Interview: Steve McManaman

Steve McManaman in the ESPN office
What is your life?
I work for ESPN in the United States and even do programs for Mexico, speaking Spanish. I live well, near Manchester airport with my wife and two daughters.

But you spend time in Spain...
I have a house in Mallorca. I love Spain. I spend long seasons. The four years of Madrid were the best of my life. Last year I was at the Bernabeu with veterans playing against Milan and was wonderful to see the grandstands full and reconnect with my teammates.

What you like is to be a commentator?
It is a way to not forget my footballer stage, commenting on every game and always watching football. I got the opportunity and, as I love football, I did not waste it.

Dou you want to be coach?
No, no. In England it is very difficult to achieve. It is a difficult job for the family. I prefer the TV at the moment.

Are you following Real Madrid?
I watch the team every week. I like it this year. I think things are better. Its problem is Barcelona, despite having won the Spanish Cup with merit.

Can Real Madrid comeback?
Yes, yes, but Barcelona is doing very well and when they play as they know it is very difficult to beat. When the Champions League started the logic favorite was Barcelona ,but I saw Madrid second in the pools. Now they have faced and only one may be in the final. But what is clear is that Madrid will fight.

You won in the Nou Camp 0-2 in the semifinal of the Champions in 2002, and you scored a goal.
What memories! It was an unforgettable night. First, we played in Barcelona and Zidane scored a goal and then me. It was a goal as important as I managed in the final of Paris 2000. Then we tied at home and played the final in Glasgow. Everyone knows what happened: the Ninth.

Would you have liked to play on this team?
I stay with mine with which won two European Cups with Sanchis and Hierro. My team was also wonderful, is my team. But I really like Özil, the environment and the stadium, the white shirts. I love everything that is Real Madrid. Xabi is also a phenomenon. The captain, Casillas, I also like. When I played he was a bambino. In what the captain of Spain has become, is incredible.

And Mourinho?
I really like, but I have not the luck to meet him. I have followed his career with Porto, Chelsea, Inter and now in Madrid. His records are amazing and has won everything. He came to Madrid and he wins the "Copa del Rey". Real Madrid has made ​​a good choice withhim, sure.

And do you like his so defensive plans at the Bernabeu?
People in Madrid want to win trophies. You can not play like Barcelona because they have their individualities. You have to ask yourself what you want. Nice play every week and not win anything or play different and get trophies. In Madrid they want titles.

What about Cristiano?
He is fantastic and is up to Messi. He scores amazing goals. The Spanish league is lucky because has Messi, Cristiano, Xabi Alonso, Xavi, Iniesta... I think Cristiano is much better now than when he was in Manchester. It is a different country and a different team, but he always scores goals.

id you know that in Spain, Cristiano and Mourinho are hated?
I do not understand. In England everybody respects them. People do not love them but they are not hated. This is normal, they generated a lot of jealousy because they were very dangerous opponents.

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