LUIS SUÁREZ “What happened to all of us with Sergio Ramos”

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At the age of 86 on May 2, Luis Suárez Miramontes (La Coruña, 1935) normally monopolizes the football news naturally when a Ballon d’Or is awarded.. He is the only football player born in Spain to have won one (1960), two silver (1961 and 1964) and one bronze (1965). His past is also present when a European Championship is played. He also captured Marcelino’s 64th goal against the USSR at the Bernabéu. Meanwhile, he remains loyal to Spanish football and every week comments on “his” Barça games in the sports carousel. His voice from Milan, where he still lives, sounds loud and clear without losing the Galician accent, which, mixed with the Italian touch, has its distinctive tip.

Something to add to Luis Enrique’s list that has sparked so much controversy in Spain.

“We’re not in the national team forever, at some point you will be sent home”

I don’t know it by heart… Most noticeable is the absence of Sergio Ramos, but I think it’s the law of life. He’s been out of play for most of the year and in these cases the coach can only do two things: what Luis Enrique did or take him out of gratitude for his career. I know it will be a shame on Sergio, but the moment always comes when they send you home. It happened to me, it happened to Alfredo … (Di Stéfano). The choice is never a lifetime. It can’t be forever. The trainer needs to think about naming those who work best for what they want.

In addition, Luis Enrique is one of those who does not marry anyone …

And it’s good for you. It has not gone bad for him as a coach since he took on a particular way at Barcelona B and it seems normal and right for him to do what he thinks is right. He is brave, believes in it and pulls forward. In football, all ways of running and playing a team are good and bad. Teams and national teams win in different ways, you like them more or less. In addition, in the end it is the players and their personalities who rule. It is you who decide on the field, no matter how much the coach put it on the table. There is no time inside to look at the bench and the one who decides is the footballer. Whether you like it or not.

Exactly what is being discussed is the players who called …

“I like Luis Enrique because he believes in what he does and if it went well, why will it change?”

Yes, but that has always happened. It happened to me as a coach and it happened to my coaches when I was a player. For better or for worse, 90 percent of the decisions have to be made by the players. What you have to try is to have players with quality and personality who know how to make decisions in tenths of a second. The trainer’s words are overwhelming. If Luis Enrique takes on a shoe one day, that may change, but as long as things are going well it is normal for him to carry on his ideas and it is normal for him to bring along players who believe they can advance them.

You were “cleaned up” by the national team before Sergio Ramos. It didn’t do him much to be the leader of the ’64 team.

“The team of the 1960s that Franco did not let go to Moscow was better than the 64s that won the tournament.”

The times were different. He played in Italy. I made my debut in January 1957 on the same day as Alfredo, who scored three goals against the Dutch. What a head start we had! Miguel, Kubala, Di Stéfano and Gento. I’ll never understand why we didn’t qualify for the 58 World Cup. Then the first Eurocup happened, the 60s, that Franco wouldn’t let us travel to Moscow. We were already focused and ready to go out. They didn’t give us a lot of explanations. You don’t travel and you don’t travel. The problem was they didn’t want them to come to Spain for the second game. This team would have won this year. It was better than the one that won in Madrid four years later.

Why was it better?

Simply because Alfredo was there and he had everything to win. We were all younger and we surrounded him. When you have a chef like him, you can do whatever you want, a paella, a stew, a mixed fish … This team was a show. But if Del Sol, Peiró and Collar were replacements. We were all in tow for Alfredo, as happened in Madrid. You don’t have to double-check. In the first round, we Poles got four there and three here. Not long ago I learned that the first goal of the competition was mine against the Poles. That day Alfredo did two and I did two others.

’64 you were the leader …

Let’s say I took over Alfredo. I played in the middle of the field and my teammates trusted me. So he was responsible for the field a lot. I gave 40-meter passes, I scored goals because I loved to score. We won this European Championship well and went to the World Cup in England, where we weren’t good at all. This is where my tour of the national team ended. He was 31 years old. Not so many. Until then, he had always played since his debut. If anything, they didn’t call me for friendlies because I was in Italy and Inter was complaining. Six years after I was released, Kubala called me for a friendly in Greece. He didn’t bother anyone and wanted to pay special tribute to me. He was already in Sampdoria and would be 37 or 38 years old. It was nice.

Your bet on this euro?

There are no point five or six teams and Spain is among them. There are not as many differences as in other years. The forces are more even and everything is decided in detail. If anything, with Benzema France now has more destination and more quality. If it goes well with Mbappé and Griezmann … then what should I say?

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