This is the first interview since leaving Sporting. Luis Maximiano, the 22-year-old goalkeeper, speaks for the first time about the process that culminated in his move to Granada. He admits that these were very difficult times, but says that everything is outdated and continues to talk about lions with respect and a twinkle in his eyes.
– How are these first months in Grenada? Collectively like that, but individual things are going well…
– It was a new experience, everything is new. It’s been a big change for me as I’ve spent a lot of time in the same place, but the adaptation is going better than I expected and I’m really enjoying the experience at the new club. It was so much fun and I am so happy for the first few months.
– And adjustment? Did the fact that you left Celeros, Braga, aged 13, to play for Sporting make this process easier?
– Yes, I think so … I used to get away from home early to fulfill my dream and it was a change of the same kind. If I left Braga when I was thirteen years old to go to Sporting to fulfill my dream, I was now twenty-two years old to change country and go to Granada to continue pursuing that dream. They’re two different ages, but life changes, it’s just different, knowing that when you leave the country, you never know when you’ll be back. It sometimes makes us a little sad, we have hard times, we think the good times in Lisbon are probably not coming back, and that was the challenge, knowing we’re far from home because we should be. I hope it’s worth it, that’s what I’m trying to do, and that the change is worth it.
But the hardest thing is…
– It was hard in the early days. We arrived in a completely different context, a new country, in another language …
Do you really speak Spanish well or are you more Portuguese?
– [risos] I learned in Sporting, many of my classmates speak Spanish, although when you get there it’s all new, they speak faster, and it’s different. But I picked it up quickly and now I think I’m talking pretty well.
But in the early days I was afraid of everything, I knew nothing, everything was new, new people, I stayed in a hotel while looking for a house. The first half was more complicated, but now I’m probably ready to do it, I’m more prepared. But the early days were not easy.
It was noticed that he had difficulty leaving Sporting. The farewell video, with tears in the mix, was crystal clear…
– Because it was a little unexpected. When I had the chance to go to Granada I wasn’t exactly waiting, I was a bit surprised and it’s always hard to leave a place where we feel happy and grew up. I’ve had my day with people for years, who have held me since I was a kid, and it was hard not to practice this routine. It took me 10 years of going to the same place every day, and overnight, I stopped doing it. It was a little difficult, but these are things you have to go through and now I’m happy and I’m fine.
– At that time, did you think more about leaving or winning the title?
I think when you do well we always think we can play, but it’s true that Adan was doing well too, and they trust him a lot at Sporting. So, when the possibility arose to leave for a greater opportunity to play, that was my choice, a decision I had to make, because as much as it might cost me, going two years without playing would be difficult for the prospects of the career I want it to be. I was still fighting to play, but with the chance to go to Granada and get more minutes, I had to get it, whatever it cost me…
Did you expect to get more chances in Sporting?
– Yes… I come from a time when I played 33 games, played all the competitions, I thought the next season, despite Adan signing, I could have had more time to play and in the end I played five games. I don’t blame anyone for that, and I’m not upset. These are decisions that the coaches make and we players have to do well, do things well and always be professional. Then the manager chooses who to play. But actually it was a very tough season mentally, as I came from a season where I played 33 games and then didn’t play. It was a tough time in my time at Sporting but of course I was an extra person to help and whenever I had to play I think I gave a good response and tried to help my teammates every day. I kept working all the time, so when I started playing again a year later, I felt good too. I always worked, because when I had the chance, in Sporting or anywhere else, I wanted to be prepared. I have never been sloppy and have always continued to do well.
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