"I set myself the challenge of losing as few passes as possible"
Marc Montalvo (Riudoms, 2002) is the jewel in the crown of La Budallera. The most ambitious youth academy project that has come out of the Grana youth academy in recent years. A total midfielder who plays and makes people play. The 20 years that he is not an impediment to demonstrate a maturity on the pitch that is inappropriate for his age. The Daily chat with him after his goal in Las Gaunas that helped save the head of his coach, Raül Agné, the one who bet on him from the first day of the season.
How are you after achieving your first grana goal?
Well very happy. I'm not one to score many goals, in fact last year I didn't score any, but above all I'm very happy to get a victory that we needed away from home, which gives us three points away from home, which is very good for our confidence.
They have saved their coach twice. Happy?
It was clear from the outside that we needed to make the two victories and they were two very complicated games against two teams that played very well, but we knew how to solve it very well.
The team is now going in another direction. Much better game and most importantly, better results.
The team sees that it is improving in many facets, not only in the offensive game, but also defensively. We want to continue in this dynamic and I think we are on the right track.
Do you like this Nàstic better or the one from last year?
Last year there were players to play another type of football and this year they wanted to make another game that is going quite well and we will surely improve a lot.
Agné tucked him in last year and this year has given him flight. Do you feel its protection?
I notice your confidence. Last year he came to train and saw that he did not play, but something normal. Young people have to learn to train, make an effort and in the end the opportunity comes and you have to know how to take advantage of it.
What does he tell you when he speaks individually?
He tries to help me as much as possible. On an offensive level, he asks me to calm down with the ball and to be myself, and on the defensive side, which costs me a little more, he asks me for intensity, to make more efforts and to press with energy. It is something that is insisting on me and I think I am getting better and better.
He is calm on and off the field. Do you think the former influences the latter?
I have always been very calm in all aspects. It is true that inside the field I feel very calm, although with certain nerves. From the outside they always tell me that I look very calm, but it's just that I'm like that on and off the field.
Between the first league game and the last one in Las Gaunas, do you feel the difference?
Always in the first games of the seasons, which is when everything is new, there are always more nerves due to the atmosphere, because the teammates are new...
Tell me the secret to losing so few passes.
I set myself the challenge of losing as few passes as possible, but in the end what I do is play calmly and secure the pass as much as possible, although sometimes you have to take risks to advance.
Do you also give much importance to the issue of peripheral vision?
Try. It is true that sometimes it is more difficult, for example if I am on my back it is more difficult to turn my neck, but I always try because it is something that midfielders have to do, look both ways before the ball reaches us.
He steals many balls in anticipation. Inertia or study?
It is more inertia and knowing where the rival is and knowing where to make the surveillance. In the latter I think I have improved a lot on a personal level, although I can always improve.
Do you feel more comfortable as a defensive pivot or with more freedom?
I've always liked being the positional midfielder better and not having to make a lot of effort forward. I like to reach the area like all midfielders, but I do like it more like in Las Gaunas with Pedro Del Campo with more freedom and me as a midfielder.
The amateur and the journalist like a lot to talk about systems. In a hypothetical 4-3-3 he looks like '5' or '6'.
I see myself as '5'. I like to be positional.
Football is becoming more physical. Do you see improvement in that area?
With Joan Torné, our physical trainer, I talk a lot about it. He helps me with the gym and strength training. It is something that I have been doing for many years because I have always been a very thin boy and I have had to gain volume.
Who has been your reference?
I have always liked Xavi and Busquets a lot. I have been from Barça and I have always seen many of their games and they are players who like to have the ball like me and are benchmarks.
Tell me a little about your beginnings.
I started at Riudoms when I was five years old and I played for Baix Camp, which was a team that existed at that time for two years. Then I spent another year at Riudoms and then when I was eight years old I arrived at Nàstic.
Have you always played as a midfielder?
Yes always. Sometimes he played further back and other times further forward, but always midfielder.
Was it his decision? Children always like to score goals.
I have always liked to play as a midfielder because of the abilities I had.
Didn't you ever get an offer from a First Division academy during your time in Nàstic's formative football?
No, as far as I know nothing has ever come to me in grassroots football.
That has allowed him to grow at home. She hasn't been bad.
It has gone well for me because Nàstic's grassroots football here is very good and powerful. There are very good coaches, good players... I've always learned from my coaches and my players and that's why we have to trust a lot in the academy here.
That's what I was going to tell him. Joan Oriol, Pol Domingo, Dani Parra, Marc Álvarez, Dani Vidal, yourself... The commitment to the quarry is true.
I have shared many moments with Marc Álvarez in the Youth, I had Dani Vidal as a coach... In the end we are seeing that the players can arrive and the coaches like Dani Vidal or Joan Torné.
See some more in La Pobla with first team options.
Surely yes. We are seeing it because players from La Pobla come to train like Iván de la Peña, Víctor Valverde, Nil Garrido, Fernando Torres and they are players who will surely end up making their debut.
Many of his colleagues say that he is homeless. They see him in professional football. Can you see yourself there with the Nàstic?
Surely yes. That is the goal and this year there is a team, a coaching staff and a game proposal to do it. We are a very competitive team with very differential players in each line of the field.
Complete the sentence: Nàstic at the end of the season...
It will be Second Division. Sure.