SPAIN | NEGREDO
"It’s much better having Diego Costa with us" - Negredo
Buffon; Maggio, Paletta, Barzagli, Criscito; Marchisio, Motta, Montolivo; Candreva, Cerci, Osvaldo
You’re back! With La Roja!
Yes! It’s always nice to be picked for the national team.
Why did Pellegrini leave you on the bench for the Capital One Cup final? You bolted onto the pitch like a raging bull when he brought you on!
Yes, I was raging during the few minutes I played. We needed to kill the game off as soon as possible, Jesús [Navas] scored the definitive goal and so it was all perfect.
You’ve adapted quickly to the Premier League...
I’ve settled in well. I’m very happy. I’ve adapted my own game to fit in with the team’s style really quickly and getting amongst the goals early on has helped me to adapt quicker to the Premier League.
We think you’re much better than Dzeko, your left foot’s better than his and you’re much friendlier!
That’s just his character, he’s a great bloke and he strikes the ball well with either foot. He’s a great striker and both of us are doing what we need to do – scoring goals for City.
You’re almost ‘Spanish City’, sort of...
There are four of us – Javi García, Navas, Silva and me. We’ve also got four Argentineans and one Brazilian, Fernandinho who is part of our little group. We’re a solid side even though we’re a team with a lot of different nationalities – we function as one so that we can be in with a chance of winning silverware, and we’ve already won one so far this season.
Do you miss Spain while you’re over in Manchester?
It’s completely different. I’ve adapted well because I knew exactly what it would be like. My life is completely different to how it was when I was in Seville. The weather is the real difference, in England, you look out of the window at 4 o’clock and decide to stay indoors. We’re here to work and it’s up to us to adapt to the circumstances.
What do you think of your chances of turning your Champions League tie against Barça around?
The tie’s a bit difficult now and was made even more complicated when Alves scored. While we know it’s going to be difficult, we’re going to try to turn it around by putting in a brace fightback.
You’re City’s No.9 but you could have been Real Madrid’s No.9?
That’s in the past now. I was Real Madrid Castilla’s No.9. I completed the pre-season with Madrid’s first team – with Pellegrini in fact and back then Madrid had five strikers. It wasn’t like it is now when there’s just Benzema and Morata. It was a difficult situation and the best option for me was to leave. I don’t regret my decision, since then I have gradually grown as a player. It was a huge pleasure for me that Sevilla were keen on me, as it was before that with Almería and now here at Manchester City.
You must be doing something right – less and less strikers are being called for duty with Spain...
(Smiles) All of our great strikers are scoring goals and deserve to be here. It’s extremely important to be included in this particular list but I have to continue working hard so that I can earn my place in the definitive list ahead of the World Cup.
How’s Diego Costa?
He’s fine. I don’t know him personally – but I have played against him. He seems like the kind of guy who is completely different off the pitch to how he is on it. Everyone who has come along to help Spain triumph is important and I’m sure he will triumph with us.
So, he hasn’t had any arguments with anyone yet?
(Laughs) No, not yet. And if he gets angry, I hope it’s with our rivals and not us!
Is it better to have Diego Costa playing for Spain?
Of course, yes. When I was playing for Sevilla, I had already made up my mind that it would be better to have him on our side than as an opponent. He takes on rival defenders and all ofr his team mates try to pick him out in every game, that’s how he likes to play.
You were almost team mates at Atlético!
We went up there, they were interested but it didn’t come off. I had other expectations too – I wanted to leave the Spanish league and then along came Manchester City.
Will you be upset if Diego Costa is the starting line-up tonight and you’re on the bench?
All of us want to play all of the time but being here with the national side is a reward. It’s the coach who decides and I always respect that. I’ve never had any complaints whenever Del Bosque has called me -whether I’ve played or not or even I don’t get called up. The coach does what he thinks is best for the team.
100 days to go before 2014 Brazil starts, could this be the definitive list?
Del Bosque has told us that it isn’t, there a long way to go before now and June and anything could happen in that time. I just hope that none of us pick up any injuries and hopefully, we’ll be in the best form possible to make the coach’s task a little harder. I am planning to work as hard as possible so that I can earn my place in the squad.