Previous clubs: Atletico Nacional, Ajax.
What will you do on Christmas Day?
For me, Christmas is always a great time and a great opportunity to show my love for my family. They will probably come to visit me here in London but it’s important as well for the team because we have a lot of matches to play, one on December 26, which, if we can win, will give us an extra push for the second half of the season.
How does this differ from past Christmases for you?
I didn’t play last year – we stopped in mid-December and then we started again in January but that’s no longer where I am, I’m here at Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League and we have to play so we’ve got to make sure that we do everything we can to win these matches. There’s no saying ‘oh, it’s Christmas, I want to rest’ – this is our job, this is what we’re here to do and we have to make sure we get the results.
What is traditional at Christmas in Colombia?
We have big celebrations on December 24 and also December 31. Normally you have dinner with your family but in my case I have a foundation back home so on December 24 I’ll be sending out presents to the kids there. For all the people, on December 24, the party normally starts around 8pm and then the presents arrive at midnight. December 25 is a rest day. For me, December 31 is more of a family occasion. We get the whole family together and do the normal things – celebrate, wish everybody a Happy New Year but then get back to work and back to doing our best in our jobs.
What is your favourite festive meal?
I love a bit of everything when it comes to Colombian food – anything that my mum or my grandmother is cooking, but I need to make sure that I stay in shape as well! We’ve got a huge variety in Colombia – sancocho (soup), pavo (turkey), buñuelo (fried dough balls) and natillas (custard) for dessert.
What do you wish for at Christmas?
I wish for the team to stay together and for us to achieve great things at the end of this season. I wish a lot of success for all the players but also the coach and all the way down to the staff members as well. I hope that we keep smiling, have the ability to keep our heads in difficult times if they come up and that we have success.
What was your most memorable gift as a child?
I can’t remember any particular present above any others. For me, Christmas is all about just having the family together, there’s no present that might be grander than others. If I have to pick one, I would say a football, although I didn’t actually get my first football for Christmas – it was just the first team that I was playing for that gave me a ball and said ‘off you go’!
Check out Fernando Llorente’s answers from Monday and be sure to look out for another edition with Serge Aurier on Wednesday.