Valdano: “You have to understand the football product, in the first place it is emotion”

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Madrid, Nov 19 (EFE) .- Jorge Valdano does not hate modern football. He assures that he prefers to be “a man of this time” and understand this new football that is also an industry. But he warns, in an interview with EFE, that you have to “understand the product” and understand that it is “an emotion” rather than entertainment. He is an ambassador for Oxygen, a new digital training platform for the sports industry.

Former soccer player, world champion with Argentina in 1986, player, coach and manager of Real Madrid in different stages, and a familiar face of all Spanish television viewers who treat him as if he were a relative, Valdano (Las Parejas, Argentina, 1955) He is the co-founder and ambassador of this sports training platform through audiovisual courses with personalities such as the Italian basketball coach Ettore Messina, the Argentine Julio Velasco or the American soccer coach April Heinrichs.

At Oxygen, as this initiative launched by a group of sports and advertising specialists that starts with an investment of 1.4 million Swiss francs (1.33 million euros) is called, the Argentine teaches a course on the end of the career of the professional athlete with which he wants to help those “who are abandoned by sport” to find a new vocation. This training will be part of a new program that Spanish LaLiga will offer to the players of their clubs.

From there, Valdano addresses in an extensive conversation with EFE his views on the football industry, the competitive context, in which he sees “a battle” between entities such as UEFA or FIFA for television revenues. He sees a mistake turning a World Cup into “something routine” every two years and considers that the failed Super League project has “a great interference” in the rejection of the English Premier League.

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-Question (Q): What is Oxygen and what does it intend?

-Answer (A): The sports industry is relatively new and Oxygen tries to provide training tools for all those who want to work in sports. If you want to work in sport, study sport. It is one hundred percent ‘online’ training for everything that has to do with the field of play and off the field of play. In the same way that there are coaches like Ettore Messina or Julio Velasco, also sports narration with Carlos Martínez, sports journalism with Juan Pablo Varsky or a course directed by me where we address the athlete who ends his career to talk about the importance of day after.

-Q: How did the project come to you and what is it that attracts you about it?

-R: The project looks a lot like me. I have been permanently building bridges between the world of soccer and the world of business, between the world of soccer and the world of culture, between soccer and society. I believe a lot in the formative capacity of sport. When you talk about sports, you open the mental enclosure (…) Online training has hit a very strong acceleration during the pandemic and there was an opportunity to explore football. Sport in general is late for all revolutions. This time I think we have arrived on time.

-Q: How will this course be for athletes who finish their career?

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