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Now Playing: World Cup quiz 2018!

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When I was young…Marcos Alonso

06/06/2018

SCHOOL DAYS
I was good at school. I would pass everything, but I also had fun with my friends and I was always thinking about football, not studying. When I finshed school, I went to uni for a couple of years, but I didn’t finish because I moved away from Spain to sign for Bolton. It was impossible for me to continue studying at that point because I didn’t have the time.

ALL-ROUNDER
I used to play golf at a good level when I was a kid. I was even training for the Madrid team, but I couldn’t do both football and golf – I didn’t have enough time. I tried to train with the Madrid team for a few weeks, but it was too tight, with football as well. I used to be good with the driver, but now I have no good shots! I play sometimes when I go back to Madrid in the summer and I’m trying to play some more in London. JT [below with golfer Justin Rose] always tried to get me out for a game, but I still haven’t played over here.

FIRST POSITION

I played as a striker for my first couple of years as a footballer. I only played two or three years there, in the beginning, from when I was eight to 11 years old, but at school I always played as a striker and never as a defender. After that, I became a winger, then a full-back. I’ve played some games as a centre-back and now I’m a left wing-back. 

MUSIC
I listened to a lot of commercial stuff when I was young. I wasn’t that into music, I just used to put the radio on and listen to stuff like Shakira and some Spanish artists, like Melendi.



FAVOURITE PLAYER
I used to watch videos of my father playing with Diego Maradona at Barcelona. I think Maradona is the best player in football history. I met him once, but it was when I was very young.

FIRST TRICK
I’ve never been a big fan of tricks. I just played games and tried to score goals. I liked to practice free- kicks, of course, and I would watch the players for the teams my father was coaching to learn how to take them well. Scoring a free-kick against Tottenham



PRIZED POSSESSION
I remember a pair of boots my dad got me from one of the players he was coaching, and they were Nike R9s – the black and blue ones. They released a new version not long ago, but I had the original edition and they were the ones I used the most. I played in those boots until they were destroyed! I loved them.

KICKABOUTS

My first playground was in Santander, in the north of Spain, because I lived there when my father coached their team. I used to play at school and also in a park near my home. I’d go and play with my friends, and one of them was Sergio Canales, who later played for Real Madrid and Real Sociedad. We played together in the park as kids and then, for years, we were in the youth teams for Spain as well.



BEST CHILDHOOD MOMENT
Signing for Real Madrid at 12 years old. I remember they called my home one day and asked me to go for a trial. We played a couple of games before going on summer holiday and, during the summer, they called again. I remember I was playing golf, so my father – who is a Barça and Atletico supporter – came to me very sadly and told me, “They want you to play for them. I’m not very sure about it, but they want you to be there for pre-season.” It was an exciting moment for me. I had played for two other clubs before that – one near my home and then to another that was a bit better – so it was a good progression.

MAJOR TOURNAMENT

That would probably be the World Cup in 2002, in South Korea and Japan, when Spain got robbed against South Korea in the quarter- finals. I remember watching Joaquin playing for Spain during that tournament and then, years later, I played alongside him for Fiorentina. That’s a really good memory for me because he’s an amazing player and, now, a good friend.

ROLE MODEL
I think it has to be my father because he was a good example and a close one. He has a lot of experience in football and he used to give me good advice.

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