Francisco 'Lobo' Carrasco (6-3-1959, Alcoy, Alicante) has been the protagonist in almost all types of soccer: player, coach, sports director, long-time collaborator in the media ... With extensive experience and a sentiment culé that leads to gala, tells AS the best sequences of his career and how he sees football and Barça.
LaLiga intends for the competition to resume on June 12, provided the health authorities give the go-ahead. Do you see it as successful or premature?
Physically and psychologically, the players are going to have to do an extra effort because they have to get in shape for the straight line of the final of the competition, it does not matter if they resume on the 12th or the 19th or the 26th ... There are three weeks left, although ideal for me is five. In any case, the players are professionals, they have been controlling their weight and maintaining their shape, with the supervision of the clubs, and the rhythm of the competition will be acquired by playing.
How do you visualize football in the 'new normal' that is being talked about?
Footballers and teams play to win and for the enjoyment of the fans, but if there is no public in the stands there will be a gap that we will see how it affects, because you can have the feeling that it is a training match, which is obviously very different . In addition, there will be protocols that will have to be followed and we will see gestures and situations in the celebrations and when some soccer players are directed to others and also to the referees that will be strange to all of us, professionals and spectators from home. But let's stay with all this will be transitory.
Which game in your professional career would you stand out above the rest and why?
The final of the 1979 Recopa that we won against Fortuna de Düsseldorf, in Basel, because we broke that Barça's streak of five Cups, with Basora, César, Kubala, Moreno and Manchón, etc., people whom he admired and who they could not succeed in Europe. Something similar to what happened with Spain in Euro 2008, when the Casillas, Cesc, Xavi and the wonderful band that got together could break the barrier of the National Team in the quarterfinals.
What does Kubala mean to you?
He is one of the three most wonderful people who have passed through my life, along with Quini and photographer Miguel Moreno. I have had the opportunity to share training with him. He raised me to the National Team at 19 years old, three after playing for the Olympics, he came to Barcelona, he taught me, in addition to training ... For me he was always like a father, but not because of the age gap, but because of his great journey and football knowledge. I with Kubala would go to the end of the world. And when he unfortunately died, I was proud to have shared the ball with him. I have a very beautiful relationship with his son Lazy.
"I would sign Lautaro earlier than Neymar, but I know that Barça will do everything possible to return"
You know both: how does Maradona improve Messi and vice versa?
What Messi has is consistency: out of 100 games, he plays well 99. But Diego had the great virtue of almost challenging Physics. In the last meters, those of the truth in soccer, tie. You can remember ten gamers of both in which you go crazy; nobody has been able to repeat it. Diego and Leo are in the Olympus of the Gods along with Pelé and Cruyff.
For the way of defending the teams, then and now, and even the way of refereeing of the collegiate: Who would have adapted better to the time of each one: Messi or Maradona?
It is that they are two timeless players. They could have adapted to any era of football, in great cycles such as those that starred in the Honved and the Hungarian national team in the 1950s, Brazil in the 1970s or Mechanical Orange, the Spain of Tiqui-Taca ...
How do you explain that Madrid has won four Champions since 2014 and Barça, despite having Messi, only one?
Real Madrid's virtue is mental power, apart from what Zidane has been able to do, which has also had its influence on those successes. But in the soccer comparison, if you only want to see a show, Barcelona would win the bet, as it has been shown. Barça have beaten Madrid more times in recent years and when they have met in the Champions League, too. But Real Madrid, without playing well, was capable of passing qualifying rounds, while Barça are obliged to play well and when they do not pay the bill for a defeat, because they do not know how to defend like when they have the ball.
Before Torres' goal in Vienna, at the Euro 2008, glory could have been for the National Team in 1984, in that final against France. How do you remember?
Pity that auction of my friend Santillana, after a corner that I launched, that the good one of Luis Fernández removed under sticks. Then they got ahead with that goal that everyone knows, that I always say that they didn't score for Arconada, it was for all of us. In fact, Luis was the one who led us to that final with the great stops he made.
"Messi has the regularity: out of 100 games he plays well 99. Diego had the virtue of almost challenging Physics. In the final meters they tie"
Another of the national team's successes with you as the protagonist: you have scored many goals, but the most special of your career is that of the last minute against Polster's Austria, at the Prater in Vienna, which gave Spain the classification for the Eurocup from Germany 1988?
Yes, and that match, without a doubt, is the most important of my years in the Spanish National Team. I remember that we were going through a complicated situation, Butragueño was injured, they went 2-2, one minute was missing ... As I always liked the risk, they passed me the ball in the center of the field, I launched myself into the attack, and instead of leaving At the corner and wasting time, I faced the goal, a couple of feints and dribbles, I shot and scored the 2-3 that gave us the classification. It was an incredible moment for us and for all of Spain, as we did 12-1 years before against Malta.
How many laps have you given over 34 years that, being you in charge of throwing the fifth penalty against Duckadam, could you have given Barcelona your first European Cup in 1986, against Steaua in Seville?
That was tough. I took the responsibility of throwing the fifth because I had failed in the semifinals against Göteborg. It could have been final, but it wasn't. Urruti did a great penalty shoot-out, but we had missed the first four. It is a wound that I will always carry with me because we could have been part of the first Barça champion in Europe.
You were one of the victims after the famous Hesperia Mutiny, 32 years ago. Would you repeat it again?
Although I have been very anarchic as a footballer and a pacifier with the ball, and I say this with pride, I have always been of the theory where the team went, we all went. Reviewing what happened at the Hesperia Mutiny, and with the connection that I had with President José Luis Núñez, my sporty father, if I had presented myself at his house, as when he called me to come and see him when Betis He wanted to sign me, we would surely have fixed it, but I did not have the intelligence at that time to have assumed responsibility on behalf of the team.
How many times have you talked to Goikoetxea about his kick to Maradona in the 1984 Copa del Rey final and everything that happened at that Barça-Athletic match?
Many, because we have a good friendship. It is true that the situation was very unpleasant, but Goiko is very noble, he repented and always has, and for me that is enough. As a professional he has been, he will have to carry with that situation, like me with that fifth penalty that I did not shoot against Steaua.
"The correct thing would have been to keep Valverde until the end of the season"
Why after 11 seasons at Barça did you leave for French Sochaux and then Figueres?
I was 30 years old and I decided to leave Barcelona, even though I had two more years of contract, because with Cruyff, although I got along well, we had different ideas on how he wanted me to play. Actually I was going to Bologna, playing for Calcio I wanted, but there was no agreement between the clubs for my departure and yes with Sochaux, who bet more strongly on me in all aspects. In January 1992 I decided to retire, but weeks later Figueres' sporting director, Paco Martínez, a friend and former teammate at Barça, called me and convinced me to help the team in promoting promotion to the First Division. Too bad we did not succeed with people like goalkeeper Toni, Gratacós, Tab Ramos, Luis Cembranos Tintín Márquez, García Pitarch or the sadly deceased Tito Vilanova. Both experiences, both that of Sochaux and that of Figueres were very pleasant and enriching.
You have been an extreme with many resources. What does Barça need before, a winger or a center forward, Neymar or Lautaro?
Neymar's football is endless, he has a vast catalog, he is a marvelous footballer, but he left in a way that if I were the president or technical director, I would not agree to his return. Lautaro would have more specific weight at Barça due to the needs of the team. So I would sign him to take turns with Suarez in the role of 9 before Neymar, despite the fact that I know that the club will do everything possible to get him back. Imagine a Neymar-Lautaro-Messi trident, with Griezmann in the bedroom, who I still trust in him. It would be beastly.
Do you consider that the dismissal of Valverde was fair?
When Barça lost the Cup against Valencia, and before there was another tremendous suit when they were eliminated in the Champions League against Liverpool, the dilemma of the coach's departure or the team's reconstruction was opened. Those who rule at Barça decided that Valverde should continue, but for me it should have continued until June 30 of this season. That would have been consistent, correct.
Do you see Guardiola returning to Barça?
That is not going to happen because Guardiola is very intelligent, but the wet dream of all culé, while Messi is still in the team, is to relive that time with Pep.
"Almost 100% I will not practice as a coach again; management is possible"
What is happening with the Barça youth academy, which you have always boasted about ?: Carles Pérez, Abel Ruiz or Miranda, for example, have had to leave; Ansu Fati is deflating; Riqui Puig has not just given everything expected of him ... Is Madrid beating him with the game with his commitment to young values?
It was a mistake to let Carles Pérez out. Ansu Fati would not sell it for anything, something else is a transfer to enter into a possible operation of Neymar or Lautaro, which we talked about earlier. Riqui Puig has soccer, but they are going to have to transfer it to a First team to demonstrate that he has the capacity, especially without the ball; he has to learn from what Xavi and Iniesta did: they had no physical power, but they were ahead of what the opponent would do and stole many balls. The quarry was the basis for Barça to reach the top of world football and that should not be forgotten.
You have had the title of coach for years, but it is surprising that you have only had two experiences: Málaga B and Oviedo.
Go ahead I never aspired to be a coach. At Málaga B it was a very beautiful experience of five or six months, in training football, which I love so much, and we managed to promote quite a few footballers. And in Oviedo we had a great championship, we finished first, but in the playoff we did not manage to ascend. That situation was very tense, very far from the professionalism that I have always carried by flag, and I decided not to train any more.
Is your decision not to train again final?
After Oviedo I received an offer from China, but I did not accept. I am a man of my word and I can say almost 100% that I will not coach any team again; He is almost because it is going to happen to me like Setien and Barça calls me ...
He has been a footballer, sports director, coach, presenter, commentator ... He needs to be a manager. Will we see him in that facet?
In that I am open. Even years ago I was about to buy a modest club to take it from football experience. In my performance in the media, I am seeing lines of behavior when structuring and managing a club that I find very illustrative, such as Eibar, Leganés, Villarreal ..., to transfer them to other clubs when they go up to the First Division .