|Club as Player||Arsenal FC|
2018 03 31 Retrieve
[Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin discusses his move to a vegan diet] It doesn’t just make a difference to your body, but I strongly believe that what we do to the earth, we get it paid back. I was waking up in the morning with so much energy, whereas before I used to be that person that would snooze the alarm five times before I got out of bed. As a professional athlete you have to be very, almost technical with what you eat and make sure your intakes are on point every day
2018 09 08 Retrieve
[Hector Bellerin reveals anti-gay abuse] Most of the abuse is online, but you hear it in the stadium too. People have called me ‘lesbian’ for growing my hair. There are other kinds of homophobic insults. I have learned to grow a thick skin but it can affect you. Every now and again, you get a bit of self-doubt
The problem is that people have an idea of what a footballer should look like, how they should behave, what they should talk about. You act a little differently and you become a target. There is pressure to conform. This is very dangerous. In life, you should be allowed to express yourself. People are happier like this
It is impossible that anybody could be openly gay in football. Some fans are not ready. When it happened in rugby with the Welsh player [Gareth Thomas], people respected the situation. The fans respected his decision. In football, the culture is different. It can be very personal, very nasty, particularly for players from the opposition team
2018 09 09 Retrieve
[Bellerin opens up on fan abuse] It can get very abusive. Most of the abuse is online, but you hear it in the stadium too. People have called me ‘lesbian’ for growing my hair. There are other kinds of homophobic insults. I have learnt to grow a thick skin but it can affect you. Every now again you get a bit of self-doubt.
The problem is that people have an idea of what a footballer should look like, how they should behave, what they should talk about. If you act a little differently you become a target. There is pressure to conform. This is very dangerous. In life, you should be allowed to express yourself. People are happier like this.
It’s impossible that anybody could be openly gay in football. Some fans are not ready. When it happened in rugby with the Welsh player [Gareth Thomas], people respected the situation. The fans respected his decision. In football, the culture is different. It can be very personal, very nasty, particularly for players from the opposition team. People should be able to express themselves without feeling threatened. That is true in football, but also in life. I don’t know why people are so angry when someone wants to be a bit different. So long as nobody is being harmed, what’s the problem?
2019 06 21 Retrieve
[Bellerin pretty in pink as he takes to the catwalk for Louis Vuitton] I don’t believe that there’s a footballer out there that only thinks about football. I just don’t believe it. People have different passions, people have hobbies, people have lives outside their job, and nowadays it seems like the only thing we are allowed to do is train and play football. Football has always been my number one thing, but I have other things in my life, like fashion, which is something that has always been in my family. When I see people saying things like ‘He just dresses like that because he wants attention
Fashion is something that brought me closer to my family as I grew up. It’s something that was deep inside me, in my roots, and I started taking more interest as I grew older because it reminded me of my mother and my grandmother. It’s not something I take lightly, and I’m going to be open about it
2019 09 21 Retrieve
[Bellerin makes injury comeback for Arsenal U23s against Wolves] After eight long months, I’m finally in the red and white, finally on the pitch. It’s been a tough period, but I’ll be back better than ever, and I can’t wait to be at the Emirates
2019 10 28 Retrieve
[Emery chastised Xhaka in the wake of the game, saying ‘he is wrong’ to react to supporters] We are all humans, we all have emotions, and sometimes it’s not easy dealing with them
2019 11 23 Retrieve
[Unai Emery has five crucial games to save Gunners job] It’s been hard as a player in the dressing room sometimes to deal with these situations
2019 12 05 Retrieve
[Arsenal divided as angry Mesut Ozil appears to yell in the direction of Alexandre Lacazette at the full-time whistle of Brighton loss as struggling Gunners languish in 10th spot following home defeat] I don’t know what to say. I have the feeling that whatever we do it doesn’t come out right. The team gave its best, we created chances, we defended good but it seems like we need so many chances to score and teams score every chance against us. I am lost for words a little bit. Every single player has given 100 per cent. When we go out on to the pitch we want to win and give our best. I feel that our team was full of energy, it’s hard to take. We have to keep going, I am sure 100 per cent that results will come. Football is like life sometimes, you go through ups and downs. I have won trophies here, had good seasons and bad seasons. Freddie has helped the team a lot this week. He has added a lot of energy to the dressing room.
2019 12 06 Retrieve
[David Luiz cost £8 million, but the 32-year-old former Chelsea man has not solidified things at the back. The bottom line is Arsenal spent a small fortune on players who have yet to improve the biggest weakness in the squad. It’s left holdovers such as right-back Hector Bellerin lacking belief] I don’t even know what to say. I have the feeling that whatever we’re doing it just doesn’t come out right
2019 12 06b Retrieve
[Speaking after the game, Spain international Bellerin was seemingly at a loss to explain away his team’s poor results and what they can do to turn things around] I don’t know what to say. I have the feeling that whatever we do it doesn’t come out right. The team gave its best, we created chances, we defended good but it seems like we need so many chances to score and teams score every chance against us. I am lost for words a little bit.
Every single player has given 100 percent. When we go out on to the pitch we want to win and give our best. I feel that our team was full of energy, it’s hard to take. We have to keep going, I am sure 100% that results will come. Football is like life sometimes, you go through ups and downs. I have won trophies here, had good seasons and bad seasons
[Despite the poor result Bellerin was keen to praise the impact Ljungberg has made during his short time in interim charge] Freddie has helped the team a lot this week. He has added a lot of energy to the dressing room.
2020 01 22 Retrieve
[Bellerin reveals what makes Gabriel Martinelli so special as he tips Arsenal hero to develop into star player] A lot of people talk about his talent, but what people don’t see is that Gabi is a professional. He turns up early every day. He does all the stuff and everything anyone asks him to do. He is the first player to press and the last player to leave everything on the pitch. The goals are just a plus. He helps us in every single way and the thing that everyone needs to praise him for is his attitude. That is what makes him a player
He is obviously really young in his career - so many things can happen - but if he keeps his head where it is right now, he is going to go really far for sure
[the manner of the performance, rather than the equaliser, that particularly pleased the Gunners right-back] Obviously I am very happy with the goal. But what truly made me happy was seeing everyone really defending with heart, with spirit and playing for each other after losing a man in the early moments of the game. It is really difficult to get back into the game twice, especially at a place like Stamford Bridge. That is what really made me happy
I think one of the most important things is to believe in the manager. I think we have all realised that if we play the way he tells us to play we will do great things and everyone is really motivated. Everyone is playing for each other, everyone is running. You could see that in the last 10, 15 minutes of the game - we had 10 players in our box defending for their lives. That is what it is about. Sometimes that is the way to win games
2020 02 10 Retrieve
[Bellerin: Goals are going to come ‘very quickly’ for Arsenal under Arteta] Mikel has always been very tactical in his work and in his whole life, he’s very professional with very clear ideas. It’s very early doors in time. [Mikel] has a new philosophy and the way he has implemented it in the last few games that we’ve played, there’s been a big change.
I think sometimes we need to be a bit more efficient in front of goal [but] that’s also something that comes with confidence. When you see that you’re playing better and controlling games better, the goals are something that’s going to come. I’m sure you’re going to see that very quickly. For us, the promise is that we’re trying to get better every single day. When a different coach comes, there are different things that you’re being asked to do. The most important thing is to get things right and I think with the coaching that we’re getting and the tactical advice, if we do the things that they’re asking us to do we’re going to be successful
2020 02 22 Retrieve
[Bellerin highlights Arteta’s improvement on Unai Emery as Arsenal start to wake from their slumber] The influence on the pitch is visible for everyone. I think the way we are taking control of games is way better than before
There are so many things that have changed under him it’s clear that this has been an appointment for the future. That’s what we are noticing I think he has very clear ideas which I think they are more simple. The most important thing for a leader is when you have a message that it’s always whatever happens. Nothing changes, this is always the message and that’s the philosophy, he’s convinced us from the get-go. As players we are just trying to do what he says on the pitch because we know if we do that things are going to go well
2020 03 19 Retrieve
[Bellerin believes he is Arsenal captain material despite not being of the Adams & Vieira mould] Since I was young at Barcelona, I would always be one of the three captains in the team. For me, it was a role I’m used to. Obviously it’s not the same when you’re 14 or 15 as it is now because the responsibility and what you represent is completely different, but it’s always been something that I’ve enjoyed. I enjoy positions of responsibility and I enjoy being the first one on that wall.
For me, I had been speaking to the coach for a few months and he was telling me that I could be one of the people that could represent the team. I was really happy with it because I’m someone who’s been here for a long time and I know how the club runs.
People may not see me as this massive guy who shouts on the pitch all the time or what people may have as a captain in their heads, but there are so many different ways of leading a team. Everyone in the team respects each other and we have so many leaders who don’t need to wear the armband to have an impact on how others think.
After going through so many different captains and characters from my time here so far, you always get the best things from all of them. The time I’ve been here has been really useful for that and whether I was captain or not, I’ve always been someone who’s liked to help and talk from the team’s perspective.
I’m not afraid of those things so for me, it’s something I’m very proud of. I’m very honoured to be part of this group and it’s something this team needs. I’m very happy that I was approached and then for the votes I received in the dressing room. That shows my team-mates trust me to do that job, and I’m happy to do it when I have to. In the group we have, we have so many different qualities where each person can give what they have to the team.
I think it’s really important to have a strong captain but there are also people outside of our leadership group like Papa [Sokratis], like David Luiz, who have gone through a lot and have so much experience. When they raise their voice, they’re listened to as much as the leadership group are.
That’s more important than anything else. Sometimes it’s not just about having that one figure, it’s about everyone in the dressing room respecting each other, listening to each other and moving forward in the same direction. That’s what we’ve got here at Arsenal
2020 05 19 Retrieve
[Bellerin: The world would be ‘a much better place’ if social media trolls were held accountable for their actions] It’s strange that in the world we live in today people act like this. I think if everyone was held more accountable then the world would be a much better place. Social media can be great in getting you that contact with fans, but it can also be very hard. You have to learn to deal with it. When it [abuse] happens you want to write back, but then you realise that for every one bad message you can have 100 good messages that you don’t notice so much
We are disgusted to see the racist abuse aimed at Ian Wright and Gabriel Agbonlahor and their families today. At any time, this is abhorrent behaviour, but when people should be coming together more than ever, it is particularly disturbing. It is unacceptable for social networks to allow instances like this to go on. With the technology and expertise at their disposal, there simply must be a way to prevent abuse like this from being sent. Anything less than that is not good enough
I think right now footballers have such a big platform that they must utilise and use in the best ways possible. If you are lucky your career can continue until you are 35 or 40, so you need to make sure you have everything set up for when you retire. By building your brand early you can have a much better chance at creating success for yourself
2020 05 19b Retrieve
[Bellerin keen to follow mentor Arteta by helping next generation of Arsenal stars] I think it’s really important to support young players to be who they are, it can be hard coming into a dressing room when you have senior players questioning why you are doing something or wearing something, but it’s so important that the next generation are true to themselves
If I can help them do that then I am very happy to do so. I was lucky that I had my family around me, my best friend, he’s someone I had known since the start, he was actually the one that told me to start looking at investments and stuff. From the football side, Mikel Arteta when he was at Arsenal as a player would give me financial advice and even life advice
Even then he was showing the leadership qualities back then that makes him a manager. But I feel so, so lucky that everyone around me knew when to stop me doing certain things and were able to have hard conversations with me. If you don’t have people that can be honest with you, then you won’t ever grow as a person. I was very lucky with the people I had around me and it means the world to me to have young players looking up to me in the same way
2020 06 06 Retrieve
[Bellerin made a point of praising both Yedlin and other young footballers who have made a stan in recent weeks, highlighting Borussia Dortmund duo Achraf Hakimi and Jadon Sancho, who displayed ‘Justice for George Floyd’ t-shirts in their side’s 6-1 win over Paderborn, and Liverpool striker Rhian Brewster, who issued a powerful anti-racism message of his own the following day] A lot of people think this is a minorities issues and I want to make it loud and clear that this issues that involves everyone - but if you are silent you are siding with them. It’s important that as white people or people of privilege to do everything we can. Whether that is donating, marching - [which] might not be safe at the moment in this time of coronavirus - or there’s a lot of info out there
Most importantly we have to educate ourselves, to read about it and you shouldn’t have to ask black people to educate you, you should educate yourself. Research, read books. Sometimes we have to accept when you cannot consider yourself racist person but you might say something offensive, you don’t need to prove why you aren’t racist. You need to listen, educate yourself, ask why is this affecting you and start listening to people that’s the only way as privileged white people we can move forward into the goal of equality in all senses. I think it is important for people to do this because the gravity of situation is so big and [it] isn’t a black people or minority problem it involves everyone in society
[Bellerin has long been committed to shining a light on footballer’s exploits off the field] I think it’s really important to support young players to be who they are, it can be hard coming into a dressing room when you have senior players questioning why you are doing something or wearing something but it’s so important that the next generation are true to themselves
[On his conversation with Yedlin] I felt we needed to voice our opinion on the tragic news of George Floyd and the injustice around the world. We as a generation need to make a stance. DeAndre and I obviously had no idea the world would be in this position when we arranged to chat, but I think there’s a lot as society we can do to make sure we are never in this position again
2020 06 17 Retrieve
[Bellerin pledges to plant 3,000 trees for every Arsenal win for the remainder of the 2019-20 Premier League season] As a child growing up in Barcelona, I spent a lot of my with my grandad in his garden planting trees and playing in forests so it’s an issue very close to my heart. When I saw the great work that One Tree Planted do, not just the planting of the trees but within the communities as well, I knew it was something that I wanted to get involved in. I hope that by doing this and using my platform, others will see how important it is to look after our world and donate to a cause which really affects us all