In 2019, FC Porto reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup. This year, Benfica reached the semi-finals of the second European handball competition. Joining the posts is the name of Alfredo Quintana.
If in 2019 the goalkeeper is one of the personalities of FC Porto, in 2022 he is Gustavo Capdeville’s personal guard and protective shield.
Oblivious to the rivalries, the Benfica goalkeeper has been playing the name of his former teammate on his back since Quintana’s death. And the addition of a T-shirt with the image of a hug between the two stamped on the chest, under the game T-shirt. A cross with the initials of Alfredo Quintana.
In this second part of the interview, Capdeville talks about the strong relationship he has with someone he considers his “brother,” and who he’d love to see shine…even when they were opponents.
If he didn’t play handball, he was told he’d be good at being a comedian. And anyone who follows the 24-year-old’s social media understands that easily. Posts with a constant tone of humor.
Even when the topic is difficult. How was the death of the grandmother a few months ago. The Benfica goalkeeper admits that playing with the illness of one of the most important people in his life was the way he found to ease her pain without even remembering his name.
Capdeville also admits he already had the possibility of a move to FC Porto, a club he (also) admires for his constant praise of Quintana, but says he wants to make a strong mark on Benfica.
Maisfutebol: He decided to honor the relationship with Alfredo Quintana by playing his name on his back since his death. Is it a way to immortalize it?
Gustavo Capdeville: I’ve always said he’s a very important person to me. He left early, and I know he’s going to walk these big stages for at least another 10 years. And that’s what I will always do: stay with us. I hope his name keeps coming up and may people keep telling his story. It will not exist physically, but will continue to appear in the wings. His name and story will continue to be told for many years to come. This is what I want to keep happening.
Michel Foucault: You once said that you owed Quintana everything.
Gustavo Capdeville: Yes no doubt. I owe a big part of who I am today to Quintana and Humberto [Gomes]to Telmo [Ferreira, treinador de guarda-redes do FC Porto e da seleção] And everyone I worked with. But Quintana is more than that. He met me when I was 18 and I was in the national team for the first time. He welcomed me very well and always helped me in everything. That’s why I say I owe you so much.
Fred: The entire Benfica team played Quintana’s name on their backs after his death. But Gustavo decided to continue to honor him. In the personal case of FC Porto, how was Benfica’s acceptance when you made this request?
Gustavo Capdeville: I asked to play in his name and there was no problem with that. I think it also shows the greatness of Benfica, which was very good in this situation. No matter if he is a Porto, Sporting or any other club. This is much more than just a sport. It is about friendship. from brother. The image he always conveyed and the player who was worth so much more than just competition. Benfica never objected, I thanked him at the time, I thank him today and I will continue to play for him for as long as possible.
Michel Foucault: After you beat FC Porto here in Luz, you posted a message to Alfredo Quintana saying “This time, you fell on me”…
Gustavo Capdeville: Yeah. Playing against FC Porto will always be different because it doesn’t exist. Going to the Dragon without his presence would not be the same. We always had a rivalry to see who would win, but he always wanted my fixers and me his own. We happened to play with each other and he wanted me to do better. Regardless of whether it is against his club. He won many times, I won in that time.
Michel Foucault: Paying homage to Quintana has made him a very admired person, even by FC Porto fans.
Gustavo Capdeville: Yeah. I can even tell you: many times on my social networks, or when I meet people from FC Porto, they tell me “I wish I was like Arya” [jogador que trocou o Benfica pelo FC Porto]. I don’t know my future, but I want to make my legacy at Benfica as Quintana did at FC Porto. Everyone loved Quintana and he was an essential part of FC Porto. And I loved doing that at Benfica. NFC Porto is a great club and I actually had the opportunity to leave for FC Porto and other clubs and didn’t want to. I wanted to continue at Benfica, I am very happy and I want to make Benfica a winning team and leave that as a brand image.
Michel Foucault: This year you lost your grandmother, one of the most important people in your life…
Gustavo Capdeville: [interrompe] This is suddenly like High Definition. It’s Daniel Oliveira… [risos]
Michel Foucault: I would say that like Quintana, she is also very present, for example on her social networks.
Gustavo Capdeville: Yeah. It’s always hard to lose someone. Alfredo was a sudden thing that really hurt me because he was like a brother and no one was waiting. My grandmother had Alzheimer’s and the disease was in a very advanced stage. She didn’t talk anymore, I relied a lot on my mother, and that was the best. Of course it was difficult, but I was more prepared for her departure than Alfredo.
Michel Foucault: Did you handle your grandmother’s death better?
Gustavo Capdeville: Yes, I did. That’s why I make a lot of jokes about her on my social media. Because we have to smile, we can’t cling to problems. We have time to think and then we have to move on. That’s what I did, I thanked her for everything she did for me, I was so happy what I went through with her, but now she’s in a better place.
Michel Foucault: In the last months of her life, she made several publications playing seriously ill. Was it to make the pain more bearable?
Gustavo Capdeville: Yeah. Because in the beginning it was very difficult. I knew what Alzheimer’s disease was, but I hadn’t dealt with it up close. And one of the most important people in my life who didn’t remember my name was so amazing to me. I tried to explain it to her with pictures and videos and even made charts for her to understand who I am. And even then, it didn’t get there. It was really hard not knowing my name, not even knowing where I was. This acceptance took some time.
Michel Foucault: And play made the situation lighter…
Gustavo Capdeville: Yes, I had to relative. Because if we hold on to that feeling of frustration and rejection of someone who doesn’t know who we are, we’ll go down a negative, unpleasant path. I did not want it and tried to show the beautiful thing to a difficult disease. Showing happiness, smiling and making jokes was the way to not get into a negativity spiral that I might not be able to get out of. You won’t remember my name anymore, and I’ll still be sad and sad, so I guess it was for the best. I tried to see the good in life in the evil.
Michel Foucault: Off the field, is Gustavo a prankster?
Gustavo Capdeville: Yes, that’s exactly what I am: a scammer who wants to make others smile. Life is about smiling and making others happy. That’s what I like to do, cheer up everyone’s days. Because we don’t know what the other person has been through and laughter can make all the difference. I would love to make that difference.