Nacho Fernandez has widely been acknowledged this season for being one of our most consistent and reliable players, despite not being a first choice starter. We can all appreciate his love for the club, his passion, determination, and that he bleeds white.
Nacho never forgets where he came from either. A native of Alcalá de Henares, a town in the northwestern outskirts of Madrid, Nacho began his footballing career in the Colegio San Gabriel. This school gave Nacho and his brother Alex, another Castilla graduate, the opportunity to begin their footballing careers. Nacho and Alex then took a little bit of a different path, with the former moving to AD Complutense Alcalá and the latter to RS Deportiva Alcalá before joining Real Madrid’s cantera.
Nacho has had an upwards trajectory at the club, meanwhile Alex, the center midfielder, has had a bit of a journeyman’s experience and is currently a part of Elche in the second division. Both have been marvelous examples to their local community, and as is their kindred nature, they give back the best way they know how to, with football!
They have a Footballing Seminar every year that they host in the Academia NAf, the name of the Footballing installations of the Colegio San Gabriel. This seminar is even more admirable when you take into consideration that Nacho is there, every day of the seminar for 2 to 3 hours training with the kids. This year, Alex was unable to come to the presentation and many people were worried that Nacho himself was not going to pull through, having just qualified for the Champions League final on Wednesday, a day before this presentation. However, Nacho showed up and was ready to present this year’s Seminar and answer questions to the hungry crowd regardless of who they may be.
A sports journalist by the name of Iñaki Cano was the one that led the proceedings this year, and what a joy it was to see him animated and giving life to the proceedings! Cano has been a journalist for a very long time and suffered from a stroke. He had to be hospitalized in mid-January, but is now recuperated and getting out in the sports world once more and cracking a few jokes as he is known to do. Before the actual presentation begins, the obligatory photos are taken and Cano lets out with, “Advierto, el que me saque la barriga, me cago en la madre que lo pario!” (Warning, whoever catches my belly [photograph], I’ll sh*t on your mother). To the chuckles of the photographers.
The event proceeds with Iñaki gathering the kids that wanted to ask Nacho questions, and then bringing them on stage. At one point, he asks one of the children what team they support. The boy replies with, “al Atléti!” to which Iñaki playfully replies with, “How could we let an Atléti fan up here? Come on up!”
The kids on the stage are lined up and one by one they are given the microphone to start asking their questions. First one is fired, “What is your relationship with the players and staff of Real Madrid?”
Nacho calmly takes the time to address something that must have been bothering him since the Atlético supporting youngster was singled out, “First of all, I want you to know that here, we accept everyone. Regardless of their colors.”
Some of the participants on the stage were struck with shyness at the prospect of talking to Nacho, but this awe-struck girl managed to ask, “Will you win the Champions?” to which Nacho heartily replied, “It’s what we want, me, just like the rest of the team!”
Eventually the event came to its conclusion and all the kids in attendance were allowed on stage to take a picture with their local hero, their very own Ignacio Fernández. Nacho, pride of Alcalá de Henares.