05/14/2021 at 6:30 AM CEST
The captain of Atlético de Madrid Amanda Sampedro attended SPORT in the previous of the great final of Champions that will face Barça and Chelsea. He reviews the weaknesses and strengths of the ‘blue’, who were his executioner in Europe, while presenting his new project, the book ‘Champion’.
Tell me about your new book: “Champion”. It is a story of overcoming.
Well, I spoke with Planeta because I wanted to write a book dedicated to boys and especially girls. I tell a little about my childhood, not all of it because obviously there are many things that I do not remember, and we also put a little didactic content into it. There are even circumstances that have not happened to me but we put them in the role of Mandy, who is the protagonist of the book. To make a quick summary, Mandy wants to be a footballer and is fighting to get there. He struggles to convince his parents, his friends, his sister … is what makes him happy and he goes for it.
How did you get the idea to write?
Grupo Planeta wanted to do something like that and I still didn’t see myself ready to write a biography. I didn’t think I had done anything to tell my life yet. That is, if I feel like it tomorrow, I would like to do it when I finish my degree. Yes, I wanted to talk to the little ones, who I like a lot and that it is important that they have references and that they have something to hold on to during their childhood. I did not have female references because I could not see them on television, much less did I have a book with which I could feel identified. That’s why I really wanted to do this. It’s talking a bit about the beginnings of Amanda immersed in Mandy, with intermingled stories that crossed our minds and I think it can be quite interesting for all those boys and girls who struggle to be footballers.
How do you live now being a reference for these girls?
I give it a lot of importance because I did not have them in his place. I highly value that, whether they are girls or boys because there are also many children who come to see you and ask for your autographs, that they have the option of having a male or female reference. I think it is very important and very natural when these children conceive sports, in this case football.
The message is don’t give up on what makes you happy.
Of course. What I want to convey is that they fight for their dreams, that they want to be footballers or whatever, that they fight to be one, for what makes them happy and enjoy themselves. It doesn’t matter whether they are boys or girls, sport has no gender and has many values that are different from finding elsewhere. That I wanted to capture. I have been lucky enough to be a footballer, which is what I have always wanted, and besides playing for Atlético, which was always my team. Since I was little I already went to the Calderón and in the end I got the dream of wearing this shirt.
In football. How are you doing now?
This year we are not going through a good dynamic and it is more surprising considering how well Atlético was doing in recent seasons. That Queen’s Cup was achieved and leagues began to be won, even playing them against an FC Barcelona that was on the rise and that has finished with impressive numbers. It is true that this year there is a decline in Atlético but those are streaks and in the end when something does not go well you have to be humble, know that something has not been done well and start from scratch. From there you have to rebuild and put Atlético de Madrid back where it deserves both for its career, its shield and its fans.
Leaving aside Barça, this year you notice a much more even league.
Yes, it shows. Now everyone is being much more professional, salaries are improving and the players can only dedicate themselves to soccer … we already have very good coaches, physical trainers, doctors … external people who help you to be at the same time. best level. All the teams are already starting from the same level and that makes the competition grow and be much more competitive.
Now we have the Champions final close to us. Barça – Chelsea. What was it like to face the ‘blue’ in the quarterfinals?
Chelsea seemed like a great team to me. He is comfortable defending, that in the end it is difficult to find a team that is comfortable without the ball, and they are like that because they know that they have a lot of gunpowder up and that they can do a lot of damage to the counter. That’s where they can kill you.
What will be the weaknesses of Chelsea?
In the end, Barça will have a lot of the ball and that is the best way to also hurt Chelsea, tiring him out and moving the ball fast. You also have to be very careful because Barça will surely play a lot in the opposite field and that will leave a lot of spaces behind them and Chelsea is a team that can hurt there. Hopefully Barça prepare the game well, which they sure will, and end up having that award that they have deserved since the last final they played. That will make Spanish women’s football grow a lot.
Do you see a clear favorite?
For me Barça, but because I like much more the football that Barcelona can present to you, to which Chelsea can present. For color tastes but it is true that I think it will be a very beautiful final. Both teams have very good players individually. In a final it is very difficult to have a favorite and even more so now that it is Chelsea and Barça, that the mythical Wolfsburg or Lyon are no longer there. It may be 50% for each team, but for me the favorite is Barça because of the way they play, which I like a lot more. And hopefully he opts for the Spanish team, of course.
As you say, without Wolfsburg and Lyon, it is perhaps the most even Champions League in the history of the competition.
Yes, that’s the beauty, start to equalize. Just as we equaled ourselves in the Spanish league, do it also at the European level. The interesting thing is that there is not, as in the past, a single team that cannot be faced, but that everything is much more competitive, because that is the beauty of sport and competition. All sports start out like this and when they grow up they become this. That means that football in general is growing.
To finish, give me a reflection on this evolution that you talk about in women’s football.
Evolution is very good. I remember when I went up to the Atlético first team when I was 15 years old, that we had to train at eight in the afternoon because there were colleagues who left work at 7:00 p.m. That already tells you a lot. They are small details that you may not give much importance to until you get up in the morning, you go to train quietly and that is what you do, it is your job. You wake up thinking about football and you go to bed thinking about the same thing. It already gives you to live on it and to think only about it. Thanks to all this, you are much more prepared and at a competitive level it helps you perform better, and in the end this makes football more attractive. We still have a lot to grow, there is the little step to professionalize the league that I hope will be done soon. From there, women’s football will continue to grow, especially in Spain.