Carlos Naval: “Cruyff changed everything based on smiles”

Carlos Naval: “Cruyff changed everything based on smiles”

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05 Jun 2022
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Nick
Carlos Naval

The situation

Don’t expect headlines in this interview. If Carlos Naval has been the delegate of Barcelona for 35 years, a club in which he has just completed 50 years of service, it is because he is discreet. He joined the entity in 1972 as an administrator for grassroots football under the orders of Oriol Tort and after seven presidents and 18 coaches, it is an institution. From Maradona to Dembélé; from Venables to Xavi, he has seen football change and has always known how to adapt because his system remains the same: “No matter how many computers they put on me, I still have a carpenter’s pencil in my ear.” And he writes it all down.

The dialogue

—50 years in Barcelona. That’s three years.

‘Certainly half a century. But beyond the three-year period, the satisfactions, experiences and memories count more.

—Memories for which I won’t ask him, because in so many years it has become clear to me that he doesn’t explain them. Will you explain them?

—I have not explained them, nor will I explain them, nor will I explain them. Nor will I write them.

“How many times have you been offered to write a book?”

—I’ve said no so many times that they don’t even offer them to me anymore.

—35 years traveling is a lot, don’t you feel like going on tour again this summer?

—No, this makes me excited, because I don’t know Las Vegas.

“What’s going on there…

—Whatever happens will be a match and the result will be known all over the world.

“Contrary to your motto, have you had to forget many of the things you’ve seen?”

—No, what I have is a bad memory.

—Try to remember something, is your job the same now as it was in 1987?

—I still carry the carpenter’s pencil, but I pretty much do what I used to do: organize trips, supervise hotels and try to make sure that the players don’t lack for anything.

“Hey, in what sense?”

—In sports, of course. And be aware of all the regulations and federal regulations.

“And have you understood it?”

Yes, there are talks. I try to keep up to date, but in the end it’s always about applying common sense, but sometimes it’s difficult.

—So difficult that LaLiga ended up expelled…

-Things that happen, but I have already served the two games of sanction.

 

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