Jesús Vallejo, captain of the Spanish Olympic football team, wanted to keep the positive part of all the mobility restrictions that athletes have in the Tokyo 2020 Games, ensuring that this has “made them stronger” by having known more and that these days they will “remember them for a lifetime.”
“I guess that's the way it is for all athletes. For the team from Argentina, Egypt and Australia it is more or less the same. Eager for training or a group dynamic to get us out of the routine. It gets tough at times because we like to go out a bit, but the team has endured it very well and this has made us stronger. Spending more time together with the roommate… one more experience ”, he said at a press conference prior to the game against Egypt on Wednesday (9:30 am CEST).
“Hopefully we get that medal because we have been working for it for a long time to get here. People have been left out who qualified in 2019 and for them we will also try to fight for those medals, because thanks to them we are here. And these days here we are going to remember him for a lifetime because he is very special, “he added.
A press conference was opened by Alejandro Blanco, president of the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE), who expressed his confidence in the team: “We have never had a team with this quality. I feel sorry for my friend when I think about the moment when I have to choose the 11 starters. I am sure that you are going to take a medal; you are world-class ”, he assured.
A Jesús Vallejo who missed the friendly against Japan but who assured, when asked by EFE, that he is 100 percent: “I'm perfect. I have a couple of training sessions with the team. Pre-season and preparation stuff. For all the training we have done, there is some area more overloaded and it was convenient to rest ”.
In addition, he pondered the decision to travel to Japan more than a week before the debut: “One of the best things we have been able to do is come to Japan early. The friendly match was very good for us to acclimatise ourselves to everything. I see the team very well, emotionally and physically. With a lot of desire to start, we want to compete and enter that wheel of playing, recovering and thinking about the next game ”.
The first will be against Egypt, and Vallejo wants to avoid favoritism: “From what we have seen in the videos, they are a tough team. Physical and with five behind. We have already seen what it cost against Japan, easy games will not be any. The important thing is to start winning, it does not matter against whom. It is not going to be easy at all, if we are not right we will have problems ”, he declared.
For this meeting, the six players who arrive after participating in the Eurocup will already be fully integrated: “I have seen them phenomenal. From day one, very adapted to the group. We did a WhatsApp group in Benidorm so that they were aware of everything. From the first day training and perfect. If they are here it is because the coach has selected them and they have wanted to come, and it is to be appreciated after having played a European Championship ”.
Finally, Vallejo assured that, although they are in Sapporo and not in Tokyo, they will arrive for the third game of the group, and he already notes the specialness of the Olympic Games: “You can breathe that athletic atmosphere. That atmosphere that this is something unique and I hope it is something historical. We are in this line of work. You have to adapt to everything because they are not ideal conditions, but that makes it special. I hope we are in Japan until the end and we can enjoy it ”, he commented.