One of two survivors from the last Inter FS team to win the UEFA Futsal Cup, Ortiz talks us through the 2016 vintage. Who takes forever in the dressing room?
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Only two players remain at Inter FS from the team that won their record third UEFA Futsal Cup in 2009: the now rarely-used goalkeeper Luis Amado and stalwart defender Ortiz.
Spain captain Ortiz put on another fine display to end their six-year wait to reach a sixth final, as they beat Pescara in Guadalajara to set up Sunday's decider with Ugra Yugorsk. Many familiar names of the past have gone and Ortiz introduces us to the new crop, including his rival for the title of 'most stylish' and an unsurprising choice as most skilful ...
Why have you made the final again at last?
"It's been a long time, six years, since we reached the finals. We've gone through some difficult periods, when we couldn't assemble a team good enough to compete in Europe, but over the last two to three years we've done things better, have made some good signings. The coach has really prepared us well and, finally, we're back here again."
"Luis [Amado] is an example to follow. He's 39 years old and he's still first to arrive at training and the last to leave. He's ultra-competitive and doesn't like to lose at anything! He's an example for us of all in the game, because he makes you realise that if you want to achieve what he's achieved, you have to be like him."
"I think you already knew the answer to that question!
We're fortunate enough to have Ricardinho in the team, who right now is the best player in the world by a distance. In training he's always surprising you, trying new skills, but then the best thing is he tries them in games and they come off then too! It's a real pleasure to have him at the club."
"Good question, there are a few of us! But first
I'd mention the person who puts least care into appearance and that's Humberto. He just doesn't care what he puts on! But I'd say it's either me or Mario [Rivillos] who tries to look the best. Not that we're slow at getting ready or anything – the slowest by a long way is [Henrique] Darlan. He'll finish training, then do his stretches, then take an ice bath, see the physio, take a long shower ... he's ALWAYS the last one to leave the dressing room!"
"I think the funniest is Jesús Herrero. He's a guy who brings a lot of 'alegria' (joy) into the dressing room; he spends all day laughing, cracking jokes, while another who's been a great addition – a breath of fresh air – to the dressing room is Humberto. He's just slotted in so well to the squad."
"We've not got something specific that we always say or do, but I would say that we're a team that likes to go out there and play well – that wants to entertain and that enjoys the game.
We've got a lot of spectacular players and I think that's getting people hooked on following us: they know they'll come to the hall and be entertained, see spectacular futsal, see goals and see incredible skills, which is how we're managing to get big crowds."
What makes you a good captain?
"The main thing is experience. When, as the years go by, you've had the chance to live and work alongside the likes of Luis [Amado] or Daniel [Shiraishi] at club level, or at national-team level with Kike and Álvaro, then you try to take little things from each of them. You realise that being captain isn't just putting on the armband and going to the coin toss with the refs, it goes much beyond that. You need to get to know the whole squad; what you can say to certain people, what you can't to others, and keep the atmosphere in the group ticking over. It's more psychological than what you say on the pitch, though on the field you have to perform too, or nobody will respect you."