As part of my day job at Spanish football site MARCA English (What, you think TTE pays?!), I contacted Alex Fernandez for a chat on all things Reading FC, Real Madrid, and Spanish football. Here, the midfielder opens up on how he joined the Berkshire club, social media, and his passion for the Royals.
What kind of differences and similarities did you discover in the Championship from LaLiga, in terms of refereeing and tactics?
“I like English football a lot, it is a little tactical and very physical, with great players. In Spanish football, the tactics are much more important and maybe there is better technique, but it’s not so physical.”
“The referees in England are more permissive but there is much nobility in the game.”
How did your move to Reading come about, we heard that Espanyol played a friendly in Reading and offered to leave a few players behind.
“We played a friendly game in Reading, and the coach Steve Clarke liked my performance. The next day I was asked if I wanted to play for Reading FC and I was very excited to play in England, for me it has been a wonderful opportunity, and always I will be grateful to the club, supporters, my old teammates as well as Steve Clarke and his team (Steven Reid, Kevin Keen...) for the trust.
You became very popular at Reading thanks in part to your social media efforts. What makes you want to take the time out to engage with fans on Twitter?
“With Steve I was playing for the team, little and little I was getting more minutes, I was very happy. I love Reading FC and it´s my English team for life, I liked the values represented by the club and hopefully I´ll get to play for the team again. That would be a dream for me.”
“The fans always supported me and helped me, along with the club and my old teammates, to be happy in Reading. The last months I didn't play much under the new coach, [Brian] McDermott, but I wanted to express my support and love for the club and my teammates in social media and at the Madejski Stadium. Once a Royal always a Royal.”
Many thanks to Alex for taking the time to answer my questions, the full MARCA English interview can be found here.