Rodrigo Hernández (Madrid, 25 years old) was the best midfielder in the Premier League last season and a key player in the title won by Manchester City. However, his season finale, a substitute in the Champions League final, and with a performance below expectations in the Eurocup, tarnished his performance in a year in which he also finished his Business Administration and Management career while he was concentrate with selection. Now he faces three qualifying games for the 2022 World Cup, the first tomorrow against Sweden (20.45).
Question. What does a footballer with a degree in Business Administration and Management think of the football business?
Answer. It is an interesting business model. The work I did at the end of my career was for my club, on the management they did. If so much money moves, there are things that are done well, but obviously it contrasts a lot with society and more now with the pandemic and the crisis. There is a lot of work behind marketing and it is interesting to see how ideas come up so that so many people are interested in football.
P. Isn’t it suicidal that the capital-risk ratio depends on whether the ball goes in or not?
R. Life is risky and football has a lot of risk, but I’m not an expert either.
PSG is a bit like Disneyland or Hollywood, lots of big names and all on the same team. We will see how they work together.
P. What do you think when in a line-up you can see Achraf, Ramos, Verratti, Di María, Neymar, Messi and Mbappé?
R. It’s a bit like Disneyland or Hollywood, lots of big names and all on the same team. It is a great team, they have a lot of superiority in the French league. Nobody disputes that, we’ll see how they work as a team. Fortunately, football is not individualities, but how a group works. We are going to play against them in the group stage of the Champions League and those players command respect, we’ll see. If they work well as a team, they will impose more.
P. His club has been on the verge of signing Harry Kane and also tried it with Messi and Cristiano.
R. A player of the stature of Kane helps a lot, but we have a team that has been able to win the Premier League, which is almost like an internal Champions League, and you have little to change. The most valued thing there is is the goal because there are very few players who can score more than 20 goals, but that does not guarantee anything either. We have other players like Ferran, for example, to play there. As a midfielder, I like to see him there because he creates a lot of spaces for you and not only comes to receive face-to-face. In addition, he has a shot and a goal.
P. Do you have the feeling that your gray end of the season covered the rest of the course?
R. I do not see it that way, it is an accumulation of sensations. It was a great joy to get the Premier, how the team developed and how I was. When you aspire to play everything, you reach the limit in the end and it may be that he will accuse him. I didn’t eat the icing on the cake, but it’s part of football. The Champions could not be obtained and that yes that was a bitter drink. I try to draw positive conclusions, I think it was a full year and, above all, learning to dose more and better reach the important part of the seasons. I went full house from the beginning.
P. Guardiola explained that he played the Champions League final without a midfielder because he wanted to have the ball. How does a player who always wants the ball digest that?
R. It is difficult to assume that you are not here and that you are not going to be the protagonist. He bet on Gundogan, who is also very good with the ball. I have nothing to reproach. This year will be another opportunity to show that I can be in those moments. I am 25 years old and have room for improvement.
P. In the Eurocup, with the positive of Busquets, he had the opportunity to start in the first two games and did not meet expectations.
R. You arrive at a difficult physical moment, but you have to face it and play in the best way you can. If physically you are not so level, you have to exploit other things. I tried to help the team.
P. Why not take risks in the passes?
R. The Eurocup was the first tournament for many of us and the expectations were great, but I gave everything I had. We also hadn’t been with the coach for a long time and he asked me for slightly different things and you have to adjust them. It takes a while and a Eurocup is immediate performance.
P. What does Luis Enrique ask of him?
R. More offensive vocation, that I do not think so much that I am a pivot, he asks me to be almost more of an interior and to incorporate myself more.
P. When Busquets played, the selection had more security. Did you notice him?
R. Busi has a lot of experience in this type of competition and of course you try to look at yourself, but I am here to be in front of him and that the coach can count on me. From there, the result also conditions, the team takes security when it wins. I know that I have to take another step here and I am working on that.
“We do not have a profile of backlash players, or very physical, but we have other types of players. We were the best team in the Eurocup and we are a very young generation ”.
P. Does Spain have a style consistent with the football that is played now?
R. We do not have a profile of backlash players, or very physical, but we have other types of players. We were the best team in the Eurocup and we are a very young generation.
P. Are they better players than is generally thought?
R. We have proven it. Tell me a game in which a team has been better than us. Obviously, when they lock you up and you can’t find the way to score, you have to improve, but in defense they have hardly reached us. Against the great teams we have responded in every game. In the end the penalty shootouts are a lottery, against Italy we were superior, against Croatia …
P. The Eurocup again hooked the fan to the selection. Do you feel the responsibility not to lower the level?
R. Not only did we not lower it, we saw that no team was better and we were frustrated not to win the Eurocup. Now we look at each other and say that we can and must be the best team in each tournament. We are a made team, more mature and that has the option of everything and, from there, improve, not just match what we did.
P. Is that what Luis Enrique transmits to you?
R. Above all the nonconformity, if someone is happy to reach the semifinals, well, it is a step because we came from tournaments in which we did not arrive, but we wanted to win and we were screwed. That is a good sign.
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