Jon Guridi (Azpeitia, 1995) has had to travel a long and winding road to become a full member of the Real’s first team. Injuries marked his career until he found in Mirandés the necessary springboard to achieve his dream of wearing txuri urdin. It would be completed by raising a title. The youth squad speaks with MD about his aspirations, his football and his plans for the future.
How does it feel to have six days off between games?
Well, the truth. We had many games in a row without a break, removing the three-day break we had at Christmas, playing two games every week. This week without matches is going to be good for us to prepare for the game against Sevilla and be physically fit.
Another flurry of matches arrives until March, how do you deal with it?
The first thing is Saturday’s game against Sevilla, which is very important. We are even in qualifying and it would be important to win. It is a great team, but we are doing well and we want to show it.
He says he sees the team well. Don’t you think the accumulation of matches has affected you excessively?
It is normal with so much game. And we have also had many injuries, like now. By not rotating so much, people accumulate two games a week and it is normal for them to arrive more tired. That is why this break is going to be good for us.
Do you think that Real is going to be in the same fight as Sevilla?
I think so. We are showing that we are a very competitive team despite playing so many games. We are up in the rankings. All teams have their streaks, we are not in the best, but I see the team with play and intensity. We will walk there on the table, as before.
To enter the Champions League?
Yes. There is a team to enter Europe, we’ll see if for the Champions League.
Do you feel or have you thought that you are 10 days away from being able to raise a title?
To tell you the truth, I haven’t thought about that. I think more about the day to day and about the game this week. Then I will think about the Super Cup.
Have you ever dreamed of obtaining a title with the Real?
Yes I have dreamed of winning titles with the Real. It would be something very special. This year we have two title options with the Super Cup and the Cup and it is very exciting.
Have you visualized yourself lifting the Cup?
Yes. I have seen photos of the Cup and I have imagined myself lifting it. It would be historical.
And in Europe against Manchester United. Would you prefer something more accessible?
On the day of the draw, I had in mind that United was going to play us. It will be a very screwed up opponent, it is true that we could have played something softer, but in the same way that it will be a very difficult opponent for us, for them we are too. We have played Barça and Madrid from you to you and Manchester is nothing more than Barça or Madrid. I have remembered a lot these days of that trip and of when we went to Old Trafford after playing the Youth League at the Manchester facilities.
After passing the injury and his great game in the derby, how are you?
Good. I spent a month bothered with my hamstring, but now I don’t give much thought to these muscle break injuries. In time they recover. I hope he doesn’t give me more war. I feel fine now. We always have some discomfort, but that does not prevent you from training or playing.
How has suffered so many injuries mentally?
In the end, each one has their time. The head works a lot and that affects you muscularly. If you push your head too hard, you get muscularly stressed. That’s where the injuries could have come from. But now I am calmer. I have taken a weight off my shoulders by having played some games and done well. I have taken the pressure off myself. I hope this can be my moment.
Did you ever think that you would not be able to play for Real after previous injuries?
Yes. It is clear. But you know that you are working with professionals, that you will not be better in another place and in the end you will improve. And so it has been.
Did you need a match like the derby?
I calmed down a lot when I played against Huesca and Celta. I took pressure off. Against Athletic, I would have been very nervous in other circumstances, just because it was a derby, but that day I was very calm. That helped me. Calmer, you don’t think so much and things work out better.
How many kilometers did he run?
Almost 12. 11.8.
What is your mean?
It all depends on the party. Sometimes there are a lot of interruptions and the game is not very back and forth either. More than 10 usually.
You are 25 years old, what phase of your career are you in?
The injuries have made me mature and at Mirandés I grew a lot. It’s not that I just got up from the Sanse, I think I’m more done. And that is showing.
What does playing for Real represent for Jon Guridi?
Much pride. It is a privilege to be playing for Real. Many children and many people would like to be in my situation. Thinking that gives you strength and the desire to keep fighting. I go to Zubieta every day with a smile.
Look around and see Silva, Merino, Oyarzabal, Januzaj … And what do you think?
I just think I should learn from them. In my position and outside of it there are great players and you learn something every day that you train and play with them. I try to fight every day to give my best version.
What can distinguish Guridi from them?
They already asked me at a press conference what I could have that Merino didn’t have. And I said that the question should be the other way around. I have more to learn from him and all of them than he from me. It is that they have everything, they have been in great teams, they have achieved titles …, what will they not have that I have? I am a touring player, with a lot of physique. Some of them may not be able to give you that. But they are very good with the ball, they lack nothing.
He responds to a player pattern that is difficult to classify, have you wanted to compare him with someone?
No. I’m technically a good player. What happens is that in many games I don’t stand out for that. I am a lot of running, pressing and being in all. That wears me out and with the ball I don’t stand out as much or I don’t come into play so much. I am more about moving without the ball and creating spaces. Let’s see, Janu doesn’t run as much, but then with the ball he stands out, he has self-confidence and quality.
How did you feel when you had to face Real last year and fight to leave you without a Cup final?
It was a brown for us. That’s the truth. Martín, Modibo and I were going to death with the Mirandés, but the brown one was huge. Imagine that we left out the Real having a contract with the Real. Hosts could have fallen on all sides. It was very strange, but at the same time I really liked it.
You arrived at the Real at 10 years old, what do you remember of those first moments?
It was fry, the Real had no team. I went to Zubieta once a week. And then he trained twice with Lagun Onak and another two with schoolchildren. He did not rest a single day. So I started already with loads.
Did you have to be a ball boy in Anoeta?
Yes but not that much. Those from Donosti were more popular and don’t think I liked them too much.
We are in 2021 now and the contract ends in 2022, have you already started talking to renew it?
That is a matter for the representative and the club. If they offer me another contract, I will be delighted.