‘More football passion in Italy than Spain’

Torino’s Spanish forward Iago Falque believes “football is felt more passionately” in Italy than in his native country.

The 27-year-old has had loan spells at Villarreal, Almeria and Rayo Vallecano with his much-travelled career starting in the youth academies at both Real Madrid and Barcelona before initially moving to Italy.

“Do I think about what might have been in Spain? No, because in the end football puts you where you deserve to be," Falque told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"Here I've found my home and after a career that’s been a little bit complicated with a different team every year, now I want to stay here in Turin.

"If I see Barcelona on TV it does not makes me think that I could have been there. Luis Enrique told me that there was no room for me in Barca B, so I talked with other clubs. A month later he thought better of it, but at that point I had decided to try my luck at Juve. I could have done it, it’s true, but the years at Barcelona and Juve nonetheless did me good.

"Firstly it gave me character, as when you leave Barca – with its very particular football – it is not easy to reprogram. The time at Vinovo came in handy when I returned to Italy, a country which has something special about it.

"Here football is felt more passionately than in Spain. A few nights ago, for example, I was at a restaurant and a game came on TV (I can’t remember which) when at the very end they gave a penalty. For four minutes the waiters stopped serving the tables, until they won."

Tags Iago Falque Torino