I believe the most important thing in sport is to enjoy it and take all the benefits sport can give you without caring too much about the results” – a talk with Juan Lucas Gara Fernandez  from Spain.

 

Hello Juan, at first tell me something about yourself. How old are you? Where are you from? What are you studying?

Well, I am 20 years old. I am from Malaga, a nice and warm city in the south of Spain and I am studying my third year of Geography.

What is your biggest passion?

One of my biggest passions is football. I love football because I've been playing it since I was a little boy. I used to run across the football pitch during the school breaks with the container of orange juice. I enjoyed playing with my friends, I was used to seeing my older brother playing it and I liked collecting La Liga football cards. One particulary important event for me was the World Cup that my country won in 2010 and which I was following with my family. I think it is a very complete team-sport and it is also very spectacular to watch.

How did you start? Has anyone convinced you to take up sport? What (generally speaking) motivates you to do sport?

I started to play in a real team when I was 11. I had been doing other sports before like swimming or dancing but my true dream was to play grass football in my neighbourhood's team. Since I was little I have been taught about the importance of sport, about the health benefits it brings and also about its significance as a tool to develop social relationships and to learn some other values. Nowadays, I do sports because it makes me feel good. It helps me concentrate on my studies, sleep well, have a routine... I think it is very important to have balance in your life. As a famous Latin phrase used to say "Mens sana in corpore sano" (a healthy mind in a healthy body). Sometimes I like doing sports alone, it gives me a chance to think and talk with myself, other times I prefer working out with my friends and sharing this time with them. It is very useful for me to disconnect from my worries. 

I have heard that you’ve played in a football club. Can you tell me something about your career?

It hasn't been a very long career. I had been playing grass football for 3 years, since I was 11 until I was 14 years old. After that I switched to indoor football that is quite extended in my place. I stayed in my school team for a couple of years, then I joined a different club for another couple of years. I left it when I started college but since then I have been playing football with my friends at least once a week and I keep doing it while I am here in Poznan.

On which position have you played?

I can play in many positions, but my favourite is the left side close to the goal and  also the midfield.

What is your greatest memory from your career?

One trophy we won thanks to a last minute goal. I didn't score it but I made the pass.

What is your favourite club? Who is your favourite player? Why?

My favourite club is Real Madrid. One of my favourite players is Ramos. I like the leadership role he has in the team. I also like Cristiano a lot, for his character, hard work and ambition.

Does sport play a huge role in your life? On the other hand, can you imagine your life without sport?

Yes, it does. I have always tried to keep it in my routine, even during the months we were locked down due to covid. I cannot imagine my life without sport.

Is sport rather a with other or against other?

I think it is rather a with other. I believe the most important thing in sport is to enjoy it and take all the benefits sport can give you without caring too much about the results. In teams and competitive sports, learning how to lose is as important as winning. It is like in real life. You don't always get what you want always. In the end, all of your teammates and the opposite team's players share the same passion for sport regardless of the color of the shirt. You need these people to enjoy the game and to improve yourself.

What advice would you give to people who lack motivation to take up sport?

I would encourage them to try to look for a sport they feel attracted to. One good thing about the sports world is that it has lots of diversity. It might be tough at the beginning if you don't have the habit, but when time goes by, you will start to enjoy it and feel better. I would tell them they should consider sport as a way to be closer to happiness and personal satisfaction.

 

The interview was conducted by:

Piotr Węgielewski

 

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