First Alterview with the Best Goalkeeper in the World Persona, Adriano Patrick, where he talks about his goalkeeping philosophy and the sacred moment of the jump
Adriano Patrick, the Best Goalkeeper in the world, we congratulate you here and now!
Hello, how are you? This is very interesting to be here. I understand I need to tell you a Safe Word. It is if you become too much, yes?
Yes. It’s to be used in case I become offensive or pushy, or if I make you uncomfortable, I mean too uncomfortable.
I think about it, I need to have two words. One, if your Persona become too much and uncomfortable, and two, if my Persona become too much and uncomfortable.
I don’t understand.
What if I become too much for myself? I want to have a word that I can say so you will know that I am too much for myself.
What am I to do if you say the second word?
You can say: Adriano, you’re too much for yourself.
Right. And that would help you?
Yes, I believe it will. It has to come from the outside. If you say it, it will help me.
I understand. We don’t normally do this here, but I think it’s alright. I can do it.
Thanks. OK. My first word is gato. It means cat.
My second word will be boxes.
Is that verb or noun?
It is boxes where you put things, like matches or beans. Why is it important to you?
It’s not, really. So, do you like boxes?
Yes I do. You know the verb box can mean boxing, boxing like a sport, but also to put something inside a box. I think it’s very interesting how nouns and verbs can be the same word. It’s very special.
Like fishing. You fish for fish.
Yes, that’s very good. I’m trying to think about another example.
You’ve lived in so many countries by now, and probably had to deal with many languages around you, it must make you think.
Shield. It’s also noun and verb.
Right! Please tell us about your current whereabouts.
Well as you know I play in Monaco.
You’ve had a very impressive Champions League campaign last year!
We did not win.
But you gave quite a fight. You must have been proud of yourselves the day after the huge thriller with Manchester City.
The day after is always a special day. It’s a day when you wake up in the morning and you have two seconds when you don’t remember the day before. We all have these two seconds. Some have ten seconds. Some people even have thirty seconds or a minute or more. I have two seconds.
I can think about someone maybe even having five minutes.
So what happens to you in those two seconds?
I have two seconds when I don’t remember anything about yesterday. And after the two seconds I know what I feel about yesterday. I don’t know what I feel about a game until I’m after the two seconds in the next morning. I always think about what I could do different. It is to be a goalkeeper, to always think about it. It’s like eating a salty lemon every time I think about the ball passing me. It’s a bad taste in your mouth but it fades and you move on. My job is to fall and to get up again. To throw myself to the ground and to get up again. I think it is the job of the philosopher.
A philosopher reaches and jumps and falls and gets up again. A philosopher jumps in the dark. When I jump for the ball I jump in the dark. I have my theories about where the ball will go, my theories about where I should be, but it’s all a shot in the dark. Like a philosopher.
Are you a philosopher?
I have a philosophy but I’m not a philosopher.
What’s your philosophy?
I have many philosophies. What I call philosophy is a belief I can explain. I believe everything I do as a goalkeeper, everything I am as a goalkeeper, is exactly how I live my life. There is no difference, no gap, between how I jump or reach or catch or fall and how I do everything in my life. But it’s not just that. I think that everyone should live like a goalkeeper.
Can you elaborate?
I kept a net since a very young age –
You started in Corinthians at a very young age, 15, some say even 14 –
I’m talking about before that, keeping a net is something different. My belief is that when I jump for the ball – it’s an act of faith.
A religious faith?
Not exactly, not always. Think about what is a goalkeeper.
What are you thinking?
I think he might be pretty lonely.
Before that, before the loneliness.
Ah, he’s got a lot of responsibility I think, a lot of blame.
That’s part of his loneliness. Before that, what you need to think is that he’s grounded. He’s in his box. He’s boxed. He can’t really move. If his team scores, he usually won’t move from his box. But he always moves with his spirit and his mind. In his box, that’s the movement he can allow himself, and he is in his box but his spirit is all over the field. The other movement he can allow himself is the jump and the fall, and the getting up again. And this also, he doesn’t do it with his body, he does it with his spirit, he must if he’s a real goalkeeper. That’s how I am. When I jump, my entire spirit jumps with me and before me. This jump is a sacred moment. It’s a moment of being outside your body and that’s the big question: the return.
The landing. The return of my spirit to my body. When I get up after the jump – and it doesn’t matter if I catch the ball or not – my spirit gets up before my body. It returns and it lifts my body.
Sounds like quite an intense experience to go through several times during a match.
It is and it isn’t. You, for example, when you set your alarm clock for tomorrow morning, you are already doing the same. You jump and you believe just the same.
You mean to say whenever we aim at something it’s a leap of faith, that taking action is believing.
I don’t mean only this. Because it’s just the first stage. I said to you that when I jump my spirit jumps with me. And that I believe I will land somehow but what I never know is if my spirit will land with me. Because it can stay there, in midair, I can land without my spirit.
What does that mean?
It means that something, something without shape, something that is like intention, something can be left outside of me when I take action. It is like when you intend to do something, and go and do it, but when you do it, you suddenly don’t intend it anymore. Does it matter? And what did you do if you did it without intending? Who were you when you did it?
But how could I have done it in the first place if I didn’t intend it.
Exactly. OK. You understand.
So you can only lose your spirit in something that you intended to do, like you said: you can only lose your spirit if you jump with it –
And you can really jump only with your spirit with you.
Have you ever lost your spirit in a jump?
No, no, never.
If you lose it once, will it ever return?
I don’t know. I know that a goalkeeper can land different, can become different when he lands. He won’t know what happened to him. He would just look at the people around and won’t know what he is. He won’t even understand the gloves on his hands.
Did that ever happen to you?
Almost. I didn’t understand my gloves. I looked far and across the field and saw the second goalkeeper on the field and I didn’t understand who he was. I didn’t understand his gloves. And I looked the same. When you land without your intention you will be the same and you will probably do the same things you did before. But without a spirit. Without the spirit that lifts you before you get up, that rises before you.
I think we all get to feel that way from time to time. That feeling that you’re just a robot, totally empty on the inside; you’re only instructions and commands that you follow not knowing their origin, their meaning, their point.
I mean why do anything at all.
Because sometimes we do it without intending. That’s the third stage of my belief. I learnt that I can lose my intention in an action, without losing my spirit.
That’s so Zen.
I think it’s very important to find the difference between an automatic action – like you said, like a robot – and a spiritual action, that is without intention.
Doesn’t being an athlete make you lean more towards an automatic action?
In theory it does, but that’s why I said a goalkeeper’s training is first of all a philosophical training.
This alterview is not at all what I expected it to be. We have so little time left and I wanted to ask you about the French League, but it suddenly seems pointless.
We have a lot of hard work ahead of us.
And I also wanted to talk about your time in Corinthians and Dynamo Zagreb and St. Pauli, and Atletico de Madrid too!
What do you want to talk about first?
Do you drink?
I don’t drink. I drank two glasses of wine at my wedding. And I drink two glasses of wine or champagne when my club wins a campaign. But that’s all.
Come one, you must have had something to drink during the summer –
No, no, I never drink a lot. It’s a bad prescription for a bad life. That’s what my father always told me.
But surely you’ve had some wild times. Being famous at such a young age, it gets to you. We have some grand Alters here in The Sewers who’ve experienced that.
Not me, no, I’m grounded, I’m boxed. I’m a goalkeeper.
You are truly the best goalkeeper in the world.
I know. I know how to fall. I know how to get up again. It’s my job, it’s my philosophy.
Please come again for another altersation.
Please invite me.
I thank you and congratulate you.
Is this it?
Yes. Here and now. We congratulate you here and now.
Thank you very much, it was very interesting.