Thursday's training session was a bit different to the usual. It included the surprise visit of music superstars Maluma and Carlos Vives, who were in Seville for the 2023 Latin Grammy Awards. They both had a great time with Diego Alonso's squad and had a photo with everyone at the end to serve as a memory of their visit.
Maluma and Carlos Vives are both big football fans. In fact, Maluma is good friends with Sergio Ramos and was welcomed to the training ground by our vice president José María Del Nido Carrasco. With the squad needing to start the day's training session, Maluma left, but not before he was gifted with a number four Sevilla shirt, with the name 'París' on the back, which will be his daughter's name when she is born in 2024. An emotional Maluma thanked the squad and the coaching staff before saying goodbye.
Carlos Vives was also present at the training ground having attended the Sánchez-Pizjuán for Sunday's El Gran Derbi. Good friends with Maluma, they hugged and laughed as their visit to Seville for the Latin Grammy was boosted by a visit to a seven-time Europe League winning training ground. They enjoyed taking penalties with Sergio Ramos in goal. Like kids in a candy store.
Vives has sung about football many times in his music, referring to the 'Tiger' Falcao for example, and used to play in Colombia's second tier. He revealed that he used to play as a "left-back, and a fast one, who would run and run and run and put in crosses so that someone could head the ball towards goal." Maluma added "ever since I was very young football has always played a big part in my life, mainly due to my parents. Coming here to Sevilla is incredible, especially with Sergio [Ramos] here as well. Being able to share this moment and get to know the club is a wonderful experience. As a football fan, it is a beautiful moment. It has been a pleasure."
Unión Magdalena, from the city of Santa Marta, is Carlos Vives's team. He has been involved in football ever since being a child. His father was part of the club's medical team, Radamel Falcao's father played there and Santa Marta is the city where 'Pibe' Valderrama was born. "We are a footballing city. Passion for football is passed on from generation to generation. We see raw action, fight and emotion."
"Sevilla FC is a big club globally so in Colombia we know all about it. We feel connected almost - Colombia and Spain share the passion for football and for music," Maluma explained. Among the Colombian players to have played for us in the past is Carlos Bacca, a player that Carlos Vives indicated that "I started to follow Sevilla because of him. We were all very proud that he did a good job here. Seeing a Colombian being successful internationally opens the door to new generations."
According to Maluma, there are many links between football and music. "Music requires discipline and consistency, fans don't care what happens before or after a concert. We have to have the mentality of an athlete. There are many similarities with what is seen on a football pitch."
In the words of Carlos Vives, the city of Seville, chosen to host the 2023 Latin Grammy Awards, is "special, it is a beautiful city with incredible scenery. It is a happy city full of welcoming and loving people. Sometimes these events are held in areas with cold people. But here the people are very warm, kind-hearted and happy. And the city's architecture is beyond impressive. We've all felt very happy here."