It is wonderful to see how it brings us all together without certainly speaking a word; Sports unite people, says Spanish footballer Javier

Joe WilliamsUpdated: Wednesday, September 08, 2021, 11:40 PM IST
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Javier Siverio Toro | File picture

Mumbai: Recently, Javier Siverio Toro, the Spanish professional footballer, was signed as the striker for the Indian Super League club, Hyderabad FC. He made his team debut for Racing Santander in 2019, coming on as a second-half substitute for Quique Rivero and scoring the equaliser in a 2–2 home draw against Logroñés. He also featured in two more matches for the main squad during the play-offs as his side returned to Segunda División after a four-year absence.

The 23-year-old striker spoke exclusively to FPJ from his hometown, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain.

Q. We are aware of this beautiful game. What is that which has pulled you to India, which is still in the developing stages of football?

A. My search for experience is what pulled me to India. I think the Indian Super League will be an excellent experience for me and make me a better player.

Q. Share with us your thought about football back home and in India?

A. The whole world knows the quality of football in Spain. It's entertaining football with a lot of rhythm and speed, and there are some great players playing in the country. But I think India is improving every year. I think the ISL has a high level and is very competitive. This is good for the Indian National team too.

Q. You are just 23 years old, but you are much older in football, going by the way you have gone up your football career. What is that which makes a champion?

A. I think what makes a champion is – do your best every day in every training session and constantly improve and work on the weaknesses.

Q. Do sports have any language?

Yes, I think sports has the language of passion and experience. One's passion for the game and experience is how a player is identified. I think this language is followed and practised by all across the world in this sport. It is also the language of unity. Sports can unite people. It is wonderful to see how sports brings us all together without speaking a word.

Q. Is this your first overseas assignment as a professional footballer?

A. Yes. When I was 17, I joined Las Palmas and left my home in Tenerife. But I think this will be the most relevant adventure in my career.

Q. Tennis star Rafael Nadal, Raul Gonzalez footballer (Real Madrid), Fernando Alonso (F1) driver, Mireia Belmonte (swimming), what is that one can lookup to these athletes, and what is common in them apart from being champions in their own way?

A. I think you can look up to a lot of things from them. For me, the most difficult part is to maintain that level for many years and train with the same strong mentality and to want to improve every day and every second. It is not really easy.

Q. Who is your mentor?

A. I think it’s my father. He showed me a football when I was four years old and it is because of him that I am playing and enjoying it today.

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