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Name Diego Godin
Gender Male
Ethnic Uruguayan
Job Uruguayan Footballer
Desc The kind of defender every one wants on their team on one wants to come up against. Godin is tough, utterly committed and completely fearless, and at the peak of his powers when Atletico Madrid won La Liga he was probably the best defender around

Affiliation

Org Uruguay National Team
Club as Player Atletico Madrid

2016 05 21 Retrieve

[Atletico Madrid defender Diego Godin on Atleti head coach Diego Simeone and fitness specialist Oscar Ortega] We believe to the death in what [Simeone] and el Profe Oscar Ortega tell us. Simeone always knows how to give the right message or speech that the team needs. He knows what to say in every moment, and that is the most difficult thing for a coach. The most emotional I can remember were the second leg against Barcelona and the first game against Bayern

2017 03 25 Retrieve

[Diego Godin speaks about Neymar’s performance in Brazil’s 4-1 win in Montevideo in World Cup qualifying] It’s true that Neymar really makes a difference. It doesn’t matter if you have one or two players going at him, he makes a difference. He makes that at every game, in Barcelona also, never mind what tactic you use

2018 06 02 Retrieve

[Godin says the happiness of the Uruguayan people depends greatly on what we do] The nation of just 3.5 million inhabitants have twice been world champions before, winning in 1930 and 1950

[q:It has been a tough season with Atletico. Are you tired ahead of the World Cup?] No, I’m alright. I’m encouraged after a great season in Spain and physically, I’m happy and confident, ready to compete in the World Cup

[q:It is your third World Cup and you are the captain. Do you feel the weight of it?] Before, I was younger and less conscious. On and off the field, it is a lot of responsibility and sacrifice to take your country to a World Cup but I enjoy it all the same. Not because I feel like it is my last World Cup but because of how qualifying went. I feel more like the leader of the team and empathise a lot with the fans. I know that the happiness of the Uruguayan people depends a lot on what this team does

[q:That much?] Yes. In addition, given our experience and belief, this can be a great World Cup for us, I feel that way. But football will have a say on whether or not I continue [for Uruguay] after this World Cup or go to another

[q:You are a competitive animal. You have a rough face on the field and a happy side off it. How do you do that?] [Laughter] I’m not that bad. I’ve always competed like that, from birth. But I know how to flick the switch and change from how I am off the field to on it. I’m with my senses and in control of everything

[q:As a young man you were an offensive player and [Enzo] Francescoli was your idol. Are you not tired of the defensive role and of chasing strikers?] As a kid, I played up front but I’m not tired of being in defence. In the beginning, it was tough but I learned to enjoy being a defender. Being a forward gave me many things but as a defender, your focus and concentration must be at the maximum. If I fail, we can lose and any forward can take advantage. I’m aware of that so I play with that responsibility

[q:Uruguay never has anything left over’ is something that is always said. Why?] I think it is something cultural. As a country, we suffer a lot in everything and we are few. But we are always honest and fair. In football, we have great names but haven’t done as much as we should. With that motto, we feel strong because it identifies with us and with humility

[q:Do you think that [Oscar] Tabarez will change the way he plays?] No. Knowing him, I don’t believe so. He will continue strengthening those who are already here and compliment the new players. We’re very good in possession, technically well equipped

[q:You play the same with Atletico as you do with Uruguay. That’s an advantage] Yes, both have solid systems with the 4-4-2. We work very well as a team and can quickly turn defence to attack so I feel good when I’m with both

[q:You want to win it, I suppose, but… what would be a good World Cup?] I can’t settle for anything other than winning. That’s my dream. Then, we will take it game by game. First, you have to get through the group stage

[q:Yours is the most even group in the tournament. You conclude it against the hosts, Russia] Let’s see where we are when we get there. Uruguay have had difficulties, as happened in the Copa in 2011, when we were eliminated. Before we play Russia, we have two other games

[q:How do you imagine facing Mohamed Salah? Your opener is against Egypt] Let’s see what happens with his injury. I’ve never faced him but it is clear that he’s very fast and I can’t go up against him in an open game

[q:So?] So, football is not just about running. There are other ways to defend against him. With help from teammates, reducing spaces, that kind of thing

[q:After Egypt, you face an unknown quality in Saudi Arabia] We will watch videos and we will study them. They aren’t well known but nowadays every team is competitive. You have to respect everyone because this is a World Cup

[q:What would be worse for you: facing Antoine Griezmann’s France or against Spain of Koke, Saul and Diego Costa?] Those games would be very rare. I play with Uruguay and wouldn’t be focused on anything else but yes, it would be weird… and nice

2019 05 11 Retrieve

[After spending nine years with the club and winning eight trophies, Diego Godin announced he would be leaving Atletico Madrid in the off-season] This isn’t just a club for me, it’s also been my family and it’s very hard to say goodbye

2020 03 29 Retrieve

[Diego Godin criticises Serie A response to coronavirus] We were exposed until the last moment. They kept pulling the rope to see if you could continue playing, until the situation was unsustainable. The health system collapsed, there are no intensive care beds to attend so many critically ill people and people who may have another illness, they cannot attend to them, so many professional doctors

We continued playing for several weeks, we continued training, playing behind closed doors, until the positive of a Juventus player was detected and we and the Juventus players were quarantined. There the championship was stopped. Surely in that match there were other players who would already be infected, so they directly quarantined all of us

2020 04 01 Retrieve

[Godin likens Barcelona target Lautaro to Suarez & Aguero] Lautaro is similar to Luis and Sergio Aguero. He’s learning to play using his whole body, with his back to the ball. He’s a football player. His confidence has a high ceiling and he’s maturing with every match. You can spot things in him that tell you he’ll be around for 10 or 15 years.

2020 06 19 Retrieve

[Godin has no plans to quit Inter amid Tottenham transfer speculation] The truth is that I was surprised by this news. Since I came to this club I have always felt very comfortable. Both the club and the fans welcomed me very well and from day one I felt at home. It never occurred to me to leave Inter. I feel part of the project. The playing squad is spectacular. My intention is to fulfil my contract and enjoy this wonderful stage in Italy and Inter, who trusted me.

I took responsibility and came with the intention of helping to win titles again. Here I am happy and I know that the feeling of the club is the same, which fills me with pride. I do not understand why some media insist that I am looking for a way out, when they know that this is a lie. I have never spoken to anyone on this subject, because it is simply not true. I’m going to stay here, and try to help the team in whatever they need. And if they continue to be happy with me, my time at Inter will be extended as long as they want.