“It would be very nice to debut at home”

After two intense training sessions, Raúl de Tomás (27 years old) appears to attend MD at the Ciudad del Fútbol de las Rozas three days before playing against Albania at the RCDE Stadium. He asks to go get something to eat before the interview and with a full stomach returns after a while covered up to his ears and wearing the national team’s anorak. “It’s cold here,” he says as he settles into the set that the Federation has prepared, freshly cleaned, perfumed and with a new haircut. “Do I look at you?” He asks, taking care of all the details. And we started.

Second consecutive call. It is important to start consolidating.

I am very happy and happy for the opportunity again. I come to face it with great enthusiasm, as always, like everything I do in life. Hopefully both games go well and above all that we get two wins.

The coach spoke highly of you at the press conference just after giving the list.

I am grateful to Luis Enrique for the opportunity and also for his words. My goal is to return his confidence where I can, which is on the pitch.

What does the technician ask?

Personality above all, which I show many times in the club. Later, obviously, when we come here we have to refine aspects according to the style of play he wants. And also the work in defense and mobility up front, which is very important.

“Luis Enrique asks me for personality and also the work in defense and mobility up front, which is very important”

In Espanyol he is the franchise player, the reference, while in the national team everyone is one more. How do you manage that role change?

Like everything else, I try to do everything the coach asks me to do well, adapt and give my best. Offering what I have been doing but also qualifying the details.

Raúl de Tomás posed for MD in the City of Football in Las Rozas

J. A. Sirvent – MD

Reaching the national team has been a longer road than perhaps I expected ten years ago. How have you experienced it?

Fighting a lot. It has cost, there is a lot of work behind all this. In the end, things come to an end. I am very happy with these opportunities and now what I want is to take advantage of them. But always thinking about what it has cost me. That’s a motivational weapon for me. The fact of looking back and remembering all that it costs is what I try to capture later on the pitch.

“I want to take advantage of the opportunities thinking about what it cost me to get here. It’s a motivational weapon”

That is the experience. He comes from a quarry like Madrid’s where everything seems very easy, but another reality is found.

Exactly. It is achieved based on every year, going through all the clubs I have been to, improving my performance and trying to improve on the field. Now I want to capture everything I have learned in the past so that the present is good and especially the future.

RDT will seek to score its first international goal in Cornellà

RDT will seek to score its first international goal in Cornellà

J. A. Sirvent – MD

Is he learning to appreciate the little things in football?

Yes, there are many things that people do not know. In our career we go through many difficult moments and it is not easy what one goes through. All this should serve as learning for the future.

From what he says, it seems that he does not look much further. He is a man who takes life match by match.

So is. Many people tell me “you are going to the World Cup”, but I only think about the game on Saturday and Tuesday. There’s no more. In the future nobody knows what will happen. I only watch tomorrow’s training and the rest is not important.

“People tell me “you are going to the World Cup”, but I only see the next training session; I think about the game on Saturday”

But you will not deny me that at some point you have imagined yourself at the World Cup in Qatar.

It is thought, like everything in life. They are futuristic illusions that serve to motivate you in the present. That is my way of seeing things. I hope it can happen, but it won’t be because I don’t try it in my present.

In the end it is his third match with the national team. Friendly, little…

It is not. Not for me, not for my teammates. Being in the Spanish team already requires you to win. Friendly is one way to label it, but there’s nothing friendly here.

It will play in a special stadium, the RCDE Stadium. How nice it would be to debut as a scorer for the national team “at home”.

It would be very nice. It is special to play in my field, in my house, and what better way than to be there. But the important thing is to do a good job everyone and get the victory.

The team returns to Barcelona 18 years later. What environment is expected?

Very good. The national team hasn’t gone to Barcelona to play for many years and I think it’s a nice reunion for everyone. The fans will not fail, obviously.

“The national team has not been to Barcelona for many years and it will be a nice reunion. The fans will not fail”

Luis Enrique was talking about you with Vicente Moreno, also about Sergi Darder, who was on the pre-list. Do you expect him in the selection?

That is something that the coach must decide. I can only say that Sergi is a great player, but I don’t make the list, Luis Enrique makes it, so it’s something that doesn’t concern me.

Raúl de Tomás, happy for the confidence of Luis Enrique

Raúl de Tomás, happy for the confidence of Luis Enrique

J. A. Sirvent – MD

Let’s talk about you. He is an introverted footballer, very much his own. He likes meditation, painting…

Paint, I try (laughs). It was an anecdote from the confinement, which was boring. There was too much bullshit.

But he does work a lot on his inner world.

Yes total. In addition to soccer, I have my horses, my meditation, my workouts at the gym, I like to go to quiet places with my dog. I am a very calm person, something that is not known so much about me. I like to get out of the football loop a bit. When I get out of training I need to get away from all this.

“I like to get out of the football loop a bit. When I get out of training I need to get away from all this”

When he came to the national team for the first time, Luis Enrique pulled a joke on him. Who are you, Raúl or RDT? From what you were talking to me now, is RDT a brand or is it more of a shield to differentiate the footballer from the person?

It was something that I decided on with my personal trainer and I liked it. It’s something different and today there are people who know me for Raúl and others for RDT. I am a little indifferent, in the end I am the same person.

“I don’t like to predict the future. I know the contract I have with Espanyol and that a thousand things can happen in football; today, I’m happy”

Let me ask you about Espanyol, where he is consecrated. A club that was a revalidation in his football career. What does Espanyol mean for RDT?

I have always said it. I am very grateful for the opportunity he gave me back in the day. At Benfica I wasn’t going through a good time and they bet on me despite not being in a good time. For me it will be my home and I hope that they feel that I belong to theirs too.

Do you see a lot of time in Espanyol? Because there are many parakeets that are suffering for their future.

As I said before, I don’t like to predict anything about the future. I know the contract I have, I know I’m happy there and a thousand things can happen in football. But today I am happy.

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