An extended interview with the FC Rubin Spanish centreback to learn about his complicated childhood, life values, club career and where is nickname is coming from.
- You´ve been having a very interesting career. Could you tell us about yourself and the clubs you`ve played in?
- All my life is linked with football. Though my family had nothing. I was raised in a poor family and our life was complicated. We’d always been helped in terms of food and place to live. We’ve stuck together and been very close to each other since I was a kid. My family has always been a priority for me.
Regarding my professional career, when I was 16 I started playing in reserves. I spent almost of all my youth career in Cadiz who are now playing in Spanish Segunda. I made my debut there being very young and then I moved to Barcelona where I spent a year. Then I played for several years in Almeria, Spanish La Liga. Then it was Genoa C.F.C. After Italy I came back to Spain to Mallorca FC. Then my career in England began and I spent some amazing seasons in English Premier League with Swansea RFC. After that I moved to Qatar where Michael Laudrup worked and I had worked with him in RCD Mallorca and Swansea before. I played for three years in Qatar and after that I returned to Spain, to Granada CF. As for the current season, I am here in Rubin Kazan.
- Chico Flores is quite a curious name combination? What does it mean?
- My name is Jose Manuel. Flores is my last name. I decided to put the last name “Flores” down on my t-shirt when my grandfather died. It was him who brought football into my life. Regarding my nickname Chico (Spanish word for "kid"), I’ve had it since childhood for I had always been playing with older boys and I was the youngest among all of my friends. My grandfather called me Chico as well. This was how I got this football nickname which is still with me.
- What are the goals you set for yourself in Rubin?
- My priority goal is to get adapted to the team and the head coach´s requirements. The language thing is going to be a little bit complicated for me, although I am trying to learn some basic football words. I am a central defender and such words as “up”, “down”, “look out”, “right”, “left” are important for me. This is what I am trying to learn now. I should work in line with the head coach requirements, play and help the team as much as possible to get the best result.
- What are impressions from Kazan?
- I don’t know Kazan very well so far. I know, that there are not so many traffic jams here as in Moscow. It’s very important for because I don’t like being stuck in a traffic jam. The stadium is great here. I’ve heard about cold winters and that the city is not as big as Moscow or Saint Petersburg, and that Kazan is a lovely city. I don´t know the city quite well so far. I was in some other Russian cities playing in European competitions, but I’d never been to Kazan before. Hopefully, I’m going to love the city and I’d like to stay here for a long time.
- What are other things you like apart from football?
- You mean, my hobbies? I like aviation and I´ve got a pilot license a basic level, actually. I also like architecture and design.