Bart loves Real Madrid!

We’re now three editions in with the second season of Know Thy Madridista. The first edition featuring Matt Traverso, second one featuring Corey Fiske and Anna Calderon two weeks back.

This week I interview Gaelle from Madridismo.Org. Do check out their blog, its an interesting read.

Tanuj: First up, tell us about you.
Gaelle: I was born 27 years ago in Northern France. If you’re familiar with the movie, I’m a Ch’ti, just like Raphaël Varane is! ;-) From a young age I developed a passion for foreign languages – I graduated in Linguistics and Translation Studies– and that’s how I ended up living in several cities around Europe, but I eventually came back to and settled down in Madrid. Javi is my husband and Juan Pablo my cousin (he’s actually Javi’s cousin but it makes no difference to me), so Madridismo is really a family matter –although I know of a few relatives who would disagree! When I’m not busy preparing Q&As or getting distracted by our Twitter timeline, I enjoy practicing karate, dancing, singing, playing the guitar, painting, watching series and movies and visiting places.

T: Since when have you been a Real Madrid fan? (if you happen to remember)
G: I’m a true rookie, if you must know! I was never into football (soccer) really, except for national team competitions as it usually happens. But one of the first times we met, back in 2003, Javi took me to a bar to watch Real Madrid vs. Real Sociedad. At first I had to endure his passion for Real Madrid, but little by little, I went from enduring it to being indifferent to sympathetic to slightly supportive to very interested to Madridista! It only took me 8 years! Go figure! Now I’m the one saying “I think there’s a game, we’ll have to be home by 8”! :-D

T: What is your favourite part of Real Madrid football club?
G: Tough one… I’d say I really enjoy that it’s both very Spanish and very international at once; I can really identify with that. See what I mean? It’s a Spanish club from Spain’s capital city and several Real Madrid’s Spanish players are key components of the NT, but it also has many players from several other countries and fans around the whole wide world. The sun never sets on Madridismo!

T: Which has been your all time favourite Real Madrid player?
G: It’s not easy for me to answer an “all time” question. So I’ll answer with my guts and say Raúl. Since I was sad when he left and I hated it when people were constantly criticizing him, I guess I liked him; and he’s definitely an iconic Real Madrid player.

T: A Real Madrid moment you can’t forget?
G: It was a Champions League game against Dynamo Kiev back in November 2004; we tied. We were living in London at the time, and we went to a sports bar to see the game (The Famous Three Kings, I love this place!). The only reason I went was to make Javi some company. I was really bored and anxiously waiting for the game to finish. But somehow I got into it. There were a lot of Kiev fans in the bar, so it was stimulating, like you want your voice to be heard too! And I ended up actually paying attention, wanting the team to win, cheering, clapping, booing Kiev fans and players (I’m not proud of that!) and being disappointed that we didn’t win. It seems an insignificant moment to choose, when you have plenty of victories, finals and trophies everywhere, but I guess it was one of my Madridista defining moments!

T: La Liga or UCL, which one would you love to see us win more?
G: I’d like us to win both, of course! That being said, I will go with the Champions, for two reasons: it would be wonderful to win la Décima and I’d love for Real Madrid to truly shine in a European competition so that some people I know finally shut their mouth about how Madrid is a weak team that only shines in La Liga because it’s a weak championship compared to all the other European leagues.

T: Which has been your favourite signing for this season?
G: I bet you know the answer to that! Raphaël of course! He comes from my home region, played from the home club, is an amazing defender who plays in a very clean fashion, and yet he’s so young. Very promising! He makes us all Ch’tis proud!

T: If you could, which Madridista would you like to bring back? Could be anybody.
G: I have several players in mind, but I’m going to go for a little controversy here and say Valdano. I like Mourinho and his big mouth (so to speak), but I also liked that Valdano was always very polite and kind of soothing. He brought a nice balance PR-wise. When he left –let me rephrase that– when he was sacked, he still had nice words for the team; at the time I was investigating values of Madridismo, and I felt he matched them in many aspects.

T: A non Real Madrid question but important with current scenario, do you think La Liga is a two team league? A two horse race? A “league of Barcelona, Real Madrid and the others”?
G: I’d say a league of Barça, Real Madrid and the others –maybe less so this season, but I still think it’s how it will turn out. I don’t think it’s a two team league, simply because the other teams are there (just stating the obvious you know!). They get relegated or promoted, they are amongst the most numerous to feature in European competitions, they provide players for the NT; they are to be acknowledged in my opinion.

Just like last season, if you’d like to be part of the “Know Thy Madridista” series, send in an E-mail to tanuj

[at]therealmadridfan.com and we’d take it from there. Hala Madrid!