Roberto Cuesta begins his adventure at Watford: “It is a very big step for my career”

Roberto Cuesta started training very early. “I was 14 years old and at the beginning it was as an assistant”, explains the Mallorcan coach. “I immediately liked teaching the boys a different way of understanding football and so I decided to be a coach.” Over the years, Roberto went very far, until he reach the Watford bench, projecting him into a professional dimension in which the boundary between dreams and reality is not clear.

Q.- What did you like about being a coach?

A.- What I liked the most was seeing the players put into practice during the games what I had taught them all week.

Q.- And what didn’t you like about this profession?

A.- I had a very bad time when I saw a boy making a big effort without achieving his objectives. That’s when you start to wonder if you are too demanding. You always have to find a balance so that the players do not get frustrated.

Roberto Cuesta habla con Xisco durante un entrenamiento del Dinamo Tbilisi.
Roberto Cuesta talks to Xisco during a Dinamo Tiflis training session.

Q.- What steps did you have to take to follow your vocation as a coach?

A.- At the age of 19, I get the first level of the Spanish Sports Technitian Certificate. I managed to combine that with my studies and, a year later, I also took the second Level. I was the youngest in my class. I had already decided to hang up my boots and dedicate myself to being a coach.

“I will always be grateful to Marcet. IT has been LIKE a springboard TO GET TO ELITE football”

Q.- After several experiences in different football clubs, you decided to start to work in an academy, where contact with the players is much greater. What did that experience bring you?

A.-
Marcet helped me above all to organize myself as a coach, to have the training contents more structured, to organize the training sessions in a more systematic way… I also learned how a coach has to address the players, how he has to express himself. The help of Marcet sports psychologists was key. Finally, in this academy I had the opportunity to play games in a different context, which I did not know, because apart from the league matches we had many friendlies against the quarries of great teams. Without a doubt that helped me to get closer to professional football, to better understand the importance of discipline and methodology. I will always be grateful to Marcet, because for me he has been a springboard to elite football.

Roberto Cuesta (izda.) durante un partido del Watford.
Roberto Cuesta (left) during a Watford match.

Q.- We come to the year 2020. Many will remember it as the year of Covid-19, but I’m sure you will remember it for other things too…

A.- At the beginning of the year I had the opportunity to meet Xisco Muñoz, who had just returned to Spain after winning the league in Georgia with Dinamo Tbilisi. Talking to him I discovered that we had similar ideas. We understood each other on how to train a team. Thus, after several meetings, we began to work together in Second Division.

Q.- Until the first surprise arrived …

A.- At the end of August Xisco called me telling me that he had reached a new agreement with Dinamo Tbilisi. When we arrived in Georgia we found a team very depressed. Our strategy was to change this dynamic, trying to make the players work in a pleasant way. We had 15 days to fix the situation before the first official game, which was against the league leader. We won 0-3 in their field. That victory helped us a lot. The team started to believe in our work and finally we managed to win the league.

“AT WATFORD I HAVE THE CHANCE TO GROW VERY FAST. DAILY WORK makes PERSONAL progress inevitable”

Q.- You had hardly finished celebrating the title and the second surprise arrived …

A.- It was a matter of a week. With Watford everything came together very quickly. For me it was like going from zero to 100 all of the sudden. I could not describe the sensations. I can say that sometimes I wonder if I am really living it, because in six months the change was enormous and I still need to process it.

Q.- Was it difficult to adapt to this new context?

A.- At first it was a bit hard, but daily work makes personal progress inevitable. Now I am getting to know in depth how to work in the football elite. I am in touch with all the departments: analysis, physical preparation, medical protocol… This makes me grow very fast. I constantly value and appreciate what is happening to me. It’s a huge step for my career.

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