Juanmi Latasa, a product of Real Madrid’s youth system, is currently on loan from Real to Getafe. The two teams clash this weekend at Coliseum Alfonso Perez, and Latasa gave a lengthy interview to Marca ahead of the team. We’ve included the Real Madrid related bits below:
On leaving Real Madrid, earliest memories, and idols
“Those six years gave me everything, I am where I am because of Madrid. It was a very thoughtful decision to leave and it was the right one.
“I have many memories, but the most memorable was when I was little and we said goodbye to the first team, who let us go up to their residence and we said goodbye to them before they got on the bus for the Champions League matches. And then it’s very nice to experience that from within because you’re called up with the first team.
“I was excited to see everyone, obviously. From Cristiano, logically, to Karim. To the Spaniards too, the youth players, who are the reflection we had: Carvajal, Nacho...”
On his Castilla coaches
“I only spoke with Raúl upon leaving, surely the coach who has marked me the most. I have had very good coaches, like Álvaro Benito or Manu Fernández. With Raúl I have made the definitive leap as a footballer and striker in professional football, the one that has really made me grow. He understood, he agreed. He wanted the best for Castilla, but he understood that I had to keep growing.”
What is the difference between Getafe and Real Madrid’s tactics?
“They are different styles. I’m a center forward, I live from goals and that doesn’t change much. Getafe is more defensive, we defend more than in Madrid and I think I’m helping a lot with that.”
What advice did Karim Benzema give him?
“Without a doubt, the best striker in the world right now. Watching him train is pure spectacle. When you play with him, he helps you, makes you feel comfortable and makes everything easier.
“He told me to come and go to receive the ball, which he does perfectly; then go to take it off the defender. I remember that he told me that: “Do that and you’ll be fine.”
Will he celebrate if he scores against Real Madrid?
“You never know... [laughs]. No, in principle I would never celebrate it.”
Does he have a plan to stop Vinicius Jr?
“No, the truth. I am not on the side that has to cover him either. I have seen the evolution of him, little by little, and it is incredible. This preseason has surprised me with the confidence he has gained, in the one-on-one he goes all out, he is very good, and then the definition, which is now very good.”