La Liga Talk recently sat down for an exclusive one-on-one interview with ESPN Deportes soccer analyst (and World Cup star) Mario Kempes to discuss El Clasico as well as his memories of playing in Spain with Valencia.
Here’s the interview:
DH: Who is the better manager? Pep Guardiola or Jose Mourinho?
MK: Mourinho has proven himself in England, Italy and Portugal, but he’s yet to be proven by the Spanish fans. Guardiola has it. He’s demonstrated it in Spain. He is likable in Spain, and it’ll be interesting to see if he goes on to a different team (in the future).
DH: If you could play on any team in the world today, who would it be?
DH: When you watch Real Madrid or Barcelona play, do they remind you of any team or country you used to play for or against?
MK: They remind me of when I used to play with Rosario Central in Argentina. That would be the closest, but it would be different because over there (in Argentina), El Clasico would be every Sunday, pretty much.
DH: What’s your favorite football stadium in Spain, and why?
MK: I played in Valencia, so it would be Mestalla.
DH: Where do you think this Barcelona team ranks among the greatest teams in the history of the beautiful game?
MK: They are the best. And they have been the best for the past four years.
DH: How has La Liga changed since he played in the league?
MK: When I used to play, I had to call my grandparents to tell them I scored a goal. Nowadays with technology, it makes it even better.
DH: What’s your greatest memory of playing against Barcelona?
MK: I remember exactly the first time I played against Barcelona at Camp Nou. In the first 15 minutes, [Barcelona] scored a goal and they were ahead. But after 90 minutes, they [still] won 1-0.
DH: How would you rate the current Argentina squad?
MK: The team has the best players right now. And they have demonstrated that when they play outside Argentina [for their club teams]. But whenever you put them together on the same field for the national team, they don’t fit together.
Editor’s note: Watch Real Madrid v Barcelona is live on ESPN Deportes on Saturday, December 10 at 4PM ET.