Creative Soccer Culture

Gerard Deulofeu for SoccerBible Magazine Issue 5: Makers & Creators

A thread that weaves the game together as well leaving defenders tangled, Gerard Deulofeu is a masterful creator of the game. Educated from arguably the finest football institution on earth in La Masia, we talk to the Everton midfielder for SoccerBible Magazine Issue 5.

Having joined Everton on a long term contract at the start of the season, he has served as an entertaining provider to the Goodison faithful as well as his team-mates around him. He has strength out wide and the depth to cut inside. With his two dogs — Sherry and Lucas — in tow, we head around to his new home for a spot of NBA 2K16 and a catch up. Two sugars for the Spaniard. 

How have you settled into English life now that you're living here permanently?

"I’m so happy, I really enjoy being in England. When I came here two years ago I was living in Liverpool near Sefton Park, which was such an amazing place. The weather isn’t the best but I love living in England and I’m really enjoying my life here."

More importantly, how are your dogs enjoying it?

"They’re amazing, they are such a big part of my life. Sometimes when I open the doors they won’t go outside because it’s so cold, they just sit there and look at me like, ‘Why did you move to England!?’ Wherever I go, they come with me."

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How have you found the adaptation from Spanish to English football?

"I’ve adapted quickly. I’ve always been good at adapting to new countries — I find it easy now. When I was a little boy I was always travelling because I signed my first contract at Barcelona when I was nine years old. So I’ve been travelling all my life, mainly to play football.  We have a great spirit in the dressing room at Everton too and that’s also helped me settle quickly in England."

"In England, the football is very physical — every team is physical. You see defenders at Stoke or Manchester City — players like Otamendi — they’re all big players in stature. Teams in La Liga work more on tactics than physicality and I think teams in England can learn from that. I think that it also shows in international tournaments."

How about that Scouse accent, what do you make of that?

"It’s funny because when a scouser speaks I don’t understand anything, absolutely nothing! I didn’t know they spoke like that before I arrived, I just thought that all the people in England spoke the same. I’m trying to understand, but it’s very difficult!"

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The Evertonians have really warmed to you. When they sing 'he's magic' what does that mean to you? 

"It’s an incredible experience. The first time they sang it was when I scored against Arsenal and it felt so special. It’s amazing here, the supporters love Everton with a real passion. In Spain the supporters are passionate but it’s expressed differently. It’s clear in England, if you work 100% on the pitch then the fans will back you every game."

Would you say the atmosphere from English fans is different to that in Spain then?

"There are a lot of differences. I think La Liga has some of the best players in the world but the Premier League has so much passion and it’s so close to the pitch — it’s so intense but I love that pressure. The stadiums are always full and when you play away there are five or six thousand away supporters. There was 10,000 in the semi-final away at Manchester City, it was amazing. It’s almost tribal — you don’t get that in Spain."

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For the full interview, pick up your copy of SoccerBible Magazine Issue 5 here.


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