Silent leader in ego-clad locker room and stars • Not afraid to express his political opinion • And after touching all the peaks, he has one dream: to win with Barcelona in Euroleague • Just before meeting Yad Eliyahu (21:05), special interview for "Israel Today"
Ribas. The Catalans want to return with a victory immediately to Elijah
Barcelona have a superstar like Nicolas Mirotitch, talented players like Cory Higgins and Malcolm Delaney, but the team's glue, the quiet leader in the locker room and the man most identified with the club in recent years, is the coordinator Pao Ribas.
From the start of the season, the Spanish team has been marked as a favorite for winning the Euroleague, but in the past two weeks there have been two losses in the factory, and on Sunday the league lost too. Tonight's game (21:05) against Maccabi Tel Aviv in Yad Eliyahu is not at her best, and the experienced Ribas will be there to share his experience and help his friends get back on track for them.
"Obviously we are not in our best momentum," he said in a special interview with "Israel Today," "We lost a few games in the last few seconds. I will not say that everything is fine, but it is something that can happen during such a long season. We come to win Playing in Tel Aviv and getting back to ourselves. "
This season, a star group has been built in Barcelona, and everyone says you have to earn degrees. Share us thoughts and feelings in the dressing room.
"It's true that the club made some significant signings in the summer, and that we have some really good players, but big stars don't win games and don't win titles - a big team does that. You have to produce a big team of players to reach your goals. "We were on the right track and everyone said we were such a team, but the recent losses have taken us a little bit back. We need to keep working hard and make sure the players play better with each other."
Do you feel the pressure?
"Of course we have a lot of pressure. Barcelona always has pressure, both when winning and losing. Every season everyone here wants to win titles. This season the pressure is really greater, because of what the club did this summer. We, the players, have been looking forward to it and constantly working hard to Meet expectations".
Ribas vs. Larkin last year. "Hard to meet expectations" // Photo: GettyImages
"Says everything I have"
Ribas was born in Barcelona and defines himself as a proud Catalan. Blaugrana joined in 2015, and soon became a favorite of the local audience, mainly because he was not afraid to express his views on Catalonia's independence, the central government's corruption in Spain, and he even expressed himself on the privilege of real Madrid. His remarks have sparked many criticisms in Spain, but he is not really excited.
"Before we are basketball players, we are people and citizens," he explains, "I say what I have to say when I feel I have to do it. The problem is that when people hear an athlete expressing a certain subject, they don't think he's an ordinary person to express himself His views. "
Not everyone is like you. There are a lot of athletes who are afraid to make their voices public.
"I believe it's slowly changing, and that smart people understand that as a player you can play and as a person you can talk. It doesn't have to fit or come in a package deal. You have to know how to separate things."
You've had a lot of important games and big moments against Maccabi. What's the moment you remember best?
"I especially remember the painful loss in the Euroleague quarterfinals with Basconia in 2011. We lost in the second game at home in the final seconds, to a big basket by Jeremy Fargo, and in the end, because of that moment, we didn't have to go to the Euroleague Final. "And I can't forget it. Besides, I had some really good games against Maccabi, and I hope this time I will come back from Israel with another good memory for me."
Last summer, Rivas was part of the Spanish team that won the World Championship for the second time in history. "Feeling great, this is the greatest moment of my career," he says, "winning a world championship is hard in every industry and every situation. It was a great success. After 15 years as a professional player, I can say for sure it was the best feeling I ever experienced in athletic life. My".
You've won a lot of career degrees, but not yet in the Euroleague. How much do you want to win this title as well?
"You are right, Euroleague is the only title I have not won. I have won the European Championships, the World Championships, the Spanish League Championships and many other titles. So now no matter how much I play, my main goal is to win with Barcelona at the main continent factory" .
Rate us for the top five players you have played with.
"Ricky Rubio, Rudy Fernandes, Fernando San Amtrio, Pau Gasol, Mark Gasol."
Rubio (with the ball). Win with Ribas at the Summer World Championship // Photo: IP
"Barcelona makes trouble"
"Barcelona is a good team, it plays at a very high level," said yellow coach Yannis Spropoulos yesterday. "In the Euroleague all games are tough, so every team can cause us problems. I don't think it's the biggest game of the season, but we have to get ready for it. Physically and mentally, because in Barcelona any player can trouble us. "