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What is the day like after doing a hat-trick at the Olympics?

Very happy for the goals, for the team's classification … You wake up with the same desire, with the same enthusiasm with which we came: the objective is to get a medal.

What went through your head at the moment of the Ivory Coast goal?

These are moments of great stress, of many emotions. I was out and I was living the game quite plugged in. When I saw that they marked us quickly I ran to the bench to change and go out. He was super psyched that he would have a chance. That's right, these games are decided in small details: the ball drops, you score and everything changes.

Did you ever see yourself outside of the Games?

In my head it was all very fast. We were warming up and we knew we were going to go into extra time, but football is like that. It's your turn to change the chip and as soon as I saw that they scored the goal, I didn't see them or celebrate it, as soon as they scored it, I ran to the bench to change to get in.

A little squishy the defense …

The truth was that it did not come in handy that it was so soft (laughs).

He said he likes ugly goals. Why?

Because they are all worth the same, the one you put for the squad, as a Chilean or like yesterday after a rebound. They are all important, they give confidence, morale and the desire to continue working. More like yesterday's, especially the first one that keeps you alive.

Did football owe him one at the Games?

He had had occasions, although none were very clear to say 'damn, the one that you have failed'. But he had the fly behind his ear that he had had chances and they had not entered, even Argentina's from the center of the field, he went very close. It is a liberation, a dose of confidence more. We have to trust what we do, sometimes it comes out and sometimes it doesn't. But this time it came out and I'm excited for that semi-final.

Who did you remember the most at a time like this?

From the family, from my parents, from my brother… It's a shame they can't be here. It's like this, we have to live in this time that is very fucked up …

What are you going to do with the ball?

I have it signed by all colleagues. I have a space at home for football things. T-shirts that I change, some of mine, some ball from other hat-tricks … I have them all on a shelf.

I'm going to ask him to get wet … Does this National Team play better with 'nine' or without 'nine'?

I'm not getting wet or ‘pa Dios’! (Laughs) The one who decides is the coach, I'm working and happy to be with my teammates, we have a brutal atmosphere. The coach decides, the only thing I can do is be 100% and prepared to help my teammates.

Do you think you are going to start in the semifinals?

I have no idea! It is that the coach decides, he is the one in charge, he makes the decisions, the changes … We are all to death with his idea because it is the one we have had for many years. If a forward has more time it is clear that he has more chances to score a goal, but we already saw that in a minute you have it and you score it. The job is to help teammates and score goals. I will be to death with what the coach thinks because he makes the best decision for the team.

What has De la Fuente told you?

He congratulated me on the goals, just like all the teammates. It was a difficult situation that we managed to overcome together, going in the same direction. I am very happy for the congratulations.

Are you comfortable in the style of the National Team?

I feel very good. Playing with these teammates is very easy, they are very good and they make you better. I try to match my game to what the National Team asks of me: to set defenses, to make breakthroughs … which I always try in my game. The difference between playing with or without nine is that I am always in the area and when you play without nine you have fewer people in the area but you have other things like having more possession. Each one sees it in their own way, people will say that one thing is better and others, the other. But Spain has achieved during these ten or twelve years very important things playing like this. That pure forward nine will be getting into this system.

Do you understand the criticism in Spain of the game?

Sport always brings criticism. And everything we do seems good to some and bad to others. We are calm and aware, safe in what we do. We are in the semifinals, the criticism is good but the result is there. It was not an easy tournament either, because it is the preseason period and almost all the teams have already been shot. We come on vacation, it has been difficult to get in tune, but we are going to more. The results are there: in the semifinals, with all the confidence in the world and we will fight for the medals.

Where will you play next year?

It's a good question… (laughs). Things are happening, I have asked not to know much until the Games are over. We will see how they progress, I have one more year at Wolverhampton and calmly we will decide what is best for me.

Do you like Atlético?

Atleti is a great club. I think the way they play suits me very well because of my characteristics. We would have to see what happens … I am focused on the Games, when they finish we will see …

It never found its place in England. Do you want to return to Spain?

I have arrived in England in two difficult situations, once at Christmas with the team made and the other time without direct preseason to play and then I was injured, the only time in my life. I was unemployed for two months. Besides my level of English was not very good, we have been improving. England is a football that I like, that's why I decided to go there when I left Valencia. Things have not gone as I wanted but I have a thorn in the side, I think I could do well there. I am very young, I hope to have many more years of career, we will see what happens.

If you could choose … Where would you play next year?

A place where I was happy, as has happened to me in Huesca, for example. Feeling loved by the people and by the club. With those ingredients, I am sure that I could get the most out of it, it's what we all want.

Going back to the Games… What is the Village like?

Is very pretty. Walking and meeting athletes of the highest level is spectacular, it had never happened to me. Facing a team and having them there with you, that's weird, you're usually in different hotels. It is super beautiful, sports and camaraderie breathes. It is a very good experience.

Can cardboard beds hold?

It depends on what for! At the moment I have only slept, so he has put up with me (laughs). They could be more comfortable, but they are fine, they are part of this experience.

Have you taken a photo with an athlete? Who would you like?

I took a photo with my cousin and one of his colleagues. I have taken many photos with Spanish colleagues from other sports. I would like to take a photo with Ricky Rubio.

A promise if they win? Does it shave to zero?

Do not! Look what a great hair! Tell me another thing…

Sing 'My big night' by Raphael …

There is no better song! It is recorded …

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