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21.01.2008 12:02

“All the objectives are achievable”

Roger Bogunyà

In an exclusive interview with Barça TV, José Manuel Pinto told us: “If the team continues improving as we are at the moment, all the objectives are achievable”. However, he insisted that it would be wrong to get obsessed about them.

Relaxed and sure of himself, just as he is in goal, José Manuel Pinto discusses his first experiences with the Barça squad and reviews the team’s objectives for the season.

What does it mean to you to play for Barça?

“For me, being a Barça player is a big responsibility because I’m joining one of the most important clubs in the world and, as such, that implies an added responsibility. I’m really excited and have an even bigger desire to help. I think that representing a club like FC Barcelona is a great responsibility”.

It must be a big change in your life: moving from the club you’re identified with to a new team, one of the big names; from the Second to the First Division.

pinto.jpg“For me this change is still happening. I’m still settling in because I’ve just arrived. But above all it means leaving behind some great longstanding team-mates, and fans who have given me a lot of affection, fans that will always stay with me. But of course I have to look out for myself and every player wants to evolve. I think it’s a great opportunity to keep on growing in my career. I couldn’t let it pass me by”.

If Jorquera hadn’t got injured you wouldn’t have joined Barça. How do you think your career would have gone?

“It’s difficult to know. There are so many paths to choose from. Each path takes you to a different objective. I think it’s difficult to know what I would have done. If only I could read the future and know – I’d devote myself to doing the pools”.

What are you expecting from Barça, given that Valdés has been the first choice keeper for five years?

Valdxs-sevilla-fcb_x4x.jpg“The first thing is to adapt as quickly as possible, which I think is the most important thing right now. I’m really looking forward to doing my bit for the team. If we all do our bit, we can achieve great things. I’m totally committed to the Club and to working hard, which is my main virtue. Hard work and more hard work: that’s what has brought me here. I’m one of those people who believe that hard work bears fruit. With hard work and commitment, let whatever has to happen, happen”.

You won the Zamora Trophy (for fewest league goals conceded) in the 2005/06 season and Valdés won it last year. What do you think about having two top-notch goalkeepers in Barça?

pintocelta.JPG“I think it’s not just the goalkeepers – every part of the Barça team is at a high standard. Barça has great players that, if you look at them one by one, have enormous quality. For me it’s an opportunity to learn from the virtues of these team-mates because you never stop learning no matter how old you are. As for the goalkeepers in particular, I think it’s a guarantee for the fans because they can say: “The goal is well covered”.

Imagine it’s 30th June when your loan deal expires. What would you like to happen then?

“That’s difficult. I like to live for the day. A lot can happen between now and then and right now I’d like to enjoy and savour the moment. My wish is that, in the end, my work is rewarded”.

When your name was first mentioned, you received a variety of praise from former managers and team-mates. How would you describe yourself?

Pintoframes1.jpg“First of all I’d say that you like to hear that people were happy with your work. I’d describe myself as a person who gives 100% all the time, regardless of whether it turns out good or not. That’s the basis of my work. There’ll be ups and downs, of course, but my way of working and my motivation will never change. Another of my virtues, to my way of thinking, is that I’m an agile goalkeeper, and I would also highlight my capacity for sacrifice”.

You coincided with Sylvinho at Celta. Has he given you any advice?

Pintoframes3.jpg“Yes. Like the good friend he is, he’s already offered to help me in any way I need. He’s got a big heart and undeniable sporting quality. I was lucky enough to coincide with him in Vigo. But let me repeat: perhaps people don’t realise what a nice person he is and what a marvellous family he’s got. It’s a pleasure to meet a person like that”.

What should be Barça’s objectives this season?

“At this moment in time we shouldn’t rule out any objective but neither should we get obsessed. If you get obsessed you create anxiety, which isn’t positive. You have to keep on doing things right and continue the team’s current improvement. If we do that, all the objectives are achievable”.

Tell us about the number 13 shirt that you’ll wear at Barça and which you wore at Celta, and which you’ve also got tattooed on your left arm.

pintorevisio1_x8x.jpg“It’s a number that’s always been significant. There have been times when - on the 13th of the month, or on matchday 13, or something to do with the number 13 - something important has happened in my life. Many people reject it because of superstition but it’s a number I love. I even choose it in the Andalus team”.
“All the objectives are achievable”

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What he's leaving behind
You already know what it’s like to play in the Camp Nou. What memories do you have of your matches here with Celta?

“I’ve got great memories of when I came here with Celta because it’s one of the nicest grounds in Spain and because it impresses you when you enter. Also, when I’ve played against FC Barcelona, I’ve always got something positive for Celta, and it’s always a good experience to see how the fans really live football and how they support their team”.

Speaking of Celta – how did people react to your departure in Vigo?

“I haven’t had a chance yet to say goodbye to the fans. For the moment, due to the loan deal, it’s more a case of “see you later”. The atmosphere was pleasing: my team-mates congratulated me and encouraged me. When my name was first mentioned, it was an honour for me, and my team-mates wanted the move to go through because they wanted the best for me”.

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