia. Rodri, Merino, Zubimendi, there is competition... Who do you look at? They have a very high level and that is good because it makes us all want to be there.

But there is no doubt that Rodri is the best, a great mirror for midfielders.