What did your children say to you when they were there and saw you win the award?
They were happy. The truth is that they were a little tired in the end because the gala was long. But they were very happy and were looking forward to [me] winning the award so that they could go up [on stage], be with me and enjoy it. It was a spectacular moment.
What did they say about the other players?
They know everyone and the truth is everyone likes them because they are passionate about football. They watch the matches of all the teams, not only those of Barcelona or Argentina. They were really freaked out looking at everyone because they knew them from the cards and from seeing them in matches. They were a little shy but enjoyed themselves.
Is Antonela still excited to see you up there?
Whenever I have to receive these awards and accolades she enjoys it very much. And this time it was special because the whole family was there ...well, almost everyone because Ciro was missing.
What do you admire most about Antonela?
The truth is that [I admire] everything. She has many good qualities: how she gets by on a daily basis, her personality, she is always in a good mood and she always faces up to problems in an admirable way. She is a very intelligent person who is great in all aspects of life.
How do you think your children will be when they grow up?
It is hard to say now. They are still very young. As they grow they will find their space with the things that they enjoy. It is very difficult to say today because life has lots of twists and turns.
When you look back, what do you feel about your career?
In this profession there is not much time to stop and think about the past. We live day by day and focus more on what is to come rather than what we have achieved. In football, unfortunately, you enjoy things just a little because every three days you encounter a new challenge and other targets. When I retire I will be able to remember and admire what I have achieved much more.
Are you are a more confident person?
Obviously, you grow and learn [as you get older]. You add experiences in all aspects of life, on and off the pitch. As a human being, having three children made me change my perspectives on life, my way of thinking and also growing up.
Do children’s tantrums help them grow up?
Of course, it is good that there are tantrums, activity and joy inside the house, although sometimes it is a bit excessive.
Do they realise when you are injured?
Now they understand what it means to be injured. They ask me how long it will take for me to return. Normally they call me all the time to play, to have a game or shoot a few shots. But they know when I’m injured I can’t. Sometimes they forget. “It is true you can’t, you’re injured,” they tell me when they realise. They understand what it means.
What is your favourite Spanish dish?
I always said that it’s roast, milanesa [breaded meat fillet] or pasta. The type of food that I like is something very simple.
Your Barcelona team-mate Gerard Pique has revealed that he once ate half a Nutella jar. Do you have any such habits?
A little chocolate, milk sweets or ice cream. Anything that is sweet could work. I try to eat little of it, but I do like it.
When relaxing at home with the family, what do you like to do?
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