« The memory of the heart eliminates the bad memories and magnifies the good ones, and thanks to that artifice, we managed to cope with the past. » (Gabriel Garcia Marquez).

Valverde, a former Barcelona coach, participated in a telematic round table organized by the Basque Football Federation in late April, moderated by Etxarri, under the title “Basque technicians around the world”. Other coaches such as Azkargorta, Karanka and Olabe also participated. « The trainers are with the plates in the middle of the circus and we don’t have to drop any, » said Valverde. How could it be otherwise, he thought when asked: “Messi cannot be compared to anything. It is very difficult to tell if you have seen this or another player when he does things in training that you have not even seen. Many times, from the outside, you are always thinking about what may be the best option and, deep down, he from the inside sees it much better than you. Messi is a very easy player to train because he also has a great impulse with respect to the group, he has a great ambition to win, he feels a great obligation both for the game and for the club. And that transmits it to the group and forces everyone to be at a very high level. Seeing him play impresses from afar… and up close even more ”.

As for variables of play styles, he said: “What it is about is being superior to the rival and dominating the game, which is having more chances than the opposite and making you less. There are times when you have possession and not chances and sometimes you don’t have control, but sometimes you have to have the ball. I like to own the ball, because you take it from the rival. The question then is whether with that ball you are deep or not. Each one has to see within himself how he is at ease in order to transmit it ”. But Valverde also stressed: “You don’t have to drive things crazy. When you have the ball you have to have sufficient criteria to move the ball and enter with depth. There is a time when there has to be a dribble or a center, even without space, because without space you can also break. Ultimately, possession is a means of winning a game. It is a little magnified by the media issue, but it is only a criterion. If you want to be aggressive with the ball you also have to be aggressive without it. In my case it is about wanting to take the initiative of the game and that happens because the opponent does not play ”.

Valverde also argued about « high blood pressure »: « What has to happen is that the whole team believes it and does not do it because the coach said so. If a player does not trust that the plan falls like a house of cards. There has to be a conviction and the work of the coach becomes important there, to make him see that this is the best ”. In another moment, the coach assured: “I try to bring together the work group and give confidence, where I have gone, I have chosen to take people from the house and put them in the group, give a lot of margin, you are never stopped, things always arise … The management of the quarry is an advantage, not an added pressure ”. (…) “Soccer has evolved a lot, if we see a video of when we played or later, there is a very high difference in pace, it seems that it is something else in terms of speed, the number of passes that are made… it is played more together and with higher precision. Technical perfection is increasing. Every now and then I put on a game where I played, I almost don’t even want to watch. ” It is curious, but the comment so many times repeated and in which Azkargorta coincides with Txingurri: “You play how you live” comes back. Karanka commented on his time with R. Madrid de Mourinho: “In the League of Records, with Xabi Alonso, Benzema, Ronaldo, Di María… the transitions were very fast. When I arrived at Middlesbrough I told the board that if they wanted to play as the Spanish team they would have to sign Xavi and Iniesta. You are putting your knowledge, but at the beginning it took almost a minute to reach the area, being able to do it with a long ball ”. And he continued recounting his experience with English second division teams: “Anything can happen, like five players being on top of the goalkeeper and they don’t kick or miss you. Although he is changing with the VAR, it is a special football and defending the stopped ball is very complicated. In Second the games last even 98 minutes and you can go winning by two or three to zero and in that added lifts « . (…) « In the Second it is necessary to do three or four occasions to be close to the goal and in the » Premier « the category of the players is decisive ».

Azkargorta, very experienced with a long career abroad, said that “training in First or Third is the same, your performance and way of working is exactly the same; then you add scales ”. (…) « Many believe that with » big data « you can train … before you played with eleven Volkswagen and now with eleven Ferraris, but in the same space. » The conference was developed and stopped in the pigeonhole of the position game with a drawing, To which Valverde referred: “The root that Cruyff brought, that installed that way of playing from fixed interiors and some exteriors also fixed, with little exchange of positions, but with the ball going very quickly from one side to the other. But hey, with a, There are also some fixed players inside. « Interestingly, Hugo Cerezo, Marca.com, from 26.4., Signed an article related to Quique Setién in his first interview in 1977. » With just 18 years old, he had debuted with Racing in First … The Brand correspondent in Santander, J. Chirri, wrote the classic interview with the youth player who debuts … he is asked for the advice of his coach, Nando Yosu, and that of his teammates. Quique almost adolescent replies: “Look, last Sunday, without going any further, both Quinito and Juan Carlos, who know this about football, told me to come out as if the match against Athletic was a“ tiqui-taca « More. To which the editor points out: » The tiqui-taca is, in short, nothing more than those small-scale training games in which each one does what he can without excessive responsibilities.  »

In other words, with the perspective of time, that conception of ’77 was far from terminology or meaning, rather than what is now understood as a possession game. I have already explained on many occasions my own opinion, including the resignation that Guardiola himself made of the term after so many confusions for mistaking a well-played football around societies with the ball with a “chikilicuatre football” that bored of so much loitering and not looking for progressions , or superiorities, or arrivals at the opposite goal. Also (., 26.4.2020) he published a video conference talk of Setién (Canal Beach Soccer Worldwide) with the Galician Ramiro Amarelle, a former Barca beach soccer player: “Until I saw Johan Cruyff’s Barça for the first time“ never ” he worried « about the tactic ». « As a professional I went out onto the field and played … against Barça you were 80 minutes behind the ball and you didn’t see it. That’s where I started to see tactical aspects and I started to analyze things and see them, and why this happens, and you start to realize what you like and fix an idea in your head. And it is the one that I have followed ”. In other previous chapters we had already pointed out what ball possession means, and the objectives sought; plus other issues to add as Valverde points out at the beginning of this article. But what Setién points out still continues, for many fans, « playing » is what individuality does with the ball and they do not know how to decipher the interrelationships between players and team play through a preconceived tactic.

This year the tenth anniversary of the achievement of the « World Cup 2010 » by the Spanish team has been celebrated. Everyone could weigh the technical quality of the national team players, but Vicente del Bosques, in all his manifestations, increased a determining factor: human relations. Far above technical knowledge, football orientation and ball handling. “We all worked day by day. We discussed everything that was deemed necessary for debate. It wasn’t that what I said was going to mass. In all decisions, small or large, we have disagreed many times, but when we had to defend a technical position, the three of us used to agree. No one said, « I already said so. » That much-used phrase. The three of us have been one. Always with debate. With discrepancy. They say that when two or three are of the same opinion, it is that none of the three is worth « . Del Bosque is a calm sage: « You can’t fool the player, they get you down right away, silence is better ». And he highlights: “We did not have a single problem of coexistence and that we were not in a luxury place, quite the opposite. A perfect place. An ordinary university. We all get used to an austerity that is hardly worn in these times, especially in athletes of this level … He tested everyone. He felt about the atmosphere, which is always important. It was very natural for that. Without giving dogmas. The glory of South Africa was for the footballers and the coach, but behind them were people who also worked hard so that everything went as well as possible … We have not done badly with our way of behaving and establishing personal relationships, which It is a vital matter in a locker room … That is essential. Without that it is very difficult to win. Very difficult. Normally in a club the squads are more hierarchical ”.

And Vicente continues to flow his eternal principles: “There is something very important in a group: that they want to succeed, they want to win and they want to go all the way. That you have or you don’t have. You are a conformist or not and this was not an apathetic group. It was competitive and that is not available or difficult to transmit. A coach has to have an ideal of where each footballer has to play, but also be open. As we see, there are inalienable principles such as the treatment of the ball compass, but other emotional aspects are equally fundamental between players and coaches.