Competition
  • Copa Libertadores

PREMIER LEAGUE

Adrián: “Del Bosque's always welcome at Upton Park”

Adrián chewed over the reasons behind West Ham's excellent season with AS, and says he will personally invite Del Bosque to a home game.

Adrián: “Del Bosque's always welcome at Upton Park”

You seem to be loving it here in London. Are you enjoying life?

After spending 16 years at Betis, it was very tough for me to leave, but I've learned to adapt. I've learned English, I've educated myself and West Ham have been growing just like I have. Next year we'll be moving to the Olympic stadium and bidding farewell to the mythical Upton Park, so that's going to be a special season for us. We want to depart in style (West Ham currently sit fifth in the table, two points behind Manchester City and three behind Arsenal).

What are the Hammers all about? The heart of that famous England 1966 side.

It's a huge club with a huge heart, a club with a lot of pride - it reminds me a little bit of Betis. Wherever we play, the fans follow us. People here are humble, fighters, they're not used to winning but they carry on regardless - they're tireless. And they believe strongly in their youth team. One of the most recent to come through is Reece Oxford, he's 17. He looks like he's going to make a decent player.

And what about this Payet bloke that everyone's talking about?

He's brilliant. He finds spaces to shoot which seem impossible, passes that shouldn't exist... They've renewed his contract for a huge figure. He's different. You're going to hear a lot more about him.

Some commentators are tipping you to be part of the Spain squad for EURO 2016...

That is an extra motivation for me. Every player would love to represent their country but the decision doesn't depend on me. I'll try and give my best and I think I am up to it. For now, it's nice that there are not three regular goalkeepers with Spain's national team.

Do you know if Del Bosque has come over to watch you in action with West Ham?

I wouldn't know about that but I think someone mentioned me being in the preliminary list but I didn't get called in the end. I'll invite Del Bosque, if he hasn't already been, to come along to Upton Park to watch a team and a goalkeeper who try to do the best they possibly can.

Sergio Rico has been a bit up and down with Sevilla. Adán could be your main competitor for a place in the Spain squad?

Yes, he's a competitor. I'm really happy that he's doing well because I'm a Betis man and we're good friends. Betis needs a keeper with guarantees. He's got experience, personality, he's one of the four captains and he's being noticed by those in charge at the national team. The coach will have the final say, let's hope he sides with me! (laughs).

Without asking you to choose between Casillas and De Gea, how do you see the latter getting on with United?

What Casillas has done for Spain and for Madrid is incredible. I don't know how people can forget about that. I'm glad he's getting to play regularly with Porto. De Gea is ready to be Spain's No.1. I couldn't pick out just one of his qualities because he's an all-rounder.

What you give to be at EURO 2016?

After settling into life in the Premier League and becoming a father - two of the happiest moments of my life, it would be a dream to go.

Who are your reference figures between the sticks?

When I was a kid - [Oliver] Kahn, [Peter] Schmeichel and [Gianluigi]Buffon; when I started taking the sport a bit more seriously - [Andrés] Palop, Casillas, Víctor [Valdés] and [Pepe] Reina. Here at West Ham, I look to the best - Hart, Courtois, Lloris...

If you could come back in another life as a goalkeeper, who would you be?

Petr Cech. He's back at his best again at Arsenal and he's got the energy of a teenager. He's a big reference for me.