Rafa Guerrero: “I still have my letter of resignation. Fortunately, I never sent”
“Matthias, line judge” is a movie directed by Santiago Aguilar Luis Guridi. The film was released in 1996 and tells the story of a football linesman left and went to live in a remote village in Galicia fleeing from a lynching by an arbitration decision. Something similar could have happened to the protagonist of our interview, but nevertheless, Rafa Guerrero, far from abandoning, He decided to go ahead.
Almost 20 years of professional, 14 of them in First Division. I wanted to be a referee since childhood?
Not at all. It's just I did not understand them because. How could a person who insulted every Sunday in the fields decide to arbitrate?
In such a professionalized soccer… Do you think the referees should also be professional?
Of course. It is urgent. Is totally incomprehensible that are not yet. Referees have to live by and for football. Devoting all week to prepare for the match playing them arbitrate the weekend, watch videos, etc. As do the players or coaches of any team. It is as if I go to a trial and the judge says that he has to leave because he has to open his store or go to work.
Africa Cup 2000 was a before and after in my life”
European Championship 2004, Mundial Sub-20, Africa Cup 2000. Rafa Guerrero will imagine a thousand and one stories to tell.
Africa Cup year 2000 was a before and after in my life. Not only in relation to arbitration if not personally. I fell in love with Africa. I saw that people needed basic things. The children… something we see as normal as a simple bottle of water. It was certainly something that marked me forever and since then I try to help as much as I can. Of course… it was worth it.
You were a guest referee at that event. The only target of the tournament.
So is. In the Nigeria-Senegal I expel Okocha and armed himself marimorena. There was a pitch invasion, Police on horseback in the field. I have not been so scared in my life, I feared the worst. But what he would do? He elbowed the opponent in front of me. I will never forget how I behaved and helped me Finidi, which at that time he played for Real Betis and I knew, a crack.
315 matches, 2 Copa del Rey final, 174 caps…
Cup finals are the most beautiful games. I remember one was Atletico-Valencia in La Cartuja with that goal by Mendieta. The other was Recreativo-Mallorca in Martinez Valero Elche. Nowadays it is difficult for such a final to take place but it was very nice to see two cities overturned with their team.
Rafa Guerrero's family is very futbolera. His mother was many years president of a club. Father coach. And they get a referee son. They Were Like those family reunions?
It was an explosive cocktail. You can imagine. I did not want to have birthday! (laughs). My mother said: “One is struggling to make the team forward and is a referee for the weekend and I humped”. My father also had a strong character…
I drove my father. We were two months without speaking”
Is it true that you came to expel?
Yes, yes. Totally true. Regional. I above all seek justice and I did not care if it was my father. I drove out. We were two months without speaking. The worst of my life. My mother called me to try to mediate the matter and in the end we managed.
A referee can have favorite team? Is it a problem to be impartial?
Not at all. It has nothing to do with being a team to be impartial. If you like football, I am passionate about me, naturally you feel sympathy for a club. In my case it is the Athletic Club of Bilbao. I did the Athletic Iribar was my childhood idol. Why do I have to remove someone arbitrate the illusion of my team?
I will never forget when Eric Cantona shook my hand”
What is the player who has impressed you most Rafa Guerrero?
Phew, there are many. I can not stay with only one. Look, I will never forget the moment when Eric Cantona shook my hand. With the neck of the shirt flat, Manchester United captain… It was also my debut in European competition in the field of Fenerbahce with an incredible atmosphere. But Iker Casillas, with whom I have a personal relationship and friendship, Julen Guerrero, Guti, Zidane, Samuel Eto´o…
Is it true that failed to point out an action to stay caught watching a play of Zidane?
And both. I was paralyzed with flag in hand. It was an action that was clearly came out of my nose band and the guy lifts his foot up to my head, possession, down the same line of lime. Awesome.
SOCCER Retro or modern football?
Today there is no encyclopedias. We look for everything Google. With football's the same. Not to hate modern football, everything moves but, yes, always respecting retro football. That football before prevailing in the fight, the sacrifice, mud fields, Delivery. It cost a lot and was done out of loyalty.
Are you in favor or against the VAR?
VAR is for me to see something Repetido. But I think it should not be abused. Today we are more aware of VAR that the other things in a game. As I said before, not to go against the technological advancement, yes, for 'fat' plays, that is to say, a ghost goal, whether or not it has entered, an out-hit the target game… if not… the essence is lost. Now people can not even celebrate a goal in case you cancel.
Precisely the VAR would have avoided, surely, 'Close'. That Real Zaragoza-Barcelona that marked his career and surely his life.
I do not like to talk about it but I understand that it is inevitable. Yes, logically it marked my life. One has to make decisions and I did. Just a couple of weeks before we said we should help further umpire. Attendees were also referees and had to lend a hand and participate. I did, but I was wrong.
Did you think about leaving arbitration?
I still have my resignation letter in a drawer. Luckily I never sent. Players can go wrong, They may fail a goal and pretty much nothing happens. Referees can not. The fatal pass. My son was told at school that his father was a thief and a thousand other things. They treated me like a terrorist. But I kept going.
Some say that thanks to that move you became famous and why still remains' in the spotlight’
Good, I respect the opinion of anyone who thinks that but I do not share. I do not want to sin arrogant but that happened in my second year in First Division 1996 and I retired in 2008. That day I made a mistake but I've had a long career so so bad I will have done.
If you like football and refereeing… Do not ever let”
What would you say to young umpires and referees who suffer insults in the fields and think about quitting?
Not to do. As I said before, football is a reflection of society. There are a lot of rude people but leave it only serves to win them. I was about to do it but I kept going because I love football and I thank for it.
We would like, to go ending, which will tell us how a day in the life of Rafa Guerrero
Good, every morning I come to work at school, I love children. I give life. I am also committed to social work, I think our goal in life should be to help others. I also love animals. I'm happy family I have and of course try to help at home everything I can. All my days end up seeing 'The beach bar’.
Now that brings up the subject… there are many who criticize the program. I branded as' paripé’ and worse
To all who criticize I would tell them to come one day see. As you can go public without any problems, see it live so you can review later. My life has never told anyone what program I have to say.
Rafa Guerrero reached record an announcement while on active.
So is. I made the announcement Renault Kangoo. We did several in different 'clips'. My kidnapped me and took me to the forest to not interrupt the best plays. So did Simeone and 'spontaneous’ of he is jumping bare field. I donated all the money they paid me for that ad.