Chris Winterburn meets Alvaro Negredo
At the beginning of this season I caught up with Manchester City’s summer signing Alvaro Negredo after the Spaniard had enjoyed a wonderful start to his career in the Premier League. Here is what Negredo had to say to me with regards to life at Manchester City, differences between La Liga and the Premier League, his World Cup ambitions and an interesting little anecdote regarding his first ever pair of football boots.
CW: You mentioned the new Adidas F50 boot was light, does this affect how you strike the ball in any way?
AN: Yes, It helps with the power, the lighter the boot the more power you are going to get behind your shot and it helps that the boots are quite thin as well, you feel like your foot is a lot closer to the ball so it is more like playing without anything on your feet.
CW: As we have said it is a World Cup year this year, the Spain squad has already won the World Cup and are looking to make it two in a row, do you think you can play a big part in that?
AN: The competition for places is obviously very high for attacking players in the Spanish squad and all I can do over the next year is perform as well as I can and hopefully I will be there scoring goals for Spain next summer.
CW: Since moving from Spain this summer what immediate differences have you noticed between the game in La Liga and in the Premier League?
AN: Yes, the pace of the game, there is a lot of to-ing and fro-ing and you have to get up and down the pitch a lot, a lot more in this league than in Spain. In Spain teams tend to keep the ball a lot more and prize possession over running quite so many distances but at Manchester City we have a lot of players that are very good on the ball and we keep the ball quite well so it isn’t too different for me playing when we do have the ball but when the opposition have the ball it is a little bit different as there is more running.
CW: As we are in a World Cup year, looking back through your life and the World Cups you remember which players have stood out in World Cups for you and who have you modelled your game on?
AN: The Brazilian Ronaldo is a player who is completely different to any other forward that has played the game, his speed over the first three or four yards was absolutely incredible and I loved watching him play, his physique was incredible and he scored goals, he was everything I wanted to be in a centre forward.
CW: European teams have traditionally not done well in World Cups hosted in South America, how confident are you? and how important would it be for Spain to be the first European side to win a World Cup in South America and also be the first side to win two World Cups in a row since Brazil in 1958 and 1962?
AN: We know it is going to be very difficult, there is going to be a lot of good teams out there but we have got exceptional players in the squad and we’re confident that we can retain it [World Cup] we won the tournament in South Africa which again is a different continent so we have got the experienced gained from that to be able to do the same again but we know it is going to be very difficult so we will just do our best to try and bring the trophy home.
CW: In the past playing for Sevilla you have worked with Diego Capel and Jesus Navas, small players and you have linked well with them, under Pellegrini’s style of football at Manchester City are you finding it to be anything similar?
AN: I like being a tall guy in any team but the players [he has played with] are all quite different, Silva and Aguero tend to keep hold of the ball a little bit more, they look to take players on and bring others into play whereas Navas and Capel are more direct and tend to run straight at players, trying to get to the by-line and then hit the balls into the box where I can head them in.
CW: You currently play under the Spanish boss Vicente del Bosque, what are his coaching methods? I know you only get to work with the National team manager for a short period of time so does that make it more difficult to adapt and learn his coaching methods?
AN: Spain have obviously got some of the best players in the World, so any time that you spend with them always makes you a better a player as you learn things from them. [Vicente] del Bosque is a fantastic coach and he has got no problems in transmitting his ideas to us on the days when we do have with him. It is fantastic to work with him and players with such great quality.
CW: As we are here for the unveiling of the new Adidas F50 boot can you remember the first pair of boots you had as a child and who gave them to you?
AN: I always used to wear colourful boots as a child, all the kids wanted a pair because they came in many different colours. For my first pair of boots, I went to the local sports shop and bought a pair of white boots and when I came home my mum said I had to go and take them back because I would be a target for opposition defenders, wearing white boots. I was told I had to take them back as I would just get kicked all the time but we talked it through and eventually I won the argument and got to keep my white boots.
This interview was conducted on behalf of FootballBoots.co.uk
Written by Chris Winterburn
Follow Chris on Twitter @Chriswin4