Graham Hansen, in the duel against Atlético in the Iberdrola League.AFP7 via Europa Press / Europa Press
As a child, Caroline Graham Hansen (Oslo, Norway; 26 years old) watched Magnus Carlsen play chess, listened to her grandmother talk about astrology and read poetry. He also played soccer, of course. And very good. Nothing changed with the passage of time. "You have to be careful with Graham," they warn at Manchester City, Barça's rival this Wednesday in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals (12.30pm, Barça TV and E3; the duel is played in Monza due to health restrictions). "It is the best in the world, although they do not recognize it with prizes", they boast in the Barcelona Sports City. To the Barcelona forward the accolades do not matter to him. He is interested in vindicating women's football. And he is obsessed with winning, as much as enjoying life off the pitch. “Some people like to shop, others play Play. I play chess, read and watch documentaries about the universe. That motivates me, ”says Graham Hansen.
Question. Are you as well known as Haaland in Norway?
Answer. Me? No, no, not even close. I'm not interested in fame either. I know that many people can know who I am, although I do not have a real dimension of that. In my head, I am just a soccer player. I'm not too interested in the rest. When I meet people, for example, I always think that they don't know who I am. But I also know perfectly well that I have to behave in a certain way because I can be a role model for many young girls.
Q. In Norway , women's football, world champion and Olympic, has been more successful than men's. A. Yes, but as in many other parts of the world, the masculine is more popular than the feminine. We have had an incredible increase in impact after the last World Cup. It has been a big change, but now we also have superstars in the male category like Haaland, Odegaard and Joshua King
Q. Is the number of boys playing soccer today similar to that of girls?
A. I don't know if it's 50 and 50 in numerical terms, but I know that girls no longer think that soccer is just a men's sport. This is very important. Soccer belongs to men, women and all the people who enjoy this sport. And that's how it has to be.
Q. Why isn't your name on the Ballon d'Or and The Best podiums?
A. Individual awards are not important to me. I'd rather win the Champions League than get an individual award. I am not amused by the attention of the press. And another thing, I give assists, I don't score as many goals
Q. What does that mean?
R. We live in a world where the media do not play our game in the same way as they do with men's. Which means they take note of only who scored, rather than paying attention to what each player did in the match. At Barça, I am surrounded by great footballers who are not even close to obtaining any kind of recognition. This is the main thing: the media does not pay attention to our game. But I don't want to use my voice to win a Ballon d'Or , I'm only interested in using it so that our football is more recognized. And so people can see us. If we can achieve that, we would no longer be talking about these things. We must use our energy to achieve more equality and justice. If we do nothing, nothing will change. At least you have to try .
Q. Can Barça win the Champions League or is that impossible?
R. It is possible, absolutely possible. It will be difficult, but that's the interesting part. Only the best remain. It will be intense. We can lose against City, but if we play like we have to, we can win. And if we go through to the round, we will have another super difficult game against Lyon or PSG, but one that can also be won.
P. You seem like a specialist on the far right, as if you grew up in La Masia.
R. I like it One-on-one a lot and I enjoy giving assists. It's something I'm good at, qualities that are useful than in the game we do at Barcelona. I develop my football and have fun, but I also help the team and the club's philosophy.
Q. When you came to Spain, from Wolfsburg, the idea was that your presence would take Barça and the league to a higher level. Do you think that has happened?
R. I do not think I have done anything other than try to enjoy this football and this league. I do not know what people outside can talk about what my presence means. I have nothing to do with it. I am only concerned about helping my team and the type of football we do. Soccer is entertainment, so it's supposed to be fun to watch. And if I can contribute to that, then I'm very happy
Q. And are you having fun too?
A. The day I stop having fun, I will stop playing. I like to play soccer, I like it a lot, but I also find it important to have hobbies. Having other interests allows you to have another look at how to deal with life. For us, soccer is just one stage in our lives. And we must not lose sight that it is a game
Q. How did you experience confinement?
R. Had practice
R. During confinement, many people have faced the challenge of how deal with themselves when you are left alone and do not have the possibility to be with your friends and family at the time you feel like it. Well that's something that I've been through in the last seven years of my life. I think it is very important to be able to enjoy your own company. For me it is a good time to learn a new cooking recipe, to read, to watch a documentary or to study. It is being alone and not feeling the lack of anything.
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