As often as the RSL calendar and mine fall in harmony I like to do a feature I call Face to Face, a sit down in depth interview with an RSL player. Often times we don’t hear from many of the younger players on the roster or the Spanish-speaking players in the media. My main objective is to conduct these interviews in Spanish when possible and publish them in Spanish and English so RSL fans of all languages have an opportunity to get to know the guys who make up our roster a little more intimately.
Today I had the privilege to sit down with David Viana, RSL’s new French-Portuguese midfielder. It was a very pleasant experience and a great opportunity to get to know David. I learned today that David has two major priorities in life, family and football. It was very apparent that family is very important to David and has played a major role in his life. It was refreshing to see a young man his age with a solid sense of the importance of family in his life. You will come to find in this interview that David takes his football just as serious as he does his family relationship.
I want to thank the RSL Club and Sam Stejskal (RSL Media Services Manager) for allowing me the needed access to do this interview and of course David for allowing me to pry into his personal life, giving all of us RSL fans an opportunity to get to know him better. David is a class act kid and I would love to see him become a major contributor in the RSL roster.
Here is the audio from today’s interview.
RSL Soccer Talk: Tell us, who is David Viana?
David: I was born in France in 1992, started playing in a small club when I was 4 years. Then when I was seven, the largest club where I lived was named Strasbourg, I went to play with them. I played there for 10 years and had a good time. Then when I was 17 I was called to the Portuguese National Team. Last year I was playing with Club Atlético de Madrid.
RSL Soccer Talk: But your dad is from Portugal?
David: My father and mother are from Portugal.
RSL Soccer Talk: Both are from Portugal but were born in France?
RSL Soccer Talk: Do you consider yourself Portuguese or French?
David: I played with the Portuguese National Team so a little more Portuguese than French but I like both.
RSL Soccer Talk: How many languages do you speak?
David: Very little Portuguese, very little Spanish, French very well and very, very, very little English (laughs).
RSL Soccer Talk: You lived most of your life in France then?
David: All my life almost, just a year in Spain.
RSL Soccer Talk: If you compare yourself and your style of football to a famous player, who would that be?
David: I like Deco, the Portuguese player who played for Barcelona and Chelsea. I really like how he plays.
RSL Soccer Talk: Is has been said that you had trained with the first team at Atletico Madrid. Is this true?
David: Yes, yes.
RSL Soccer Talk: Who were your favorite players on the first team?
David: There are two, Falcao and Diego (Forlan). I like to play with Diego on the field, he is very good.
RSL Soccer Talk: Do you think you learned something from him?
David: Yes a lot, I learned a lot from him.
RSL Soccer Talk: Do you have any hobbies outside of football?
David: Yes, I really like PlayStation and FIF13. I like playing with my family in France online, that’s very good.
RSL Soccer Talk: Do you have brothers and sisters?
David: I have a 24-year-old sister and a dog (laughs).
RSL Soccer Talk: What was your favorite movie lately?
David: My favorite movie is in French, it’s called (a name I will not pretend that I understood!), I don’t know how to say it in English. I also like Harry Potter.
David: Pasta, pasta is very good.
RSL Soccer Talk: You like Italian food then?
David: Italian, Spanish, and Brazilian food. Meat is really good
RSL Soccer Talk: Are there any restaurants that you like here in Utah?
David: Yes a Brazilian restaurant, I went to lunch yesterday with Paulo, I don’t know the name of it.
RSL Soccer Talk: Rodizio?
David: Yes, it is called Rodizio. Very good food!
RSL Soccer Talk: Do you use Twitter?
David: No, I use Facebook not Twitter.
RSL Soccer Talk: Do you like Utah and the United States so far?
David: Yes so far yes.
RSL Soccer Talk: Specifically what have you liked?
David: It’s quieter. Because Madrid is very active and it is more calm here.
RSL Soccer Talk: Have you had a chance to see parts of Utah outside Salt Lake City?
David: Not yet no.
RSL Soccer Talk: Do you have family in the United States?
RSL Soccer Talk: What do you like to do in the offseason?
David: I like being with my family a lot. With my mother, my father, my sister, and my girlfriend.
RSL Soccer Talk: You have a girlfriend in France?
David: Yes I do! (I’m sorry ladies)
RSL Soccer Talk: How do you describe the town where you were born?
David: It’s nice, for me it is the best city in the world because there is where my family lives.
RSL Soccer Talk: Is it a big city or small?
RSL Soccer Talk: Yes.
David: It’s big, it’s a great city, Strasbourg is very nice, it is the capital of Europe.
RSL Soccer Talk: What do you recommend a tourist do in your country?
David: See the stadium in Strasbourg because it is very nice and also Christmas is nice.
RSL Soccer Talk: What do you recommend one eat in your hometown?
David: It’s called choucroute, it is very good.
David: It has sausage, salted meats and sauerkraut. It’s great. Also the baked cheese, they put sausage and stuff in it.
RSL Soccer Talk: Do you like to travel?
David: Yes I like traveling.
RSL Soccer Talk: Where has been your favorite place you’ve traveled?
David: Madrid, oh yes I love Madrid.
RSL Soccer Talk: What do you want to do after your playing career?
David: I would like to help players, be an agent or manager. I have the diploma to train children.
RSL Soccer Talk: What do your family and your friends think of your career here in the U.S.?
David: Okay, my dad loves it because was his dream I play professionally, my mother too. It has been my whole family’s dream. They are very happy.
RSL Soccer Talk: Who is your favorite soccer player in the world?
David: Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano (Ronaldo) too.
RSL Soccer Talk: How did you get into football?
David: Because my father played football and my whole family love football, so I did too. My mother loves it, my sister too and I like it more than them.
RSL Soccer Talk: Did your father coach you?
David: Yes, and my cousin too. I have a cousin who plays in Germany.
RSL Soccer Talk: Did you always want to be a professional football player?
David: Always, because I was OK at school but nothing more (laughs)!
RSL Soccer Talk: Tell us about your first goal for RSL.
David: I was very happy. I talk with Paulo before the game and he told me it would be great to get a goal. And that’s why when I scored the golazos I was very happy.
RSL Soccer Talk: Congratulations it was a great goal!
David: Yes, thank you!
RSL Soccer Talk: Are you happy in at Real Salt Lake?
David: Yes very happy.
RSL Soccer Talk: What did you like?
David: Many players speak Spanish, which makes integration easier.
RSL Soccer Talk: What do you think about the Real Salt Lake fans?
David: Great, I went to watch the game against Portland and I liked what I saw.
RSL Soccer Talk: Where has been your favorite place you’ve played in your career?
David: Madrid, Madrid and Lisbon and in Portugal because I scored my first goal for the national team there.
RSL Soccer Talk: What do you think of the level of training here compared to other places where you have played?
David: It’s really good. I did not think it was going to be like this when I arrived but it is very, very good. There are very good players like Morales and Espindola who play very well.
RSL Soccer Talk: What is your opinion about the MLS and opportunities it may offer for international players?
David: For me it’s a good opportunity. Young players in Europe do not have much luck because clubs want players with more experience. Here if I play well I hope that I will play then it may be a good opportunity for me.
RSL Soccer Talk: Had you heard anything about Real Salt Lake before your agent told you about the club?
David: No, in the United States I only knew about the Los Angeles Galaxy and the Red Bulls.
RSL Soccer Talk: I gesture that I dislike those teams.
David: Of course, now I know only Real Salt Lake!
RSL Soccer Talk: Are your family fans of Real Salt Lake now?
David: Yes! My father asked me for a Real Salt Lake jersey! I’m going to send it this week. My family loves RSL now!
RSL Soccer Talk: When your agent told you about the club and you looked at Real Salt Lake, what was your impression?
David: I first saw the stadium on the Internet, I liked the stadium. I talk to my agent and said we can go and see what happens. I got here and everything was good, I talked to my agent and told him I wanted to be here and here I am!
RSL Soccer Talk: Do people in your country know of the MLS?
David: Yes now that Thierry Henry plays here, France knows more about the MLS.
RSL Soccer Talk: How do you see the level of football here compared to France, Portugal and Spain?
David: For me it’s the same level as in France. I was trained at a club in France I find it the same level.
RSL Soccer Talk: And compared to Spain?
David: Spain is Spain, Spain is a little different. In Spain football is more technical and here it is more physical. MLS is more like English football than football in Spain.
RSL Soccer Talk: What is the difference between the fans here and there?
David: It depends on where in Europe. In Spain the fans are very, very crazy because they love football. In France it depends on the game. If you are a big team they are also very crazy. But if its a small team, fans do not like it much. Here (at Real Salt Lake) they always like, it is very good.
RSL Soccer Talk: They are dedicated?
David: Yeah, yeah. Paulo told me that all the games here in the stadium are always full. That is very good.
RSL Soccer Talk: What do you think about the relationship here between the players of Real Salt Lake?
David: It’s perfect.
RSL Soccer Talk: Do you feel that you’ve integrated well?
David: I do yes, ask the other players but for me yes (laughs).
RSL Soccer Talk: Do you get along with a particular player well?
David: With Paulo, I live with him. With Lalo too.
RSL Soccer Talk: Do you go out with them outside of work?
David: Not at the moment I do not go out. For me this year is only about football, football and football.
RSL Soccer Talk: Focusing on your career then?
RSL Soccer Talk: What kind of music do you like?
David: French Music, rap, and Jay-Z and Kanye West
RSL Soccer Talk: In the group of players, who is the most playful?
David: Lalo, for me its Lalo.
RSL Soccer Talk: Who do you consider to be the group leader?
David: The goalkeeper.
RSL Soccer Talk: The goalkeeper Rimando?
David: Yes and Kyle.
RSL Soccer Talk: Do you have a routine before matches?
David: Getting touches on the ball, I like to touch the ball. I play PlayStation but long before the match.
RSL Soccer Talk: If you have a bad game or a bad play how do you lift your spirits?
David: Thinking about my family. I’ve been far away from my family so I think about them if something is missing.
RSL Soccer Talk: What is your primary goal here at Real Salt Lake?
David: Play, win and be called up from the Portuguese National Team again. Those three things.
RSL Soccer Talk: Do you want to be in the first eleven or eighteen major players of the club?
RSL Soccer Talk: What are you doing to reach that goal?
David: For me it’s working on my fitness and defense here. The defense here is different than in Spain.
RSL Soccer Talk: Do you think RSL has the ability to be the champions this year?
David: Of course, otherwise I would not be here (laughs). I think we can be the champions.
RSL Soccer Talk: Do you think you’ll have a chance to play with the first team on Wednesday?
David: I don’t know, ask the coach (laughs). I do not know.
RSL Soccer Talk: What do you consider the most valuable thing you’ve learned in your short time here at RSL?
David: Learning to defend a bit more. You have to defend a lot here.
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