Laporte: “Here I am freaking out all day; I enjoy myself like a child”

HSpeak bluntly. Direct, no haggling questions. Aymeric Laporte (Agen, 1994) enjoys his first European Championship in Las Rozas, the one he plays with Spain after one of those decisions that mark a life. In Las Rozas he feels “like a child.” He knew what was going to be said, who was going to jump, but he was always clear that the step was the right one.

The present forces. Sergio Ramos has just said goodbye to Madrid. Can you assess your figure?
He is an example for all footballers, also for me. It is a benchmark in the world of football. As a center-back I have paid a lot of attention to him, to his personality. Despite the adversities he has had throughout his career, he has always managed to get ahead. That is what strikes me about his character.
Talk about their character. What makes you different from others?
That he has been able to be wrong a thousand times and a thousand times he has far exceeded it. He has always shown his face. That’s what I like the most about him.
Do you see him playing anywhere?
Sure. It is a central top. He can play for any team in the world, he has the level for it.
Let’s talk about the selection. What feeling is there within the team after not winning in the debut?
We wanted more. We are left with a feeling not of disappointment, but of saying, “Damn, we should have won.” Not winning a game like that, which we dominate so much with 75% possession, leaves you with the feeling that you are losing a victory, which is very important in this type of tournament. It helped us to score a point, but it was not what we wanted and expected. Three points gave us a lot of life.
Why is the message of confidence that comes out from the national team so resounding?
You just have to look at the players that this team has. It is true that there are younger people than in other years, but we all have our character, our history. We are here for something. We all have the same goal. If we see the level of each one, you conclude that the group is very high.
He has never faced Lewandowski …
He is a top striker, one of those who makes you not be able to leave confident. You have to be very focused on what you can do. But we have to play our game. If it is similar to the other day, it will be very difficult for them.
Ferran has said that the central squad are going to eat Lewandowski.
I hope I know so! That is the goal. All the strikers of the Eurocup have their little things. That makes you always have to be alert.
Sweden arrived little, but with great danger.
It’s true. They had more chances than they should. They were two very clear, and we cannot allow that. It is something to improve. We leave them too much freedom. With the block we have and the way of pressing up, they cannot reach us like this. We must be demanding with ourselves and not allow such occasions.
Had he played on a team that pushed like this?
Yes. With Bielsa, it was almost the man to the whole field, always after yours. And with Pep, sometime.
Who demands more from a central defender: Bielsa, Luis Enrique or Guardiola?
They are totally different. One is more man-made, another more tactical and the other more classic. But they are all valid. Their baggage is extraordinary.
With the sub 21 d France he played three games with another left-handed central defender, Umtiti, two of them against Sweden. How is the coordination with another southpaw?
I thought it was going to be worse. But I am comfortable. There are also aspects that benefit a southpaw when playing on the right, it opens up more the field and vision for your good leg. It has its bad and good things.
Does he always profile himself on the same side to get the ball?
[Risas] Have you seen that? Do you think I did it? No, I also like to play with the right foot. As a child I trained him a lot.
How did you train him?
Hitting and hitting with the right. They are training sessions in which you did not touch it with your left. Since you were little you set goals for yourself. Think that it is almost twenty years of career or playing soccer, and daily training.
How was the call from Luis Enrique?
It is a long story. from a long time ago. He called me and told me that he was interested in having me, to know if he was interested in competing in a European. He told me that it was very feasible that he could play for Spain; and I, delighted.
Was it clear that there would be people who could be bothered?
And it keeps bothering you. You are never going to like everyone or not everyone. For tastes, the colors. It is a delicate subject, but in the end I have to do what I believe is the right thing and the right thing to do. Doing things right. I have always tried, keeping the utmost respect for everyone. And to play. What is good for me will be good for everyone.
Do you feel comfortable?
Yes, I do feel comfortable. And also very happy. I am in a stage of my life in which I am very happy and I am taking advantage of it. Here I am as a child living his dream. I was looking forward to being here and I’m freaking out every second.
How did you make a decision of this magnitude at home, in your family?
As it was a somewhat delicate subject, I discussed it with my family and told them what my intention was and they understood. They, in a way, saw it very clearly. What Spain had given me, not only now and throughout my career, had no comparison with France. For them, delighted.
And in Bilbao?
Same. My friends have encouraged me and they have said very well. I have learned very little of what has been said here because I have read very little the press because I knew what was going to be said.
Has a teammate from the French team called you?
No. Most of them knew about my situation. Not because of playing with Spain, but because they didn’t count on me in France, only partially. He had been holding out for a long time, waiting for something. Yes they were surprised because I did not speak about this, but happy because they know what I wanted.
Did the question of the sentiment and the hymn bother you?
No. What bothered me is that he was going to attack me. There are many ways, and yours was not correct. It is a complicated and delicate subject. Many in favor and many others against. In the end, if I am here, it is because I can and because I want to be.
Other athletes who are nationalized and are applauded, but in football …
It is clear that soccer is the number one sport in the world, the most talked about, the most criticized, where there are more debates. There are many opinions of many more people, who perhaps do not know about football, but about politics or something else. A lot of people get into the mess and that’s why there are many opinions and problems.
We have found diving into his history a very direct Laporte, who likes to say things to his face and this week he has again been demonstrated with a discussion via Twitter.
I tend to be as direct as possible. I don’t like rodeos. It is what it is. I know a lot of people don’t like it. I think it is a virtue, but it can be a defect because many people do not accept that things can be said to their face. Always with the utmost respect. That is my philosophy.
Well, since it is so direct, is Spain going to win the Eurocup?
The objective is to win it, but we are going to start with the next game, which is very, very important. First, to score three points.
Is there a hole in your head to think about what is going to happen with your future, to know where you are going to play when the Euro is over?
No. As I said before, I am here, like a happy child, delighted with everything that I am experiencing. I am comfortable surrounded by these people, enjoying every moment and everything that happens. My life has taken a turn. Although it seems normal to be here, for me, it is not like that. I really wanted to experience something like this. I’m enjoying it and what has to happen will happen.
June 18, 2021 admin

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