My youngest son, Giuliano, dipped his croissant in his milk, took a bite and looked up at me.
“But Dad, if you do well, you won’t come back.”
I remember that day so well. It was the one that brought the phone call that changed everything.
The call from Atletico Madrid, saying they wanted to speak to me. The one about me becoming manager of the club.
At the time, I was in Mar del Plata – a beach town in Argentina – to spend a few days with Giuliano. He was just eight years old, and we were sitting in a bar with our croissants and coffee (for me, milk for him), when I told him:
“Look, a chance has come to go to Atletico Madrid, and I don’t know what to do.”
Giuliano thought about it.
“Are you going to manage Falcao? Are you going to play against Messi? Against Ronaldo?”
The kid was saying all this to me. And I would say yes. And in between dipping the croissant in the milk, he said those words: “Dad, if you do well, you won’t come back.”
There are two sides to that, of course. On the one hand it’s lucky, because I want to do well. But on the other hand it’s unlucky, because I don’t get to see my kids growing up.