His neighbor, Conchita Alba, was a member of Madrid. she bought the newspaper Ace and the Brand every day. And she would read them to him the next day, before they ended up in the trash. With a military father and a philologist mother, Monica Marchante (Rome, 55 years old), was called to study Law. Instead, she became, against her family nature, a go-to journalist and a daring interviewer. She is a fan of cycling, she is known for always asking the right question in the boxes of the League. She is now only relegated to Champions League nights, she has verified that there is life on Sundays. “For almost 25 years I have been traveling every league weekend. You have to be very fanatical to resist that, ”she confesses. She is a “heavy” professor at Nebrija University, she speaks passionately about her profession.
Ask. I didn’t know you were born in Rome!
Answer. Because of my father’s job, my family lived there for four years. I am the youngest of three brothers. Technically I only lived there for nine months. But I can proudly say that I was baptized in the Vatican, in front of the Pietà.
Q. Let’s break one of the maxims of interviews, ask an uncomfortable question at the beginning. Born in Rome, raised in Madrid. What team is she from?
R. From Rome…
Q. Why is there this taboo with the sports journalist?
R. Now it no longer happens, the journalists today have decided to put on the scarf. I am incapable. First, because I didn’t have a great love for soccer when I was little; and he was not from any team, despite living 500 meters from the Bernabeu. In my family there were no fans, they didn’t like soccer too much. Maybe that’s why it was easier for me: I was a journalist before I was a football fan. Really, the only team I support is with the Spanish team. And it’s not posturing.
Q.Have you been interviewed many times? How does the hunted hunter feel?
R. I feel weird because I think: ‘who can care what I say’. I have always had the ego quite controlled. Then, since I know myself as an interviewer, I say to myself ‘let’s see if I’m lucky and they don’t set many traps for me’, which is what I usually do with my interviewees.
Q. He studied at the Complutense University of Madrid. Did they make you an illustrious student like President Ayuso?
R. No. It really is impossible: first, because I will never be president of the Community of Madrid; and second, because I was not illustrious, I was only a student. I started working in the second year of my degree and finished it, as best I could, many years later. I won’t say how many. I began to cover information about Madrid and Atleti and there were no hours to go to class. It was so clear to me that I was going to learn much more on the streets than in college… Although I felt that this was penalized. I had a bad time.
Q. Why did you decide on journalism?
R. For the final of the World Cup in Spain 82. Even today it is impossible for me to talk about this without getting emotional. Can’t. I started to watch the games and since Spain fell so soon, obviously I continued with Italy. Rossi made me fall in love from the first moment; and I loved Dino Zoff. I stuck to the TV and that was my world.
Q. And why are you crying?
R. Don’t know. Perhaps because it is exciting to think that this was something that my family did not understand. It was like ‘the girl, but how can she like football if we don’t like anyone’. Soccer, journalism, it was all he didn’t have to do. But that day, at the age of 13, I felt a very strong vocation. Until then I had not stepped foot in a football stadium. My first time was in the World Cup final and at the Bernabeu.
Q. How did you get the tickets?
R. That was beastly. The final was Italy – Germany; My best friend studied at the German College. And we cheated on our mothers. We told them we were going to see the atmosphere. And in the Plaza de los Sagrados Corazones, a Brazilian offered me his ticket for 2,000 pesetas. I ran home, took out the piggy bank, broke it and brought him the 2,000 pelas. It’s funny, because I don’t remember when I told my mother that I was going to the stadium. To my friend, her mother did not let her go. So I convinced the inmate that my neighbors had to accompany me. I never made it to my town, I stayed in a corridor, I saw Pertini’s celebrations a few meters away and I celebrated a penalty that didn’t go in. That experience marked me.
Q. Have you always known how to ask the right question at the right time?
R. It is what I like most about journalism. Asking is the great job of the journalist. I have always been very curious. I was not a good student, but I have always asked a lot, the interviewee and the doctor. I don’t like staying halfway or not understanding something. I can’t keep quiet. I must be a cunt.
Q. Valdano said of you that you disguised yourself as a friendly interviewer to draw the knife on the third question. How much strategy does a good interview have?
R. A lot. Not all interviewees have the same psychology, nor do they have the same head; the moment is not always the same. That is why preparing the interviews is essential; I tell my students now. When I do the interview with Zubizarreta, what does the job cost him? [como director deportivo del Barcelona] I already knew what week had passed; I had been reading the Catalan press every day; I knew the context. If you go to a match like any other or if you interview everyone equally, it is very difficult for you to get anything out of it. Also, there is a strategy. The most difficult question is not thrown the first time. You’re not doing it now either. So I hope you come.
Q. There you go: Have your (im) pertinent questions been what has separated you from the boxes of LaLiga?
R. It is not that they have separated me, it is that now there are no interviews with the managers in the box. At least I have that consolation. It is not that they have taken me away to put another. I think that it is the League itself that in general takes a line of censoring what they think should not appear. For me that is a mistake. It is their product and if Movistar has ceded its production to LaLiga, nothing to say. But I think the product is not better; it is less true and less real. What I perceive when I continue doing interviews in the Champions League or the Super Cup, for example, is that the managers themselves miss me, because they tell me so. So what are we left with? Most like that one on one; most of them are ex-footballers and it makes them have to face you, with the addition that you are a woman. That chemistry of being put against a rock and a hard place. Something has been lost: a show around the great show that valued the entire product. Without that, the product is devalued.
Q. Have any questions or interviewees caused you anxiety?
R. No, what causes me restlessness and anxiety is when someone tells you not to ask something you know you have to ask. That drives me nuts. Because when you’ve been asking what you want all your life and the personal relationship with managers is exquisite, I don’t understand what the problem is. I, as a journalist, lose credibility if I don’t ask what needs to be asked. For me, the value of the product is not only having the best footballers, it is credibility.
Q. What do you do when they tell you not to ask such and such a thing?
R. I smile and answer: ‘I perfectly understand your work, but I have to do mine. Thank you so much’. One can ask for everything. You just have to find the way, the shortcut.
Q. She was the first woman in the boxes, as seen in the series The League of Extraordinary Men. Tell me that no one has repeated that “do you take everything as well as the microphone?”
R. No. And, it’s incredible because… what capacity we have to forget the bad things. I have had that episode somewhere in my forgotten brain for 30 years. And it came back to my mind during the Me Too campaign. I have been told many things, but never again a savage of this caliber. From what they tell me, I must be pretty scary. And I don’t understand it, because I have a good-natured face Fame precedes me.
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Source: EL PAIS