Girona’s Michel Sanchez – ‘I knew I had to learn Catalan, I’m a better person now than I was three years ago’

Girona manager Michel Sanchez has been widely lauded in Catalonia for learning to speak Catalan since joining the club three years ago, albeit he has received criticism from other areas of the country. He has remarked that he is a better person for it.

The 48-year-old had spent most of his career in Madrid at his local side Rayo Vallecano, and started his coaching career there too. After a spell at Huesca, he took over Girona in 2021 in Segunda. From there he has taken the Blanc-i-Vermells to second place in La Liga.

Speaking to RAC1, he explained that he never considered not learning the local language, despite the fact that all of his players and the vast majority if not all at the club would have spoken Castellano.

“It was very clear to me from the first day that I had to learn Catalan, because of the way my parents brought me up and the way we live in Vallecas.”

“You need to learn the culture and traditions of the place where you are. I’m a better person now than I was three years ago, for sure. I have no doubt that it is better to speak Catalan in a place where everyone speaks it. It’s hard for me to see what’s wrong with that, even if some people disagree.”

Throughout his press conferences, Michel also answers in the language he is asked in, something that occasionally runs him into amusing situations.

“As a coach, it is difficult to express your feelings in a press conference in a language you do not control. But I’d rather f*** it up than not do it all.”

Michel had already endeared himself to Girona and the club long before they became the story of the season this year, as a result of his attitude towards integration, success bringing them up, and style of football. Currently, he stands as an example for all of those around him, and likely their greatest manager ever.

Tags Girona Michel Sanchez

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