Wednesday, January 17, 2018

True stories from the Futbolita Diaries!

The Futbolita team once ran 2 kilometres in the winter cold (5 degrees!) at the Chelsea Cobham training ground, one hour after they arrived from the airport. They were so late for their meeting that they bumped into the curious and amused boys from Chelsea’s reserve squad (carrying hot cups of tea & coffee!) on the way out of the club’s cafeteria.

When Futbolita met and interviewed Barcelona footballer Xavi, he was the first one to greet her (in the Spanish way – google that) and upon receiving a Futbolita postcard, he grinned and said : “QUE RICO!” (google that again) Well, a true gentleman indeed!

Futbolita once had to reschedule a phone interview with Villarreal and Spain National midfielder Carlos Marchenabecause his car broke down on the way to the training ground. After finding out he had kept us waiting, he apologized profusely and promised to make it up to us the following day. Cool lad!

Switching between Spanish, English and French can be a very challenging process, as Futbolita found out while covering the Arsenal FC team. After chatting with Mexican striker Carlos Vela at the training pitch, she bumped into the team’s French-speaking Morrocan striker, Marouane Chamakh, and accidentally spoke in Spanish to him to which he replied (gamely, in Spanish!) later adding : “My Spanish is a catastrophe!”

While waiting at the Bernabeu for one of her meetings with Real Madrid (in the freezing cold), Futbolita was approached by a member of the club’s staff who curiously asked if she was of Russian ethnicity. What?!

Jordi Alba and Vicente from Valencia CF were also curious about Futbolita’s ethnicity that she made them guess what it was for five minutes (outside the freezing cold Mestella stadium). They never got it in the end, and she had to explain it.

Futbolita was once asked if she was a Schalke ‘WAG’ by a group of German fans when she happened to be staying in the same hotel as the team during a Champions League fixture. “No, gracias!” was her reply.

In Barcelona, while attending Barca’s training session, Futbolita chose to navigate up to the pitch with her heels (bad idea). She was helped by two helpful Catalan journalists who held her by the hands and ensured she would not fall down in front of Puyol & co’!

When Futbolita met Chelsea’s new coach Andres Villas-Boas for the first time, he exclaimed “You speak Portuguese?!” in surprise.

A little bitter about Brazil’s defeat to the Dutch in the 2010 World Cup quarter-finals, Futbolita later found out that the Oranje are not so bad after all when she spoke to a friendly and upbeat Dirk Kuyt at Liverpool’s pre-season.

I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

In July 2008, Brazilian national player Alexandre Pato personally gave Futbolita his Brazil national #9 jersey. It was the jersey he wore during a friendly pre-Olympic match and as a result, he sprayed it with copious amounts of cologne!

When Futbolita met Manchester United player Nani, he told her that she spoke good Portuguese. Surprising! “Did you study it?” he asked to which she replied “Yes!” and he said “Very impressive.” And then he went on to share how much he missed Cristiano Ronaldo.

As Futbolita and her sidekick were once wondering in forbidden grounds, they were surprised to encounter a weary looking Paul Scholes who had a gym towel around his neck. He asked “Are you girls lost? You look pretty lost…”

Fernando Torres remains one of the shyest and most awkward players Futbolita has spoken to… but one of her favourites because of his genuine nature. She has also interviewed the Spanish striker (and his freckles twice) and Torres believed her to be a member of the Spanish press when she interviewed him during Chelsea’s pre-season.

When Futbolita met Brazilian legend Romario, she told him that his son, Romarinho, was “muito fofo” (very cute) which made him light up and laugh out loud – along with his translator and assistant!

Raul Gonzalez was the first player Futbolita had ever encountered as a teenage fangirl and the first words he said to her was “Is this marker pen yours?”

Futbolita once spent fifteen minutes talking to Clarence Seedorf about the beauty of the Bali and Phuket beach resort over the phone in an interview. He had apparently visited the islands with his family and was thrilled to share his experience.

When she met Patrice Evra, Futbolita told him she was a Bolivian journalist …. which he completely believed! Too bad she isn’t Bolivian. He later spoke to her in Spanish, which was a very amiable thing to do!

Futbolita once got into a staring match with Real Madrid’s Marcelo, when she was trying to figure out whether she should interview him or not during Brazil’s training. In the end, it was a no go!

When Cristiano Ronaldo received one of Futbolita’s articles about him three years ago at a global press conference, our partners in attendance told us he nodded at it with a smile. Oh, our byline melted!

Kaka’s wife, Caroline Celico, is the proud owner of a Futbolita/Kaka shirt which she says is “very nice”. She also gave Futbolita advice about where to go in Madrid before she embarked on her journey in February 2011.

When Futbolita met Brazilian defender Fabio da Silva (United), the first thing she said to him was he had great (hair) locks and the poor boy was so happy that he replied in English : “Thank you!!”


Fans can rack up the trivia ranks and earn more points by betting on football with 888sport!