Read previous editions of Know Thy Madridista.
Today we have Soraya from Twitter (definitely worth a follow!). A die hard Madridista and a huge fan of Fernando Morientes, Soraya has been supporting the Whites for more than a decade now.
Saheli: First up, tell us about you.
Soraya: I’m a twenty-something Indonesian woman who grew up in the Philippines and Canada, and currently living in Uzbekistan. I’ve had the privilege of working in emergency relief, education, international development and environmental affairs, so I tend to be preoccupied by how football is affected by, affects, or mirrors current international social, political and economic conditions, even at the grass-roots level. I wish I could say I was a fantastic midfielder, but if you speak to my former captain, I make a most excellent substitute bench warmer!
Saheli: Since when have you been a Real Madrid fan? (if you happen to remember)
Soraya: When you’re forced to watch football (sorry, grandpapa, I love you though!) in my impressionable childhood in rural East Jawa, an awareness of Real Madrid comes before an actual awareness of what it means to be a fan. I estimate maybe the mid to late 90s–although based on my next answers, maybe at that point, I wasn’t a fan, I just watched a lot of football, and mostly Madrid.
Saheli: What is your favourite part of Real Madrid football club?
Soraya: It is difficult to describe a feeling, but the closest description I can make is a feeling of being part of a community that transcends borders and languages. You could say this is true of all football fans, regardless of club or country affiliation, though. I just wish they would begin a women’s football programme in earnest! If I have daughters or granddaughters, where are they supposed to play?!
Saheli: Which has been your all time favourite Real Madrid player?
Soraya: I cannot chose one! Fernando Morientes is the closest to a favourite I can get. He may not have been a Cantera product, but you wouldn’t know it from his commitment to the crest of the club. His quiet and sure athletic ability, and the explosive striking duo he made with Raúl makes him an incredibly unforgettable, albeit often overlooked, part of the club. Fernando Hierro was crucial to the shaping of the squad he played in even before he was handed the captaincy, and his exit left a difficult pair of shoes to fill to this day. The Fernandos were both legends in their own way, and both modest, understated but important team-players. Roberto Carlos is the epitome of what every child wants to be as a footballer, to play everywhere and do everything. He is an example of never giving less than 100% to anything, even at a difficult period, and with his smile on his face, to always find something about your job that you love, whatever it may be, however small that part is. And of course, often mentioned in these lists, the always peaceful, always tranquil, often imitated, but never duplicated artist that is Zinédine Zidane.
Saheli: A Real Madrid moment you can’t forget?
Soraya: The 2000 All-Spanish affair in Paris, where my favourite player and El Macca cemented their legendary statuses as Real Madrid heroes. A close second is the 1998 Champions League final win, for which we waited so long!
Saheli: La Liga or UCL, which one would you love to see us win more?
Soraya: It would be a lie to say that La Decima is not something we have desired with every fiber of our being. But I do not want to belittle the efforts of Real Madrid squads in our past who tirelessly won Liga title after Liga title!
Saheli: Which has been your favourite signing for this season? (excluding Mourinho)
Soraya: I remember watching Di Maria play for Argentina during the FIFA U-20s. He was already making waves! And now!–to see him as part of our squad this year and to see that how he’s developed further as a footballer and his growing importance in our squad. Especially knowing his age, it’s a fantastic prospect for any lover of football.
Saheli: Which game did you most enjoy this season?
Soraya: It may not have been my favourite in terms of our defensive abilities, but, what was our home match against Deportivo, if not spectacular? Also, I admit the smack talk from certain opposition fans I know made the win just that much sweeter.