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The Other Interview


Everyone is talking about Paolo Maldini’s scathing interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport, but last night I interviewed someone else… or at least I think I did. Maybe it was just the stomach bug I had, but I could swear that I sat down with Robinho to ask him some hard-hitting questions. If it happened at all, then this is how it went…

The sometimes overlooked and oft maligned Brazilian


Me: Thank you so much for sitting down with me. Amongst all of the criticism that is happening surrounding Milan right now, I really appreciate your willingness to talk. How is it to be playing for Milan at a time like this?

Robinho: All of us play for the shirt. Everything else that is going on is out of our control.

Me: But don’t you think the circus around Milan management has impacted the results?

Robinho: Absolutely. But we are trying to focus on winning. It isn’t easy.

This is a very serious interview.

Me: You have been played for Santos, Real Madrid, Manchester City, and Milan. Which club is your favorite?

Robinho: Haha, that is a trick question. Everyone knows that Santos is my home. But truly, Milan is my home away from home and the club that has treated me best.

Me: It seems like just about every winter, you complain about the cold weather and want to go home. In fact, in January of 2010, Manchester City did send you on loan to Santos before you signed for Milan. Why are winters still so hard for you?

Robinho: That’s a no brainer. Anyone who has ever been to Milano in the winter and Brazil in the winter will tell you why I want to be in Brazil. But I love playing for Milan, that’s why I’ve stayed.

Me: Speaking of staying, twice last year, you and Milan were in talks to return to Brazil. Everyone reports that the deal failed because of your personal demands. What happened?

Robinho: Look, I have a family. I am 30 years old, and I need to be able to take care of my family. I need to maximize what is left of my career. No one can blame me for that.

If Robinho is cold, then the family is cold.

Me: But at what point do you sacrifice your career to this cause? I mean at Milan, you are seeing a diminished role and less playing time, whereas in Brazil, you would still be a star. Yet you came back to Milan, took a wage cut and signed a contract until 2016.

Robinho: Well at some point, I realized that my family are also in Brazil. Have you seen my wife? (laughs)

Me: (laughing) She is not a typical WAG, but I have always assumed that you really loved her to be in an industry where superficial beauty is so important.

Robinho: She’s going to kill me for that line, but it’s true, I really do love her and miss her and the kids, and I go to Brazil as often as possible. But I want to continue playing at the highest level for as long as possible, and she knows that and supports me.

Me: Well I have to ask… do you think that your renewed contract is selfish? I mean putting your desires to play at the highest level ahead of what might be best for Milan?

Robinho: If I said yes, then I would not be a champion. I believe that I still have plenty to offer Milan, or I wouldn’t have extended.

Who wouldn't want to play for these guys?

Me: Back to Brazil, you have represented Brazil in two World Cups. Do you think you will make the team this year and get to play in front of the home crowds?

Robinho: That is my dream, that would be the highest honor for me. And I worry that maybe I shouldn’t have stayed at Milan, maybe I would have been more prominent in Brazil. But whether or not Scolari gives me that chance, I will be in Brazil for sure.

Me: Speaking of Brazil, legend Pelé christened you as his heir apparent when you were only 15 years old. Do you feel that you have lived up to his expectations?

Robinho: (laughing) No one can live up to something like that. It is very flattering that he saw me as talented, but there is only one Pelé.

Me: Well thank you for all that you have done for Milan these past four years. I hope that you guys are able to shake off all of the negativity and rise above it to get back to those winning ways.

This was a very serious interview.

So that’s how I remember it going, anyway. Maybe I was just dehydrated. But with so many people finally speaking out on what has been blatantly obvious for the past two years, maybe an interview like this is just what the doctor ordered.


This post inspired by the music of Fishbone


Our next match is
Lazio vs. Milan
Sunday, March 23 • CET (3:45 EDT)