E n normal circumstances Mista will heed MARCA's call to explain the feelings of his debut at the helm of the Ottawa Athletics scheduled for April 11. However, his Canadian experience has so far turned to a first week of preseason in Madrid aborted by the current coronavirus crisis and to a telematic and even psychological work from his home while waiting for the Government to approve the return to normality.
Question. How is this pandemic lived in Ottawa?
Answer . Here we are not confined, there is no obligation to stay home and you can go for a walk. But nothing can be done in groups of more than four people and only supermarkets, pharmacies and little else are open. Restaurants open only to deliver food at home.
P. How do you organize training with this situation?
R. There are many players, especially Canadians, who have had to go home. So the physical trainer, Jos Oriol sends daily jobs to the entire staff. Through an Internet application we are seeing and controlling them, especially him. There is a feedback in the same day to know how everything has gone. I dedicate myself more to designing the tasks that we prepare for them and we also make cuts of videos because this League is young, it has only been a year, and we have to catch up a little with the topic of footballers, teams and others.
P. Having players from your own squad whom you have not been able to greet in person before .
R. A week before all this was unleashed and training was banned we started the preseason in Madrid, but we had to cut it. There we met, but the problem is that at that time we were still in the box. Now we have almost the entire squad, we only need to sign a couple or three Canadians. It's the downside of creating a new team, although luckily everything is going pretty well.
P. This is what it is to start from scratch for real?
R. We have a meeting every week to know each order that the Government is giving, when to train and when to start the League … At the moment there is no date, but the forecasts are good because the number of infected and deceased is not as in Spain. That is, no one knows how to evolve and we are still waiting for news. We have video and analysis platforms and we maintain that communication in which we are taught questions that will be implemented in the championship. We have had to adapt to the circumstances: what in a normal case would be physical meetings, now they are by Internet or videoconference.
P. Can you say that he also works as a manager?
R. It's up to us to do a little bit of everything with this situation. Sometimes it was necessary to be a father with some, others a friend … In these moments of uncertainty I try to convey tranquility and, beyond being the coach, I try to help as much as possible, there is no clear figure of what whether to do it or not. Until we are on the field, the best thing is to lend a hand and put your shoulders together.
Q. Did you also want to face the Atlantic and visit the Metropolitan?
R. Yes, we had the thought of playing several friendlies in Spain, including some Atletico team, going to see a game at Wanda … and with this misfortune everything changed. But it's something to keep in mind, so it will be done in the future.
P. Do you feel a different treatment for having been an elite footballer and bearing the Atlético brand?
R. The League has transmitted to us that in anything we can suggest they are totally open. In that sense we have a lot of support. El Atlético is also behaving wonderfully with us, giving us support, closeness and daily communication. It is a big club in the world and people take it into account. In Canada there is an intention that soccer will become a majority sport, they know that they have a historic opportunity with the 2026 World Cup that they will organize and the fact that the Atlantic has taken this step for them is very much.
P. Will we see a Chista Mista on the bench?
R. At the moment you have to know the entire squad and then we will try to get the most out of it. Now I can't say it. The culture here is of physical work and what we will try to establish is a little what there is in Spain and Europe, which is to give a little more importance to the ball and within our idea to try to play football well and bet on continuing and carrying The Atlantic brand to all sites. And, above all, win as many games as possible, which is what we want.