On the 27th of October FC Rubin U15 team will go to the Russian Championship Finales. Before departing for the tournament our young players were visited and cheered by our captain Cesar Navas. The boys had an opportunity to interact with Cesar and ask him some questions. The best question was awarded Cesar Navas’ t-shirt.
There are many boys of your age who would love to be in your place and get to the Academy, so you have to keep on working hard every day and giving one hundred percent. I recall when I was as young as you now, at the age 15, I trained at the Real Madrid Academy. Well, that was not easy. Apart from football trainings, classes and marks were also important, in particular, at the end of every semester. Unfortunately, not all of you will become professional players, that is why you should study hard and do your best to continue your education.
Q: What is the main job of the central defender on the pitch? Which center back duo is the best in today’s world football, from your point of view?
A: Central Defenders are like a cement for a team and should give confidence to their partners. They are responsible of how well the team is positioned. A central defender implies maximum self-confidence, playing simple, being aggressive and not being afraid of being with the ball.
Regarding the best central defender of all time, I think it was Fernando Hierro. He was still a Real Madrid player when I started to be in the club’s system. He was like a father in football to me.
Q: After you returned to Rubin you became the team captain. From your point of view, what should be the functions of the captain? What piece of advice could you give to the captain of our team?
A: You should know that a captain must be an example to his teammates. It is the captain who follows up and controls how the team is working. The captain should always be in touch with his partners, know how they feel and set the landmark, especially for his younger teammates.
Q: You have such a rich experience in your career. Which was the hardest opponent for you to play against?
A: I’ve played against many different teams and players. It’s hard to recall, but obviously Messi and Lewandowski are the hardest players to play against, you should not give any inch of free space to them.
Q: Which goal and which match are the most memorable for you?
A: I have not scored a lot of goals. It’s not a scoring position, but I remember my first goal very well, it was when I played in “Malaga”. As for the most memorable match, I would like to single out Malaga against Levante in 2004 where I made my professional debut. Although there were also many important matches in the Champions League.
Q: What did you feel listening to the Champions League anthem. Did you feel nervous?
A: I did, but only in the first match. (smiles) It was against Dinamo Kiev but in the rest of the games I just tried to enjoy the high-level football.
Q: What challenges have you faced in your career and how have overcome them?
A: Many things in a player’s career depend on the coaches who are around. Luckily, I have never had any serious injuries. Obviously, you never know but even if you got injured you should work hard to get back. I know some players who did come back after serious injuries playing still better than before. Even if the coach does give you playing minutes, you should not be grumbling with a dissatisfied look on your face but working and giving a hundred percent in trainings. This is my principle. Guys, in your age now, you must be dreaming of becoming a professional football player and you should do your best and fight for your dream.
Q: How would you like to finish your career?
A: In Spain we say: “You should leave football before your vigor has left you”. During the last for your years, I was signing only one-year contracts to know the way I feel to be sure that I’m strong enough and able to perform a hundred percent.
Q: A former boxer once said: “It’s hard to wake up at 5 o’clock in the morning and go running if you know that you have 20 million dollars on your account. How do you get motivated to work a hundred percent?
A: When I was a kid, my father would take to play football. It was my dream since I was a kid. Not all of those guys I trained with, did become professional players. I know that it is a privilege, that I achieved it myself and I should highly appreciate it. This is the feeling which motivates me. I saw many examples of players who got some money and became focused on this, but in 2-3 years these guys just got lost. Of course, money is very important, it helps you and your family, makes their life easier. The higher you climb as a professional, the better your family’s quality of life will be. But first of all, you should love and enjoy football and this should be your main motivation.