27 February, 2021

JUNIOR shows us his HOME GYM (LIVE CALL presented by Rakuten)

Today I am with Junior Firpo – helllo Junior, how are you? All ok, as well as it can be, locked up at home the last few weeks and it seems for a couple more.

Yes, we'll go into that in more detail.

You say you are handling it ok, how are your family, what are the days like? Fortunately, my family, my wife and child with whom I live and my family in Málaga and all my friend who live in Seville, they are all ok so on the one hand you just have to thank God that we are all ok.

It's something very different for us to be here confined to the house virtually 24 hours a day.

We have to pay attention to what the health authorities say and if we do that then this will all be over quicker.

What is your day like now that you are home all the time? I usually get up early, well my daughter gets me up, then I do my training in the morning.

I spend a bit of time player with her and then we have lunch and rest a bit.

In the afternoon I play on the Play Station with my friends on Fifa and other games.

After that I play with my daughter a bit more then I watch a film with my wife, have dinner, another film and off to bed.

And it's the same most days.

Well, if you like it then that's it.

What's it like training at home? Well, it's different, you don't have the same space as on the field and football is a team sport so training by yourself is very different to training with your team mates.

I am in permanent contact with Antonio the fitness coach, every day we speak to him, I imagine the others as well.

He passes us what we have to do the following day and for the whole week.

Do you train on your own or does your wife join in, or friends? I do some sessions with my wife now and then, when we go up to the gym I'll show you the whiteboard where we exercise when from time to time she joins me.

Show it to you us, let's have a look I don't know if sometimes you ring your friends to train together.

Going up the stairs.

Do you train with friends? Yes, I have two friends who are big fans of crossfit so we have some sessions we get in touch, I ring them and we do a couple of sessions.

More than anything we ring each other to play Monopoly, Parcheese on line and things like that.

This is the gym.

Here at home I can do a bit of everything – the cone, which returns the force that you apply the machine here is for vibrations, you stretch and balance.

Static bike, machine for hamstrings and quads and here like I said the whiteboard Julia, my wife, here exercises and times and then there are mine as well.

We write everything down and here we have a bit of motivation to improve times and such.

I imagine it's tricky for her to follow your pace.

What she does is a bit different but when we do the same thing we egg each other on to see who can finish first but she's ok, she's in shape.

Nutrition? How are you looking after your diet? Now we try to eat less carbs because when you have a game every three days you eat quite a lot of them.

These days, I follow more or less the specific plan that we had before with Tonia the club dietician so I follow the plan that she sets for me.

Fortunately I am not a player who easily gains weight so I can follow more or less the diet I had before.

Do you cook? My wife cooks, but it is true that being at home so much I try to help out and I have done a couple of dishes and they did not turn out too bad.

You can be on Masterchef when all this is over.

A lot of things, being at home so much you do things that you would not normally do and you surprise yourself when it turns out better than you thought.

Which dishes have you cooked? I made seafood paella, that did not turn out too bad.

A bit of baking, a carrot cake.

The other day we did one of those things, what is it called, you know it's for this time of year, Easter Week, 'torrijas'.

We made them together and they were not bad.

Torrijas, I don't know if people will know what they are.

I don't know if people eat them outside Spain.

Yes, it's soaked bread, in milk, you fry it with a little cinnamon – every now and then it's a nice treat.

Let's talk a little about the first six months with Barça.

What have you made of them? Well, any kind of change takes time.

It has not been an easy six months for me, I picked up a slight injury when things appeared to be going well.

I always look at things positively.

I was coming to a new club, a new city, a big club with great, great players.

I think I am still in the phase of settling in so that everything can go well later.

I am really looking forward to going back to training and playing and really show what I can do as a player and why I was signed, something I think we have not seen yet.

With which player do you have a rapport with out on the field? Well, above all with Ansu, Moussa as well but he left in the winter but I think of the current squad Ansu – we are both young, we have the same likes, we love dancing we spend all days sending each other dances on Instagram and we have struck up a good relationship on and off the field.

Anyone who has surprised you? I would have to say a lot of players, a lot have surprised me.

I think I have said this already, to highlight one example, Arturo surprised me a lot because he is the opposite of what I thought he would be like.

He's a guy with tattoos, the mohican, he seems like a warrior, but he's a real top guy, he always tries to make everyone laugh and I think that was what surprised me most compared to what I had thought before.

When you signed for Barça, he had not arrived yet but you were with him in Betis, I am talking about Quique Setién.

What's your relationship with him like? I think it is a good relationship, player to manager, the boss was the first to show confidence in me at the top level.

He brought me up from the B team to the first team, he gave me the time to develop as a player that I needed Fate has brought us back together here in Barcelona and he's still the same person he was at Betis and he treats me in exactly the same way; the situation is rather different.

So it's good Yep You said that in the team we have not seen the best of you but in general settling in has gone well? Yes, rather well.

The dressing room is a healthy one, players who have won everything, really great players.

I expected something different to what I found, they are just people like all of us and they always try to maintain a good atmosphere in the dressing room.

The city of Barcelona? Have you settled in well? Barcelona as a city I like a lot.

Even though I lived in Seville 5 or 6 years, I am from Málaga and I think there is a lot of similarities.

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