Willy Caballero: First, Last, Always

The oldest player in our squad, Willy Caballero, is the latest subject of our regular feature where we ask questions based on the past, recent choices and what crops up time and time again. 

The 38-year-old Argentinian tells us about his favourite South American hot drink, the movie actors he loves and finally signing up to TikTok…


First:
What was the first football kit you ever wore?

I think it was a goalkeeper shirt from the Argentina national team at the 1990 World Cup in Italy. It was [Sergio] Goycochea, the keeper’s kit and my father bought it for me.

Last: When was the last time you wore a football shirt of a team you weren’t playing for?

I started to play for Boca Juniors when I was 14 so before that I probably wore the shirt as they were the team I supported in Argentina.

Always: What is an old football shirt you have kept?

I have a few from Colon in Santa Fe, which is the team closest to my hometown. Any time that my father or some of my family went to watch the first division in Argentina, they went to watch them play. We would go to support Colon but also to watch Boca, River and the other big teams when they played there.


First:
What was the first movie you really liked growing up?

That’s difficult to remember! Life is Beautiful, which is an Italian movie, was one I loved a lot, and also Terminator and Rambo.

Last: What was the last film or TV programme you watched?

Avengers: Endgame. It was fantastic, the last one of the Marvel movies. My daughter loves them and we went to the cinema to watch it.

Always: What have you watched most often in your life?

There are a few actors that I can watch all day – Denzel Washington, Johnny Depp. I also like series which make me laugh, like Modern Family.

First: What was the first thing you ate or drank this morning?

Mate. It’s a south American tea, where you put the herb inside the cup and then add hot water and drink with a straw. It’s close to tea but you can share with other people and you can drink a couple of litres between a few of you. I normally drink it every day.

Last: What is the last thing you normally eat or drink before bed?

I just have dinner at about 8pm and then normally I don’t have dessert or anything else before bed.

Always: What do you eat most during the week?

Normally we eat very healthy food – beef, chicken or fish at night. In the morning, we have salad and gluten-free pasta or rice.


First:
Where did you go on your holidays when you were younger?

We didn’t have holidays when I was a child. I grew up in quite poor circumstances so any time my father had holiday, we just stayed there by the river in my town and went to fish together.

Last: What is the most recent place you have visited for a break?

I went to Los Angeles in the recent break with my wife. It was a surprise she organised for me because we normally go to Spain to visit some friends. She found lots of tickets to watch sports games. My wife knows I love basketball and the NBA so after the recent news of Kobe Bryant, she did everything for us to enjoy the experience over there.

Always: Where do you go most often?

Since I arrived in Europe, I usually go back to Argentina to visit my family in Buenos Aires and Entre Rios where I grew up. In the last three or four years, we have started to go to enjoy a bit of the beach and some sun. We had one week in Mexico as a family and also we have a house in Malaga so we frequently go back there.

First: What was the first tattoo you had?

It is called Santa Lucia and it’s a version of the lights of the eyes. I was maybe 28-years-old when I had it done.

Last: What was the last tattoo you had done?

The last one is my hand with my daughter’s hand. She didn’t want to be part of a tattoo but I explained that I wanted to do something where I feel I never leave her hands and we are together always.

Always: Have you ever had a tattoo removed?

No, they are all still there.


First:
Can you remember the first phone you owned?

It was a Sony Ericsson. I don’t remember the model but it was quite rectangular with a flip to open it. It was just used to call, no messages. The next one I had was a Motorola StarTAC.

Last: What was the last app you installed on your current device?

TikTok. My daughter loves it and she tries to push me all the time to be on it with her!

Always: What do you spend most time on your phone doing?

I go on Instagram and also watch a lot of sports, everything that I can. I will watch any country, any sport, male or female – I watch a lot.

First: Can you remember the first time you learned English?

I started to learn in secondary school but it wasn’t a great level. I came to England at 19-years-old and spent two weeks training for Sunderland so I learned a little bit more then. It probably disappeared after that when I went back to Argentina but I started again when I was playing in Malaga because in my head I started to think it was a possibility to come to England. It wasn’t enough though and I had to start again when I arrived in Manchester.

Last: What was the last new word or phrase you learned?

Normally I look for words online to translate with my daughters and my wife. When I went to LA, we finished in Santa Monica, which is the end of the Route 66. People call it the trail, which I hadn’t heard before because usually we learn the more common words.

Always: What do you never get the hang of?

There are lots of accents that I struggle with! When I started in Manchester, the Mancunian accent was so difficult but then my ear adapted to it. Now the Liverpool or Scottish accent is more difficult for me!


First:
Did you pass your driving test first time?

I did it in my hometown when I was 17 and then again when I went to Spain because I had to take another one but I did it well both times.

Last: When was the last time you used public transport?

We use the train a lot to go to London because the traffic is sometimes horrendous. The last time was when we went to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park.

Always: What is the music you always listen to in the car?

I try to listen to Argentinian music or international rock – Oasis, Guns N’ Roses, ACDC, U2.

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