Marcos Llorente (Madrid, 26 years old) is a key player in this leading Atlético de Madrid that this Saturday faces Granada (14.00, Movistar LaLiga) at the Wanda Metropolitano. His rise to international status on Luis Enrique’s last list began the historic Anfield night in which two of his goals eliminated the current European champion. Since then, no ceiling has been seen. The physicist who cares with zeal, with the Paleolithic diet or with intelligent mattresses that improve rest, and the conviction with which he talks could make him pass as one of those telemarketing models that offer miraculous devices to shape the silhouette. From his hard-working body, an all-field player has emerged who either scores goals as a forward, covers holes in the middle or acts as a lane.
Ask. Where would he have come without his physique?
Answer. The physical is important, it gives me a lot, I have been working on it for seven or eight years and without this it would be difficult for me to get to where I have come. The physicist is gaining many stripes in soccer now. A player can already have a lot of talent that it is going to cost him to play without physicality. You have to have it high and then as far as your talent goes.
P. He looks like he was one of those unruly blond kids.
R. I was with the ball all day, it was crazy, I trained with my team, then with my brother’s … I didn’t stop, I was a restless ass, I was a very active child, almost bordering on hyperactive, but over the years I I have been reassuring and thank goodness.
P. Have you ever eaten a bag of worms?
R. Of course. My friends did it three or four times a day, but my father moderated it quite a bit and I appreciate it.
P. Has your father revived the name Gento before you take your focus away?
R. There have been cases that a surname could weigh. Taking Llorente y Gento can make that happen to you, but in my case it has been the opposite, it has helped me. When it comes to asking for advice that my family has gone through situations that I have lived is a plus that not everyone has.
P. His father, although he later returned after passing through Atlético, and his brother [Julio, también es su representante]They had to leave Madrid. In basketball, his uncles, José Luis and Toñín Llorente, also had to make a living in other clubs.
R. I speak for myself and in my career I have had quite a few moments where things have not gone very well for me. At Madrid I had to go on loan to Alavés and when I came back it didn’t go very well. Here at Atlético, at the beginning, neither … But hey, it won’t be a lifetime of pure happiness and all of ten!
P. Did you have doubts about staying at Atlético when you weren’t playing?
R. No, when you change teams you have to adapt to new teammates, a new coach, a new game idea … It was complicated and it was not easy to make a decision taking so little time at the club. It never occurred to me to go out, but if things continued like this for longer, a different idea might have been possible.
P. Did you expect it to be so difficult to join the team?
R. Yes and no. It is clear that the new players who arrive at Atlético find it difficult to enter the eleven. Until you are inside you do not live what is. From the outside, you don’t expect it to be so difficult.
P. Take care of and work hard on your physique. Were you surprised by the demand and hardness of Profe Ortega’s training?
R. I like to train and pound myself and it caught my attention. The preseason weeks in Los Angeles de San Rafael are very tough. I was surprised that a team worked so hard.