Ramón Rodríguez Verdejo 'Monchi', Sevilla FC's Sporting Director, was interviewed this Wednesday afternoon by Sevilla FC Radio about reaching 500 wins with the Club in his post. Monchi began by insisting 'I don't keep count. My friend Mérida is always keeping me up to date with the stats but this one caught me by surprise. It's a nice stat, there's no doubt about that. My influence is pretty minimal as I didn't play in any of them, but you do remember the joy, the people you share it with, and how you have made other people happy. They are 500 joys but there are also some bitter draws and defeats in that. The hours you put into this job are to make Sevilla fans happy.'
MONCHI ON HIS 500 WINS: 'SCHALKE WILL ALWAYS BE THERE, BUT I HAVE TO CHOOSE COLOGNE'
'When you speak about me, you have to speak about the president, the board, players, coaches, employees, friends, family... I have had a lot of help and a lot of confidence and support of the fans. I've had to spend time away from my family and friends, as have my former and current colleagues such as Pablo Blanco, Agustín Moreno... There are a lot of people involved here. We have all had a role to play and that motivates us to keep going,' the Sporting Director continued.
'I've been at Sevilla for 33 years and I'm 52 years old: Sevilla FC is a huge part of my life'
Speaking about the numbers, Monchi joked 'you're missing out my games as a player... there weren't many, but there were a few! It's an amazing feeling to be part of the history of this Club and to have experienced everything I have since I arrived in 1988. This badge is a huge part of my life. I've been in this city for 33 years and I'm 52 years old. I'm happy to have spent three-quarters of my life here.'
Monchi spoke about his first season as Sporting Director and the role that Roberto Alés had to play: 'The first season was a great experience as it brought up so many doubts. I went from being a goalkeeper to being the Sporting Director. I remember a lot of good moments, and difficult ones. I doubted myself a lot one day we returned home after losing against Jaén. I thought what have I got myself into, we were seventh place in the Second Division. Slowly but surely, things started to get better and it ended up being an amazing season. Roberto put his complete faith in me and put me in charge of it all. I am forever grateful to him for it. It was a risk, as was me accepting it. His risk and my daring put us where we are today.'
'The victory in Cologne against Inter was the most intense and meant the most'
'It's tough to choose one win. The win against Schalke 04 changed the history of this Club, it was a real before and after for Sevilla FC. I can't overlook that. But I have to choose a more recent one: the final in Cologne against Inter. It meant a lot. We suffered a lot and there were a lot of other factors. We had to do things that until then we had never done. It was the most intense and meant the most, even if we couldn't celebrate it as much as others.'
'The other day I celebrated Acuña's goal running like Marcelino or Fernando Vázquez do when their teams score. I still celebrate goals as if my life depended on them. I don't celebrate the victories too much, there is always another goal to achieve. When you win a trophy it is different but I still don't celebrate too much. I'm explosive in the celebrations but then I regain my composure quickly. Sometimes you regret not celebrating more, it's something you think about every day. Maybe I should have, but things haven't gone too badly as they are,' Monchi pointed out.
'The team has shown it has a lot of quality and winning in Balaídos would be another step'
'Winning in Balaídos is very important. The team has had a chance to rest and has shown it has a lot of quality. Winning would be another step in proving their credentials, but there is still a lot of fighting and suffering left. They are in good form and will make life difficult for us,' Monchi ended.