After winning the European Championship with Spain, I know exactly how it feels to win a major trophy, and I know that, if we can win at Liverpool, it will feel the same or even better than it did with Spain.
At Liverpool, I had almost everything but titles. I felt like a king, but the team was falling apart.
Fitness is important, but the most important thing is how you adapt and the way you feel physically. To adapt to a new position. To try to change your game.
Football is a team sport and not an individual sport. We win as a team, and every individual is better if we are part of the team.
I am a big fan of the Gallagher brothers. At Liverpool, they came a few times; they are friends of Steven Gerrard. It was nice to meet them. When I was in Spain, I couldn’t speak English, so I couldn’t understand the lyrics. When I came to England, I started studying music and trying to understand what my favourite songs said.
I didn’t realise how my life was changing. When I was 17, 18, 20, I didn’t realise how big football was and everything around football. How many people live for football and love football. I was a professional, but I was a supporter.
I remember when I first came to Liverpool, Pepe Reina helped with everything, and he made it easy for me. When I was Atletico Madrid captain, I tried to help everyone. These are the basics in football: you need to create an atmosphere and try to create a group of friends. It’s not easy, and it doesn’t always happen, but you have to try.
I want to say thanks to the Chelsea fans because I have seen them very, very happy with me for joining Chelsea.
I was captain in Atletico at 19, playing in the same team as Demetrio Albertini, who won three Champions Leagues, and Sergi Barjuan from Barcelona, who had won everything, and they were 32, 33. I was a kid as captain, so I wasn’t the real captain, just a kid learning from them.
It’s not easy to come somewhere new and have to find your place. You might feel someone doesn’t like you, or you might need to find new friends. It’s not easy, and I don’t like this kind of thing. It’s not easy, so you want to protect the players who are alone.
Liverpool is a fundamental part of my life. They don’t remember me that way, but time will change that. I could not have chosen a better place to go when I left Atletico.
Liverpool is a massive club in reputation, but as soon as I came here, it felt like Atletico to me. It is a working city, an honest city. The people work all week, and on Saturday they want to go to Anfield and watch the best team in the world.
Madrid is not as big as London, but it is true when you are coming from a big city like Madrid, nothing is going to surprise you, and I am very happy to move to a city like London. It is a big city, and you can do everything you want with the respect that the English people always have.
My baby will be growing up in Liverpool, so we have another Scouser.
My son is a Liverpool fan, and he was already kicking a ball before he was one. He was born in the football city; he had no choice.
One of the reasons I chose to come to Liverpool was because of the mentality of the club. It’s a working club and a working city. I don’t know why, but I feel like one of the people here. They recognise me and wish me luck, but in Spain, they surround you and you can’t do anything. I think they’re happy with me here.
The biggest ambition in my career is still to win the European Cup. I want to have a picture of that to look at later; I want to have that medal. You can have a contract that is better than your friends, but no player looks back and says: ‘I won more money.’
The Champions League is a big ambition, and all the footballers want to play in it; it is a very important competition.
The Premier League is very difficult football and very different to when you play in Europe, but the player has to have experience to adapt, and this is the key point.
When I retire, the only thing that concerns me is that no one can say that I was a bad team-mate or disrespectful or self-important.
You have to know what club you are playing for, or you just play for yourself. Every time I put on a Liverpool shirt, I know it is more than just a football game.