I was born in Jaen, a small town in southern Spain, north of the famous city of Granada. My mother was a home-maker and my father worked in the local car factory. We were not a wealthy family at all but my parents always provided for me and my two older sisters (Lucia and Helene).
Over the next nine years I travelled to the city each day (two hours there, two hours back) and slowly made a name for myself. I was a very quick winger, and the manager of the club thought I had some potential. At the age of seventeen, I made my first appearance in the first team, against Real Valladolid. I didn’t play brilliantly, but the manager gave me three or four more chances that season as well as a two year professional contract.
It was not what I wanted, but a club in Germany, F.C. Stuttgart, offered me a contract and at the age of twenty I made my debut in the Bundesliga. I have become a regular starter here, but think I may move on in the future.
It’s not just the food I miss, though. A lot of German music is actually English, and I have always enjoyed traditional Spanish flamenco. My favourite artist is Paco de Lucia, a very famous guitarist who made flamenco famous worldwide.
However, Stuttgart has many things which I have come to enjoy. German food is very good. I enjoy Schweinsbraten, a sort of roast pork with a crisp crust, and I even enjoy sauerkraut, the pickled cabbage. Because of my job, I have to be careful about what I eat but I find it difficult to resist German desserts. Prinzregetentorte is just sensational, and schwarzwaldekirschtorte is very famous. Of course, Germany is very famous for its beer, but I usually drink it with lemonade – this is called a radler and it is very refreshing on a hot day.
I have also begun reading some German books and have very much enjoyed novels by Thomas Mann and Herman Hesse. They are quite difficult for me, but it is always good to practise a second language.