Toribio knows up close what the highest categories football are about and knows that the reality for professional footballers is all about “blood, sweat and tears”.

Dani Toribio knows what football is all about. For the good and the bad. In the past 10 years he’s been through all categories, from the Tercera División with FC Barcelona to the Primera División with Málaga CF. A voyage across the whole of Spain that’s left him with enormous satisfaction, but it also came with very difficult moments. Because these are the two sides of professional football.

“When you’re younger everything seems really nice: luxury cars, beautiful girlfriends, lots of money… Everything seems easy”, AD Alcorcón’s centre midfielder tells us. “It looks like when you get there and you get everything, but it’s not like that. When you’re moving up the ranks you realise that the reality of it is much different, football is a lot of work and a lot of daily sacrifice”.

The message Toribio is giving the scholars of High Performance Academy at Marcet is clear: the road to professional football is not as easy at it seems. “There has been a lot of sacrifice, lots of kilometres on the pitch, tears, sadness… Today I have a lot of things thanks to all the hard that I’ve put in, but the truth is that nobody can help you in this profession”.

To become a professional it is not enough to be a good player or stand out on a technical level. “There are a lot of things. There’s humaneness, team-ethic, dedication… A lot of people don’t stand out just because they’re good. It’s not only about being a quality player and scoring 50 goals. I’ve got a lot friends who’ve failed despite having better abilities than my own”.

Dani Toribio disputa la pelota a Lionel Messi durante su etapa en el Málaga CF.
Dani Toribio plays against Lionel Messi in a Málaga CF vs Barcelona FC.

“If they back you and you don’t perform, you won’t have any other occasion to show your value”, Toribio explains, born 28 years ago in Girona. “It’s very important to take advantage of the opportunities that are given to you. There are a lot of kids that would love to train at Marcet, but they can’t because their parents aren’t convinced or due to other reasons. The ones that are here have to value the huge opportunity that they have, because a lot of others do not”.

To get there it’s important to maintain the correct attitude. “It makes no sense getting upset with the coaches, it’s a waste of time. That’s not what football is about. You have to train with a smile. Daily training sessions for me are a great satisfaction, they’ve turned into some kind of wonderful obsession”.

An obsession that Toribio has put a lot into: “I put everything I had into football. I left everything else in the background. The thing that hurt the most was being away from my family. It was an important turning point. It was and still is a great sacrifice, because nobody can replace your family in important moments of your life, when you’re alone confronting difficulties. It’s an enormous sacrifice, but I decided to dedicate everything to football. And it turned out well for me”.

 

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