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Tuesday, 16 December 2014 17:53

An Interview with Yepes

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Here at PENdaily we are sitting down to have a chat with the Crystal Palace and Colombian NT legend and captain, Mario Alberto Yepes. After he led his national team to a very good World Cup performance, he came back to the training ground with his manager and good friend Alexselva. We meet at an Italian cafè just outside Camden Town...
 
Q: Mario, you have been with manager Alexselva for 3 seasons already and it looks like you're starting your fourth adventure with him. You two have a very good understanding…
 
Mario: Yes, yes… we share the same love for beautiful football, and somehow he thinks a 37 year old Colombian can still keep up with the pacy youngsters marauding the football grounds these days!
 
(he laughs a bit, looking at his coffee cup)
 
Q: What are the expectations for Crystal Palace this season? Your manager has been criticized by the fans for being too conservative, keeping the same players and not changing the team
 
M: I know what you are talking about. A lot of my teammates have been here for a couple of seasons at least, and with the poor results we had for the last 2 seasons one would think a big team overhaul should be taken into account. But I have faith in my manager, and he says this could be a very good year. However, I had a talk with him the other day, saying the fans are not entirely wrong… Our pre season games aren’t exactly going very well, and it might be time for a big change…
If this means big players have to leave, so be it. I’m ready to sacrifice myself for the team, too, if it becomes necessary…
 
Q: One of your teammates has already left Palace in the last days, tell us why fan favourite Philip Lahm was sold to FC Slag…
 
M: Well, to be honest, there’s nothing much to say… you know, his wages demands were getting out of control for a small team like ours, so our manager struck a deal with the richest club around… Davo’s FC Slag is the only team that can afford to pay his 40m per season in wages… But I’m happy to have a new partner in defence, Davide Astori, and little Joe Allen has taken brilliantly Philip’s place in midfield… Overall, I’d say Alex managed to get a good deal, and the fans should be excited about the new arrivals...
 
Mario Alberto Yepes with Juan Fernando Quintero
 
Q: Let’s talk for a while about Juan Quintero. He’s still your team’s record signing, almost 68m for a then-19 year old boy. It’s surely a big task to live up to the hype…
 
M: Ah, yes… I was thrilled when Alex told me Juanito was to join us, of course I already knew him from our games in the National Team, so I know what he’s capable of… He has struggled a lot his first season with us, last season wasn’t brilliant either. There’s also been a bit too much of transfer speculation around him, good offers were coming from a lot of PEN top teams, and it surely didn’t help his concentration. Alex asked me specifically to work with him, and you all will see how he has changed. He is now 100% focused on Crystal Palace, he has the full support of manager and teammates. You will finally see what he’s capable of...
 
 
Exciting times ahead for all the Eagles fans out there. The “South Norwood Italian - Colombian connection” isn’t the title of a bad straight-to-dvd mafia film, it is the present and future of Crystal Palace FC!
 
Read 992 times Last modified on Tuesday, 16 December 2014 19:45

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