First Team


The importance of football, a special life, a work of fiction. Odriozola tells his story.

16 February 2022

Ambizione, sacrifici, il calcio come vivere un sogno. L'emozione di rappresentare Firenze. L'importanza del calcio per la società, vivere in maniera meravigliosa, un'infanzia felice e una vita da scrivere come un romanzo. Alvaro Odriozola si racconta.


"Mine was a very happy childhood.

I've spent my entire life attached to a football.

As a child I liked to play in the backyard with my brother. But mainly inside my home. Sometimes we broke things that were not meant to be broken.

I've always been lucky enough to have a family that I consider to be the best in the world. We have always had a great relationship. My parents split when I was born. I've always been used to living with my parents separately. I've always had a great relationship with them, because they are great people.

I think my childhood shaped the person and player I am today. Because I lived a very happy childhood, together with my brothers, my family, playing football.

I've always done what I liked to do, which is to kick a football.

I remember it as the happiest time of my life."  


"Football for me has always been a way of life and a way to have fun. It's something I've been doing all my life, never feeling like I had to.

Because that's what I've always enjoyed doing.

When I was in school I spent my time playing football and when I was at home I spent my time playing football. I spent all day attached to a football.

And being able to fullfill the dream of becoming a footballer fills me with pride and satisfaction."


"I have always been in love with my city, it is the most beautiful city in all of Spain.

Now I live in the most beautiful city in Italy and I come from the most beautiful city in Spain.
I am proud to be from Donostia, this is the Basque name of San Sebastián.

I always try to make this city known, because for me it is the best city in the world. I grew up playing on the beaches of Ondarreta and La Concha. 

I couldn't be prouder of being from San Sebastián". 


"Madrid is a very special city. 

It's nothing like San Sebastián, it’s bigger, more cosmopolitan. There are definitely many more things to do. 

Madrid has a very special place in my heart, because it’s a very welcoming city to everyone and functions extremely well." 



"I don't think there is a team that has more media exposure than Real Madrid.

Madrid is a team known in every corner of the planet. You may be in the farthest corner of Africa, but you will still find someone in a Real Madrid shirt. It is the global team par excellence, certainly the best known. In Madrid, everything that happens has a huge echo.

Bayern are a very special team. It looks very big, but in reality the club, the people, make you feel part of a big family. Munich isn't as big as Madrid, but Bayern are a huge club.

I really like teams like Fiorentina, Real Sociedad. And what I like most about both clubs and what unites them is their roots and the sense of belonging they generate in their respective cities.

Fiorentina is Florence. Everyone in Florence cheers for Fiorentina and are very passionate. The same happens in San Sebastián.

Everyone in San Sebastián loves Real Sociedad and in Florence as well as in San Sebastián the teams of the city represent a way of life. It is something that fascinates me.

I often say that Fiorentina reminds me of Real Sociedad and that is why I love being here." 


"Fiorentina means passion, it means the purple color.

Fiorentina is a way of life. Above all, it means representing one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

With President Commisso it is a big family, with his way of dealing with the players there is a great human and family spirit.

The fans drive me crazy. I love their passion for Fiorentina.

They give you that extra boost, they make you fly." 


"Playing for the national team is always an honour.

I had the chance to make my debut in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia and to have been part of that squad. It would be a dream to participate in the World Cup in Qatar this year.

Playing for the Spanish national team is an honour and you have to work a lot to be part of it. The call-up is the reward for daily work and for the work that takes place at your club.

I really like history, especially that of football. See those great players who lifted the Cup, like Pele, Maradona ... Spain in 2010 with Casillas and the others ...

... for me, winning the World Cup would be a dream." 


"History is very important. 

I always say that without the stairs of the past you cannot reach the present. I really like learning about the past. Not only about football, but in general.

I like history, so I like Florence very much, for the history it can boast. The Renaissance and more. The same goes for football.

I like to know the history of Fiorentina, as well as that of Real Madrid, Real Sociedad.

It's not that common in the world of football, but I love history a lot.


"Until two years ago I was studying business administration. 

I had to quit because of football. And mostly because I don't like doing things half-heartedly.

We footballers have short careers. When I stop playing I'd like to study something. I still don't know what, but I really like history. The history of Florence fascinates me, because it was the cradle of the Italian Renaissance.

It is a fascinating world." 


"It is impressive how well everything in Florence has been preserved… the museums… especially thanks to the Medici family and the fact that many great artists have worked for them. It is wonderful to see how well everything has been preserved. I really like walking around the city, visiting museums and learning about the history of Florence.

The other day I saw Michelangelo's David and I was impressed for what the work represents, for its beauty, for the state in which it has been preserved. I think it's the most spectacular thing I've seen in Florence.

My favorite place is the Uffizi. It is amazing to see how many works of great artists are preserved in that museum. Above all, a painting by Leonardo Da Vinci remained unfinished, the Adoration of the Magi.

I feel privileged to be able to live in a city like this."   


"'A Work of Fiction' is the bio of my Instagram profile.

I try to make sure that everything in my life is exciting, in every sense. And let it be a great novel. When you see a fiction film, you always see something special, something you can't imagine, something that can be a dream that can't be realised. I always try to make my life some kind of fictional work, something to be remembered for, something special.

Something that could only happen in a novel. This is why I chose that sentence.

I always try to make my life something wonderful."


"I talked about the World Cup and the fact that playing it would be a dream, for the history of the competition.

I have played with great players, and won the Champions League in my experience at Bayern Munich. I think it's every footballer's dream.

When you play matches you say things like: "You have to play as if it were the Champions League final."

Having won the Champions League and making history is something I will tell my grandchildren. As I said, I make my life a novel, that it is extraordinary, the best it can be.

And winning the Champions League seems almost like a novel. Is a dream." 


"'Total football' is a pleasure, especially because you have fun on the pitch.

Today in football it is not always easy to have fun when you take the field, but in Vincenzo Italiano's Fiorentina you have fun playing football. In the end it comes down to this. Earlier I said that when I was little I played football because I had fun. That's what I meant.

When one has fun, things get better. Time will tell what we can reach.

Total football is this. The fact that everyone moves on the pitch, that everyone moves according to the other team mates... this makes sure that we can have fun. Football is this.

We try to have fun and in this way we can do it." 


"There are many people who say that footballers make too much money to kick a ball. They might be right.

What people don't think about is the enthusiasm that a player can generate in other people. There are people who apart from work and family have little else in life and what motivates them and keeps them going is the football team of their city or their favorite team. For many, football is the fuel of life.

They wake up in the morning thinking about their team, about the game, if the team wins they are happy, if they lose they are sad. Of course, doctors save lives, architects build houses, but we make people dream. I think that today making people dream is priceless.

Football makes many people dream. And that translates into fame and money."


"Nothing has changed for me since I've become a footballer, because now I'm famous but maybe when I stop, nobody will recognise me on the street. Nothing changes for me.

The only thing that changes is that when I think about how I was as a child, when I asked footballers for photos and autographs, when I idolised them... I think that if a child asks for an autograph or a photo, you have to do it. The only thing that has changed is this. It is no longer me asking the famous footballer for an autograph, but I am the famous person. I'm on the other side. This is why I always try to be kind and helpful with everyone and especially with children. Because I remember when I was a child and how happy I was when I saw a footballer. I see that the children who look for me have the same enthusiasm that I had when I was little.

I always have the same friends. I will continue to be like this. You must always keep your feet on the ground, it is very important. My friends are always the same, I consider my family the most important thing in my life.

And I really enjoy sharing my achievements on the pitch with them."


"Surely the social media communication of the players is too standardised.

I always try to get a little out of these clichés that footballers usually write. Surely players can do something different, because it starts to be a bit monotonous and repetitive.

I always try to be honest, to say what I think, about football but not only. Above all, try to be honest with yourself.

To be as you are and to show yourself as you are." 


"I really like horses, especially racing ones. It has always been a passion of mine, along with football. In San Sebastián there is a small, very nice racecourse. I have always gone there with my family, with my father, with my brother, with my mother.

Horses and horse racing drive me crazy. I am fortunate to own some racehorses in Spain. I know that there is a racecourse here in Florence, they have already told me a couple of times. I can't wait to go there when the season starts.

It is an exciting and very beautiful world." 


"Often people don't see the sacrifices that footballers make. They are big sacrifices.

I was lucky enough to play in the Real Sociedad youth teams and I was able to stay at home with my family. But I didn't really go through a normal childhood, in the sense that I never went out with friends on weekends, I didn't go to parties. If you have to choose, football always wins. And I feel lucky and privileged for what I am experiencing. But sacrifices have to be made.

I would like to have a working career outside of football but I can't. These are sacrifices that must be made. It is something that people often don't think about. They think being a footballer is always nice and easy. But being a footballer isn't always easy. You have fun, of course. But there is also a part of hidden suffering. When you are not playing, when things are not going well, when you are playing badly.

Then when you do a good performance, it all makes sense again. But many sacrifices are made to fullfill the dream you had as a child.

But if you have to choose, football always wins." 


"Ambition is vital for a footballer. 

You always have to try to be the best version of yourself, to improve yourself every day to keep growing. In the world of football you have to be ambitious. 

Also Fiorentina have to be ambitious and doing so can achieve great things." 


"I don't play but I know that everyone in Italy does. 

When I'm in a restaurant, in a shop, people tell me they have me in their Fantasy team. 

I do my best to make them win."  


"Right now I don't know how to answer.

As I said, my dream has always been to become a footballer and I have made this dream come true. When I stop playing football, and hopefully it will be a long time from now, I don't know what I will do in my life.

Now I focus on football, which is the thing I like to do the most."  

Interview by Vieri Capretta

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