Hammering It Out - Roberto

West Ham United’s Spanish goalkeeper Roberto on his heroes, his musical talents and being Will Smith!

What’s your full name?
Roberto Jimenez Gago, but you can call me Roberto!

Who was your first club as a kid?
It was Atletico Madrid. I played for them for 15 years, so I grew up there!

What position did you play in as a kid?
Like every goalkeeper, I started as a striker then, step by step, I kept going back until I was wearing gloves!

Who was your hero?
I followed a lot of goalkeepers, but Gianluigi Buffon and Iker Casillas were the ones I most wanted to be

Tell about your debut…
I was 19 and it was for Atletico Madrid in La Liga, away at Osasuna, in December 2005 (below). I’ll remember that day forever!

Who’s your best friend in football?
In every club, I’ve been with different guys, but David Luiz helped me a lot in Benfica, and I grew up with Fernando Torres in Atletico Madrid

What’s your favourite stadium to play in?
I grew up in the old Vicente Calderon and I have good memories there

What match was your best ever performance?
I played for Olympiacos in the Champions League group stage against Juventus in Greece. We won 1-0 and I remember this game with a smile

How many languages can you speak?
Spanish, English, Portuguese and a bit of Greek

What’s the biggest game you’ve ever played in?
The three games when I won the League championship in Greece and when I played in the Champions League round of 16 for Olympiacos against Manchester United in 2014

What’s your favourite App on your phone?
WhatsApp or Instagram

What’s your hidden talent?
I am learning to play the piano and I play the drums!

What type of music do you listen to before a game?
Usually rap or R&B

Who’s the best player you’ve ever played with?
I’m lucky to have played with a lot of very good players, so I can’t say just one!

And the best player you’ve played against?
Lionel Messi

If you could be someone else for one day, who would you be?
Will Smith!

Do you know what your FIFA rating is?
I don’t play FIFA!

Are you happy with that?
I never play, so I don’t mind!

What’s your favourite thing in the world?
Being with my kids

Describe yourself in three words…
Passionate, tall, friendly