Domingos Duarte: "People thank us because they feel proud of the team"

Everything goes well for Domingos Duarte. Undisputed in Granada and international with Portugal. Without fear of the mighty Manchester United.


How is life in Granada?

Better impossible, right? Quarterfinals of the Europa League, 36 points and life is very good in the city. People cannot enter the field, but they always have a friendly word. I am very comfortable and want to stay here for a long time.

You have a contract until 2023. Would you stay longer if it were up to you?

Yes, of course. Here I am very happy. Then we will see what happens in the future. It would continue without any problem.

Have you been proposed to extend your contract?

Not as far as I know. But I don't think this is the time to talk about that. At the end of the season we will all talk and meet and see what is best for everyone.

What is the key or the secret to the success of this Granada?

I believe our identity. The values we have as a team. Because we are a true team. We think more about the team. That is the key to the health, in quotes, of a team and I think we must continue in this line. There are good games and bad games, but everything happens. In adversity we are very good, I don't think anything happens because we weren't fine against Villarreal. Now we have all the illusion in the world in the match against Manchester and wanting to pass the tie.

Manchester is a great team.

A good team. We also have our weapons and we must know how to counter them, in one way or another. In a tie, anything can happen and you have to be prepared. It is a team that plays in quick transitions. We have our points and we will adapt to the way you play. We will be the Granada of always.

Has players like Cavani, Rashford, Pogba, Bruno Fernandes ...

Also many players who are in Granada can go where those players are. We have young and experienced people. That mix might help young people jump in and catch up with them. Everything starts somewhere and everything has its moment. And I think our time may come.

What a shame that this match is played behind closed doors!

If we had our audience it would be easier or less difficult for us, however you want to interpret it.

The dream of winning this tie is present.

Of course. It is a wonderful game to be able to enjoy it from the responsibility that we have. We are a club that is very well at the moment and that is living the best years in its history and that is why we must fight and continue adding things supported by the people from their homes and by the people of the club who work every day. It is a time to enjoy all together.

It has been a very beautiful, long and complicated season.

The team always pulls forward. That is our identity. Do not look for excuses, because successful people do not live by excuses and we are living in Granada for three years of history. In the first, the promotion, I was not, in the second we qualified for the Europa League and in this one we are having another good season.

Do you notice the affection of the people on the street?

People even thank us. So imagine. There is no better feeling than when a fan of your club thanks you because they feel proud and are well represented by the players of the club in their city. There is no better feeling than that for a player.

Will you put a Granada flag on your balcony like the fans?

I understand the people who do it because it is the club of their city and that contributes a grain of sand to be able to do what we want, which is to pass the tie.

Another dream come true has been to have debuted with Portugal.

Yes sir! It was a dream since he was a child when he played with Estoril Praia. I was able to make my debut in both a friendly and official match. I'm very happy and now it's time to continue adding experiences of this level. I am prepared.

Against Azerbaijan he formed a central pair with none other than Rubén Dias.

Very good player and person. Even being his age (23 years old), he is an example for all people because he has earned it with all his work and dedication to football. He is a very calm and professional boy. You know what you want.

Y Fonte…

Being among the four, five or six best centrals in Portugal is not an easy thing. All the people who are there have a lot of quality.

How did Cristiano Ronaldo receive you?

He's very nice. It's the captain. The greatest figure of our country, of our selection. He is a person with whom you can talk about anything. People say they believe a lot, but it has nothing to do with it. But if so, if you can't believe, who can believe? Do you understand what I am saying?

Physically looks good.

Impressive how you take care of yourself, how you eat. It is another example. The Portuguese team is made up of great professionals and great people.

Do you think you will return to Real Madrid?

I have no idea about that. The madridistas ask you to come back, right? So they say.

How were your beginnings as a footballer?

I started with seven or eight years at Cascais, the team where I'm from. The field was sandy. We have all started with the mud and you are taking small steps forward. Then I went to Estoril Praia. At 15 he had no intention of being a professional soccer player. Of course it is the illusion of every child! But then when you get serious, I had a conversation with an under-15 or under-16 coach of mine and he told me that if I believed it, I could get to where I am right now. And in the end I agree with him and I for my part, putting every day in all training sessions and games. I want to continue taking steps forward in football.

Always central defender?

Sometimes I have played pivot, but I prefer to play facing the goal and not the other way around (laughs) it complicates me a bit ... I also like to go up to shoot, but this year I have only scored one. Maybe two more will arrive before the end of the season. Who knows?

How was your experience at Sporting Clube de Portugal?

It was a different experience and learning because it had, in quotes, one more roll of friends. But when you arrive at a quarry like Sporting where Cristiano, Cuaresma, Figo has come out, then you think about it and you say to yourself “if I'm here it's for something” .

And from there to Deportivo.

I can't lie to you. I have loved A Coruña. It is a bit like Portugal. I have been very comfortable and whenever they ask me I will speak well because it is a land to which I have a lot of affection and a lot of 'homelessness' as they say there. We remain at the gates of paradise. It could not be. Football gives it back to you and I've been able to play in the First Division and be in Europe and everything happens for a reason. You have to follow by many sticks that are in the wheels as they say in Spain.

A pity that Deportivo is in this situation.

I am very sorry. The truth is that it is a delicate situation for the club and for the people there. Depor is a club that has had incredible experiences at the Champions League level and with important players like Bebeto, Valerón, Djalminha… the city deserves more and surely their time will come to return to the elite because they deserve it. It is sure to lift you up.

Granada paid three million euros for his transfer and Sporting secured 25% of a future sale. Why did you choose this team?

For the project. And look how we are! The project was taught to me by Fran (Sánchez, the sports director) and in his day Antonio Cordón (from the Hope advisor. He is now at Betis) and Antonio Monterrubio (the general director). It was so easy. The Primera had another option (it was Mallorca). I made the best decision. It is a club where you do not lack anything. The people of the club are always looking out for you in case you need anything and the truth is that I have all the tools to be a professional soccer player and I cannot complain about anything at all.

Monterrubio says the whole club is a family.

Is what I was saying. The values of the club and the team are to think all as one and that we are all part of the team. The family is made up of individuals. And if all individuals think the same way, you find success. This is what our 'success' (in Portuguese successful event) is based on.

Y 'Eterna Lucha', the club motto.

Eternal struggle. There is no other way to face life. It is a motto that Granada has, but I think we should all have it in life. Whatever happens, if you move forward, your conscience is calmer and you are closer to achieving your goals.

Diego Martínez, a demanding coach where there are

Of course. The requirement leads you to professionalism. Diego is very demanding, he knows what he has to do and that is very positive for us. He understands a lot about soccer and is also an excellent conversationalist. You can talk about everything with him and he is another of the people in the club who does not say 'no' to anything. That is important because we all feel comfortable with him, there are those who play more or less, but we are all happy because almost all of us are playing.They call him 'The Shaman'

'The Shaman' And what does that mean?

A man who in some cultures makes predictions, with hidden powers and who often gives advice and guidance. Kind of leader…

Despite his age (40 years, youngest coach in the First Division) he has a lot of knowledge. He is a person who knows a lot about life and that helps a lot to feel calm and value the important things in life. Not just football. Diego likes his job very much, but he knows that there is also a life.

How do you see the other center-backs of the team, Germán, Nehuén and Vallejo?

Good centrals. Granada is a club that many footballers look to and want to play here. We have four center-backs and also Víctor Díaz, who can play center-back. We have a lot of quality. Internal competition makes you better day by day because you know that if you are not well the other will play, that the coach is very clear on that. It is for performance and it should be. Touches focused on the objective and the message transmitted by the coach.

Who is leaving is Kenedy.

Kenedy is a great player. And if you believe it more, it can be even better. Look at the quality it has! It is in the eyes of all. It is a question of him putting in his head that he is very good and that he can go as far as he wants. Like any player on the team. But Kenedy is in everyone's eyes because he's getting out.

When you are older, would you like to be like Soldier and Jorge Molina?

Of course! (laughs again). If I can be up to 40 years playing, performing and winning as they do ... They are an example for the youth of the locker room because they are hungry people who compete for all at their age. And we are talking about how old they are as if they were 50 years old. For football, in theory, being 36, 37 or 38 says that you are old. But you are seeing that if people take care of themselves they can play longer and enjoy how beautiful football is.

Your central reference?

I really liked Nemanja Vidic when she played with Ferdinand at Manchester United. I'm not going to tell you that he watched his games for Vidic, he did it for Cristiano. But then I was struck by his game, the forcefulness he had. If you had to clear, he cleared and if you had to play, he played. He was a very pragmatic guy and that in a center is very important.

A shame for Granada that Rui Silva leaves.

They say he's leaving. Everything that is good for Rui, I delighted. As you know, he is one of the ones I get along best in the dressing room. He is a wonderful boy and he deserves the best because since I arrived he has wrapped me up very well within the team and wherever I go, may it be for the better. Delighted with him. We cannot do more than thank him for his professionalism in this whole situation because it is not easy for him and you have to tuck him in at this time. Rui is doing very well. He is one of the best goalkeepers in the league if not the best. He plays well with his feet, outside the area and his goal the same. I see many things that I do not see others.

If you weren't a footballer, what would your professional life be like?

I don't know. I have some interest in the part of the economy, to be able to manage a company. I have thrown for the management of the sport. I have entered the University in its time, but I could not reconcile the two things.

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