Axel Torres and José Sanchis have traveled half the planet being the voice of football. They have been in tandem since 2008, but much of the Spanish fans discovered their chemistry live during the last World Cup in Qatar. They are able to transmit that passion from a sense of humor and a common interest in history, geography, philosophy or cinema.
Sanchis (Palma de Mallorca, 38 years old) assures that he can always count on Torres (Sabadell, 40 years old), whom he considers a professional "very thoughtful, very honest, and a communicative beast", to give him "an opportune capote" in the rare moments when he gets stuck in the broadcasts. Torres highlights his partner's "mental speed, originality, ingenuity and linguistic resources." They agree in their rejection of scarf journalism, although they flaunt their sporting sympathies (Torres is a follower of Club Esportiu Sabadell and Sanchis vibrates with Real Mallorca). This gives them a somewhat peripheral perspective and makes them agnostic in the great cultural confrontation between Barcelona and Real Madrid. "We are accused of hypocrites, as if choosing between Real Madrid and Barcelona is an existential necessity and the opposite is suspicious," adds Torres. For Sanchis, the key to sports journalism is to "tell with equanimity what happens on the court." Torres completes the idea: "If Cádiz faces Real Madrid or Barcelona faces Rayo Vallecano, both Cádiz and Rayo deserve to be treated as competitors, not as mere comparsas".
Football comes almost from the cradle. Torres is remembered "with just seven years" overflowing with enthusiasm during the Argentina-Cameroon that opened the 1990 World Cup in Italy. Until then, football was the sport he had begun to appreciate thanks to the animated series Champions, with Oliver and Benji, his "first idols". In adolescence he dreamed "of one day being goalkeeper of Sabadell". Sanchis grew up kicking a ball on the beach or "sneaking into empty hotels in winter to play a game on their futsal courts." His first World Cup was in 1994 in the USA and in Romário he found his first object of fascination.
They declare themselves more geeks than mythomaniacs. In particular, Torres, who fascinates Slovenian football to the point of having traveled seven times to the small republic. In 11 cities, chronicle of his travels as a sports journalist that was published in 2013, he dedicates a chapter to Medvode, a Slovenian town of 5,000 inhabitants in which "there is nothing, but it has turned out to be an unusual quarry of footballers". Sanchis remembers the day they coincided "in an Argentine restaurant in Cologne with one of Axel's idols, Milivoje Novakovic, member of the Slovenian team of 2010: he sat down to have a shot with us and ended up telling us that his first girlfriend was from Medvode. I almost died of laughter. Axel and I could argue for hours about whether or not Novakovic was better than Borja Valero." Nor do they reach great conclusions. In football, Torres concludes, "almost everything is relative." "We will never agree on questions like who has been the best player in history." Sanchis has a provisional verdict: "Messi's complete works are second to none, but the best book was written by Maradona in Mexico, in that month of June 1986."
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