With Athletic taking on Barcelona this weekend (Saturday at 22h), Fernando Llorente and Javi Martínez were both asked about their Roja teammates from Barcelona in separate interviews. I liked what they had to say, so here it is!
Fernando spoke with Marca (print edition, so no link).
Q: Whose one-on-one marking is more aggressive, that of Piqué/Puyol, or of your girlfriend?
A: Piqué and Puyol. They’re two of the best central defenders in the world and their marking is aggressive even in the training sessions. That of my girlfriend is a child’s game.
Q: Let’s talk about the firefighters calendar. About the hose…
A: It was a for a good cause, to help out firefighters and the fight against cancer. If my participation is able to help…
Fernando also says that if he could have any teammate on his team, he would pick someone from the national team. Also, that Liverpool is the foreign team that fascinates him, because Reina and Torres have told him incredible stories about what it’s like to watch a game there. And that he would like to add Villa’s Barcelona shirt to his collection.
And Javi spoke with AS.
Q: You’ve been able to play with the three jewels of Barcelona’s midfield on the national team: Xavi, Busquets and Iniesta. Which of them is the most difficult to defend?
A: Each one has his thing. Iniesta has the biggest capacity to surprise. He and Xavi make an impressive pair; it’ll be a long time before Spanish football sees another pair of footballers like those two together. It would be good that they have an off day.
Q: And what about Busquets?
A: I’m going to say one thing about Busquets that defines him clearly, and that’s that when he’s not playing with Barça, you can tell. He had an incredible World Cup, and his progression as a footballer has been spectacular.
Q: Do you keep in contact with your national team teammates?
A: Yes, we send each other text messages.
Q: Have you learned a lot, being with them?
A: Yes, I’ve learned a lot both from the senior team as well as the U-21 team.