Marco Asensio spent an hour chatting on COPE’s El Partidazo programe last night. The Real Madrid midfielder spoke about making his debut, settling into life in the capital and the difficult task of choosing to play for either Spain or Holland…
Would you consider leaving Real Madrid? “The club’s put a price on me and I don’t think I’ll be moving away from here. My price is written into my buy-out clause. I wouldn’t go to PSG, I’m very happy here”.
The squad: “All of us would love to play every game, but you have to understand that there are other players who want to play just as much as you do – we have a very big squad. The lads call me Chencho, which I suppose is a take on Asensio, some of them call me Torero (bullfighter) or Tobillo Loco (Crazy ankle)'”.
Cristiano: “Cristiano deserves to win the Ballon d’Or”.
Personal life: “I try to avoid restaurants where there are a lot of people. I usually eat with my Dad and my brother, I’m quite happy just being at home. I usually have a two-hour siesta. I don’t have a girlfriend at the moment”.
Neymar: “We thought it was a bit strange that Neymar would leave Barcelona. He was a very important player for them and that they couldn’t hang on to him was odd, but these things happen”.
Messi: “Zidane told me, since Messi, he hasn’t seen a left foot like mine. I was a bit taken aback when he said that. Messi is an incredible player”.
Chance to join Barcelona: “I made my first team debut with Mallorca then Barça came onto the scene. At the end of the day, it’s destiny. It didn’t happen with Barça and I’m thrilled to be with Real Madrid and to defend their shirt. It was a difficult few days. When Horacio called me and told me that Real Madrid were interested in me, I said I only wanted to play there”.
Chance to play for Holland: “Van Nistelrooy called me to convince me to choose to play for Holland. I was chatting to him for a while, then he passed me onto the national team coach who told me he wanted me at all costs. But I wasn’t in any doubt. I decided to play for Spain”.
Siesta lover: I fell asleep on the day I was going to make my debut in the European Super Cup against Sevilla. The rest of the lads were on the team bus waiting and a security guard was knocking on the door to wake me up… I was fast asleep after a two-hour siesta… I thought that’s it, I won’t get to play now… Ramos said to me: ‘Lad, you’re a mess'”.
If you could pick the best qualities from other players to make your perfect player? “Left foot? Messi’s… Ok then, mine (laughs). Right foot, Cristiano. Best header of the ball, Ramos. Intelligence, Kroos. Playing long balls, Kroos. And leader – Sergio Ramos.