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[Part 1/3]

Kids at the beginning describing David Villa:
“He has spikey hair./ He has black hair. / He wears earrings./ I won’t tell you (whispers in other kid’s ear)./ He has a beard. /He’s vain. / He has a soulpatch. /He wears a white kit. /He jumps – jumps very high. /He is number 7. /He gets angry a lot. /He scores many goals. /And he screams a lot./ Aaaaaah! /He will be a World Champion. /Etc.”
Q: The word “Guaje” in Asturian means something like “kid, child”. And Guaje is the perfect word to describe our guest, one of the greatest strikers in the world, a real “worldwide sensation”: and it may well be because he really enjoys his profession. Molt bona nit.
Villa: Buenas noches.
Q: How would David Villa describe David Villa?
Villa: Well, I’m a normal person, I have fun doing my job, I love my job. Professionally speaking, I enjoy this sport more and more every day. As far as my personal life is concerned, I am really laid-back, I am a family man, I enjoy spending time with my family, with my girls. I am a normal person like any other.
Q: What did it mean for you to come to Valencia?
Villa: When they first asked me to consider going to Valencia, I couldn’t believe it. I knew Zaragoza wasn’t going to sell me without full payment of my buyout clause, which was 12m Euros. I thought it was never going to happen, and the day I actually signed the contract was a great joy for me. I it was a big leap forward in my career, I was going to a big club that had a real chance to fight for European titles, to play the Champions League etc. and also to become a better player, to become more known on a global level.
Q: If you had to choose one moment, just one, of your stay at Valencia, which one would it be?
Villa: There are so many, really, from which to choose. But if I had to pinpoint one moment, maybe when the referee blew the final whistle in the Calderón stadium, when we won the Copa del Rey. Not only because it was the only title I won with Valencia, but also because of everything that happened that year. It was a really hard year, and people probably think us footballers were the least affected, but in the end we were, and very much so. We all suffered, anyone who likes football did. I would talk with Baraja every night on the phone; we would call each other and have these long conversations about football. We tried to forget about that mess and ended up talking about it even more. And the day of the Cup, it was like an explosion, for five, ten hours all problems seemed to disappear. We were incredibly happy, and we knew we were making our supporters happy as well.
Q: Look at this photo still. Do you know what’s hidden behind those gates?
Villa: Well, that’s the pitch I’ve played on the most! [laughs] In this case, futsal [indoor football T/N]. It’s the pitch behind my old school, I spent many many hours there, day after day; my mom used to call me home from the window because I was always late for lunch and dinner. Well, that is the reason I am here now, but most importantly it made my childhood a very happy one.
Q: What are your feelings regarding Tuilla? From a personal point of view.
Villa: Tuilla means everything to me. I lived there for 20 years, and I’m 28 now. Even when I was playing professionally for Sporting [de Gijón] I still lived there, because I really felt at home. I would wish to any kid the childhood I had there. I often look at my daughters and realize that maybe they have other important experiences here living in a big city and all, but they aren’t having as much fun as I did when I was growing up.
Villa’s Dad: As a kid he used to play with everything, even tennis balls. And when his mother hid even those, he made balls with crumpled newspapers and hid in his room for hours. Ever since he was born, practically! But hey, I always wanted a footballer son. His mother and I saw him from the window… [coming home from school] he put down his books and notebooks and started playing ball.
Q: Your father told us that he always wanted a footballer son. Did you ever feel this as a child?
Villa: Without doubt. 70% of why I’m sitting here right now is because of him, everything he gave to me. Always, ever since I was very little. For example, when I was four years old I broke my femur – I don’t remember any of it as I was too young then, I know mostly what my parents told me – and my father just kept insisting that I was going to be a footballer, and to never give up. There was a risk I would never recover and that I’d walk with a limp, that I’d be disabled all my life. But thanks to his strength, the strength everybody gave me, I’m sitting here now today.
Villa’s dad: If you have a son and you see him trying to crawl his way around using his head and shoulders as leverage… a baby that small, month after month… until he finally started getting better… [trails off, visibly moved]
Villa: Imagine what they must have been through. Both my mom and my dad, all those hours they spent at the hospital. And then hearing my father talking about it… I am super protective of my daughter, I’m always worried that something like that might happen to her.
Q: And do you think that the fact that you were born in a coal-mining area influenced your character? Values of sacrifice, hard-work…
Villa: Yes, certainly! Like I said, I lived there 20 years. That’s were I grew up. Not Zaragoza, not Valencia, not Gijón. In Tuilla.
Q: It took us a while to seek out all the people we thought would know you best, to find out more about the real David Villa. So we’re going to watch them now, some of them left messages for you. Let’s start with the one person, besides with your wife and Joaquín [Sánchez], who have slept in the same room with you. Do you know who I’m talking about?
Villa: I might make a gaffe here, but I imagine you mean Pepe Reina.

Q: Have a look.
Pepe: Ask him to tell you the story of R., he’ll know what I mean.
Villa: Um, I don’t think I should tell that story [laughs]. Well, just so you know what it is, for a while now with the Spain NT – I’m going to tell you a bit of a secret. The night before a game we all get together in Pepe’s room and have some ColaCao [a high energy chocolate drink] and some biscuits. It’s not about eating really, actually most of the times we’re not even hungry. But it’s like a ritual that we began three or four years ago, and we do it every night [before a game]. At the beginning it was just Iker, Pepe, Cazorlita [Cazorla]… just four or five of us, and one night I told them this little story of R.: someone had just told it to me. Bit by bit all the other teammates found out about us hanging out: every international call-up there was one or two new teammates joining us as our group grew, so every time Pepe said “Go on, tell them the story of R.”. So after a while Pepe, Iker and Cazorla had heard it, like, fifteen times already, and they called me a pain in the ass for it. So now everytime we get together, even if it’s still the same guys, they always ask me to tell that story, but… it’s better if I don’t say it on TV. There you have it.

[PART 2/3]

Q: Who was the Spain NT player who thought you were going to see kangaroos in Austria?
Villa: Albiol. [laughs] Albiol. That was a small lapsus. It was pretty funny because we all watched the interview together on the internet afterwards and we laughed a lot about it.
Albiol: Guaje, let’s see if you can do 10 sit-ups for once, to make the fitness coach happy. He never wants to do sit-ups, like, never. He just doesn’t do them. I think his maximum is 5 in a row, and he bitches all through them.
Villa: [smiles] Albiol knows very well that I like talking a lot. And I’m always arguing with my fitness coaches about that: after training when you’re all relaxed, they ask you to do stretching and sit-ups – and sit-ups are not exactly my favorite thing in the world. So I start talking and protesting and I drive them crazy.
Q: You come off as someone who’s a bit shy, reserved, someone who doesn’t want to show many emotions, especially when they’re positive ones. But we have talked with many people who know you very well, and they have described a completely different person!
Villa: I think I’m a bit of both. At first it takes me a while to open up to someone – especially with people I don’t know – not because I don’t trust them, it’s just how I am. I try to keep to myself mostly.
Pepe: El Guaje is a particularly funny guy in the changing room. He’s a real jokester and he has a great virtue: he’s the first who doesn’t take himself too seriously.
Iker: Because of his personality, it’s very easy to get attached to him. He’s a bit cocky, a bit of a show-off – in the good sense of the word – but he’s a good kid, a good guy, and that’s what’s most important.
Xavi: He seems very shy in front of the cameras, but he is super-funny, he’s fun to be with, he likes to joke a lot, fool around with the rest of the group. He is an excellent [incredible, fantastic, you choose XD] to share the changing room with.
Q: If you think about the end of your career as a footballer – may it be many many years before it happens – would you see yourself ending your football days as a Sporting player?
Villa: I began at Sporting, first with the Juveniles, then I moved to Sporting B, and then the first division team. Being from the cantera since I was very young, you see, I’ll never not be a Sporting supporter. You can put other club’s shirts over that one –often in football you move around a lot, and sometimes you have to accept new contracts with others clubs because you want to become better – but for me, and for any Sporting supporter who comes from their cantera… you never really stop wearing the Sporting shirt.
[Villa’s dad hugs Enrique Castro, or “Quini”.]
Quini: This man here [David’s dad] owes me so many dinners! We used to talk about Villa, when he was no one, he was just just starting out in football, and I told this man right here that “this kid is gonna go very far, you’re gonna see him in the NT soon”. And he was all: “You are crazy!”
Villa’s dad: And we would start betting dinners on it.
Villa: Quini made many predictions that, thank God, became true. I was lucky enugh to be there and receive daily advice by one of the best strikers of all time. I had this incredible luck/opportunity, for which I am incredibly grateful. It’s a huge part of who I am as a footballer. I really hope one day when I’m his age I’ll be able to help a kid the same way he helped me.
Q: Now, about the short-distance future. What does the future hold for David Villa?
Villa: Well. Every summer I’ve been in the limelight, every single summer whether I was in Sporting or Zaragoza or Valencia. So I’ve lerned from experience that I have to think on a day-by-day basis.
Q: And after you retire?
Villa: Ugh, it’ll be even worse than it is now. I cannot imagine my life without getting up and going to training, without the pre-match preparations, without staying at a hotel with my friends – with my teammates.
[Villa gets in the car. Kids ask for autographs/pictures “Thank you, never leave Valencia!” awww those kids ;_; Walks into the dressing room.]
Villa: Hey, man! Bernie! [to the camera, poking Espanyeta’s belly] This is Bernardo España, he’s a phenomenon!
Espanyeta: And this is going to be top goalscorer of the WC in South Africa this year!!
Villa: Let’s hope so!
Q: Hypothetically, what would make you leave Valencia?
Villa: If the club needed to sell me.
Q: You mean you would only leave Valencia if the club needed to sell you?
Villa: Man, I have a four-year contract with a big buy-out clause. I think I’m demonstrating every day my commitment to this proyect, that I’m happy here. I can’t imagine this club would ever sell me unless they really needed to. [even as a culé, this is heartbreaking tbqh...]
Q: The person we’re about to see is another World’s Number One.And he has a few words to say to you.
[Fernando Alonso, F1 racer]
Alonso: Hi David, what’s up? I’m here at Ferrari… my question is, do you have your own football-related Ferrari? Which is your dream club? Which is the best club in your opinion?
Villa: I think the Ferrari I’m enjoying driving the most right now is the La Roja, the Spain NT. Even the color of the shirt is the same, red! I think every Spaniard is proud of our NT, of the football we’re playing. And personally, I’m incredibly proud of wearing this shirt, game after game.
Q: Probably the worst moment you’ve been through in the last couple of years with the NT: Confederations Cup in South Africa. That same uncertainty of every other summer [transfer window], not knowing what your future was going to be…
Villa: The fact that I was having so many clubs after me is wonderful. But that was a sum of many things. Firstly, I’d never been so far away from my girls – well, girl, singular, since Olaya had yet to be born – or from my wife. Second, I had never been so long without seeing my parents. But what I was afraid of the most – and those who know me well, know this too – was that I would go online and read on the internet in some newspaper that “it was hindering my performance”. The mere idea terrified me.
Q: And now that the WC is approaching, aren’t you afraid that something similar might happen?
Villa: No, not anymore. Like I said, I’m not going to be hanging on every word that’s written about me. I don’t care. Well, maybe if we get eliminated and sent back home early, I will, but. I know I have this great once-in-a-lifetime opportunity ahead of me…thousands of footballers who have played in La Liga over the years have never managed to win a WC. And I have the opportunity to take that chance: trust me, I’m not going to think about anything else beside football.
Q: You’re a fun guy to be with, people who know you say it’s easy to like you. But look what we have here.
[Crazy fangurl doing crazy fungurl screaming/shaking/crying]
Crazy fangurl: I finally met David Villa!!! After one year of watching every single game of the Eurocopa!!!! A whole year!!!! He didn’t say anything to me, he just kissed me on both cheeks…. I am never going to wash my face again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [some more ugly crying]
[Another crazy fangurl crying, this time mini-size LOL]
Villa: [a bit shocked lol] Never in my life I thought something like this might happen. I’m really happy that – well I’m not happy to see them cry of course – I feel bad for them and it embarrasses me a little. Supporters in general are giving me so much love, and I feel so privileged. Not just now because I get a chance to compete in the WC. I’m doing what I like, what I always dreamed of.

[Part 3/3]

It’s a job, but at the end of the day it’s also a game. And receiving so much affection is always priceless. That’s why I like to stop my car – and especially at the Ciutat Esportiva [in Valencia]– and sign autographs, take pictures with them… when I was younger I was like them, I would wait to get other footballers autographs.
Q: If you could ask one autograph today, if you had to choose one footballer who has been, for his strength, his character, etc. an important reference for you, who would they be?
Villa: Mmh, if we’re talking about football, I’d say Luis Enrique. Without doubt.
Q: Until now, you did not have his autograph. But look here.
[Cut to Luis Enrique lakjhsld]
Luis: [writing] “To the best Asturian footballer of all time alongside Quini: David Villa. Hugs and good luck!” Here it is! Hope it really does bring you luck!
Q: Here [gives autograph to Villa]. This is Luis Enrique’s autograph. Actually, I did use this program as an excuse to give you a present that would remind you of your childhood.
Villa: Thank you so much! I will keep this, with much affection, next to Luis’ shirt. Thank you.
Q: You’re always wearing headphones when you get on and off the bus at the concentraciones. What kind of music do you like?
Villa: I listen to all sorts of music. In the dressing room I’m usually the one that picks the music. And I’ve been told my tastes in music are not normal.
[Ramón Blanca – Los Berrones]
Ramón: Well, I’ll seize this opportunity to show you a little surprise. We just wrote a song dedicated to your home town, Tuilla and of course, to you too.
Villa: Ramón is a real Asturian through and through. Well, I can never thank him enough. Not just because they mention me, but also because they sing about my hometown, Tuilla, about the miners… I come from a family of miners, and most of my friends too. I’m so incredibly grateful to Ramón.
Q: What is the question they keep asking you that annoys you the most ?
Villa: We have already mentioned [the summer of the Confederations Cup]…W ell, it doesn’t annoy me anymore, but it bothered me a lot at the time: the whole number 7 shirt thing, and people trying to make it look like there was a controversy between me and Raúl, which was absolutely false, just because of a number. I mean, players change numbers all the time, it was never a problem before. At the time I felt terrible. When I wore the 7 for the first time I had no idea people would react like that; if I had, I wouldn’t have worn it. I think it was after an away game against Liechtenstein, I think. I went back to the changing room and I was pretty angry because some of our supporters were singing not-so-nice chants at me. So I walked up to Pepe – he was my friendly ear in the NT at the time – and I told him “That’s enough! Next game I’ll choose another number and that’s it. So they can bitch about their number 7, because I’m done with it.” And he told me “If you do that, I’ll never speak to you again, EVER.” [chukles]
Q: There was also a rumor that you couldn’t sign for Real Madrid because Raúl didn’t want you there. Do you think it’s true? Did you ever speak to him about it?
Villa: About this ? No, absolutely not, I think it’s nonsense. Not because it’s Raúl specifically. Any footballer. We are pretty selfish, we always want to play. But trust me in this, we also want to be surrounded by the best teammates, even if that means we get to play less. We want our club to have the best players, because in the end when you have the best teammates you also become better. [Barça DNA, this bit!!!]
Q: What is the goal that you’ve never scored, or that you haven’t scored yet, that you most dream about? If you could choose.
Villa: Truth is I’m a little bummed... I was dreaming in the past few months that I would score in the Europa League finals in Hamburg. Well, of course I also dream about scoring in the WC finals, but. After only winning a Copa del Rey with Valencia, I was really hoping we could get to the Eurocup finals, but unfortunately it couldn’t be done. So now I’m focusing on the winning goal in the WC final.
[Leo Messi]
Messi : I think he’s one of the best strikers in the world. He’s been proving this year after year, no?
Q: So Leo Messi, who is considered the best player in the world, is speaking wonders of David Villa! You two are both from the same world and almost the same generation. How do you feel about it?
Villa: Well. There are some footballers like me who are doing pretty well. And then there’s Messi, who’s in another league. Any player in the world today who tried to compete with Messi would lose. Well, this is my opinion anyway. There are plenty of very good footballers. But the things he does, I’ve never seen anybody do before. So if he was syaing those things about me I feel grateful and honored, and very proud of it.
Xavi: I would define him with one word: goal.
Iker: Anxious.
Albiol: He’s never satisfied, he always strives for more.
Iker: He’s pure angst in football.
Luis Aragones: With one word, I would say he’s extraordinary, in every aspect.
Villa’s Dad: For me, he’s my everything, exactly like my two daughters. I live for them.
Luis Enrique: Strength.
Cesc: Crucial.
Pepe: Brilliant, simply brilliant.
Quini : He’s like a younger brother for me.
Leo: He’s a very humble person, and I think this makes him even greater.
: I have a kid, and I would be thrilled if his idol were David Villa. Not just as a player, but also as a person. I’ve always said this, behind every great footballer there’s a real person.
Villa: I just want to say, not only has this been the best interview of my life,but the things you’ve shown me on that screen.. [trails off] though it’s been really hard to talk about some of those things...
Q: Thank you, David Villa. Thanks for being who you are, for giving so much to rejoice, both in Valencia and with the NT. I just want to ask you one thing: never stop being El Guaje, please.
Villa: Thank you so much.

PS. In case anyone’s interested here’s the lyrics to the song :


Que buena ocasión
Vamos recordar
A esti rinconin
De la cuenca minera
Ye un valle zarrau
D’antiguo esplendor
Ye quien resistir
Contra viento y marea
Hai un paisanin
Fartucu picar carbon
28 años trabayando baxo tierra
Esporiando terraplones
Y subiendo chimenes sin parar

(estribillo) :
Cuando tola grada grita villa villa villa maravilla
Un clamor, escuchas en toda tu illa
Cuando tola grada grita villa villa villa maravilla
Ya lu ves, echando un culete de sidra

Siempre col balon
Dandoi zapataes
En un barrizal
Xugando nuna escombrera
El guaje crecio
Duro y peleon
Y baxo los pies
Nun tien namas que la tierra
Cuando pisa el prau
El 7 ye un ganador
Cuerre como naide
Sobreyexa la pelleya
Ye’l deliriu de la xente ta mui
claro qu’esti guaye ye mundial

(estribillo) 2x


What a great opportunity
To remember
This little corner
Of a coal-mining area.
There is a valley
Of ancient splendor.
Villages that have resisted
Against wind and sea.
And there’s a kid
Fed up with mining coal
28 years of mining underground
Digging deep within the Earth
Coal mining.

(Chorus) :
When the whole stadium sings villa villa villa maravilla
You can hear the clamor resounding in all of Tuilla
When the whole stadium sings villa villa villa maravilla
You can imagine him pouring a jug of cyder [it’s an Asturian tradition]

He’s always there
Kicking a ball
With his shoes in the mud
Playing in a ravine
El Guaje grew up
Tough, a real fighter.
Nothing but earth
Under his feet
When he steps on the pitch.
Number 7 knows he’s a winner
He runs like no one else
And he fights till the end
And people are crazy about him
It’s clear that he’s World Cup material

(Chorus) 2x

(Of course I have a limited knowledge of Asturian and a few slang words here and there were deduced, but yeah, it should be more or less lke that).