The singer (and boyfriend of Anna Kournikova) on the lure of the beautiful game
Posted: Friday September 28, 2007 11:41AM; Updated: Monday October 1, 2007 5:22PM
Diego Maradona was one of my idols. He was always the man to me. Do you remember the 1986 World Cup? Forget about the 'Hand of God' goal. What about the second goal? You could not deny that this dude was the best. I think he's the best player in the history of soccer. I met him once in a restaurant in Buenos Aires, and he once came to one of my concerts with his wife and kids. Last year I did a TV show with him. Maradona was the guy I always wanted to meet. The first time I met him I was like, "Oh, my God, I can't believe I'm actually sitting down in a restaurant talking to him." Soccer is my favorite sport to watch, definitely. I also love going to Miami Heat games. It was a tough year, though. D-Wade got hurt, and there is no way the Heat can win without Dwayne Wade. I follow them on a daily basis and if I am in Miami I will always try to go to a game. A friend of mine is the doctor for the Miami Heat, Dr. Harlan Selesnick. So I always get to sit with him.
If I could trade places with one athlete today, it would have to be Ronaldinho. He's so charismatic and Brazilian people have that charm. For me, the only thing that sucks about soccer is that the World Cup happens once every four years. To me, that's when you see the true talent from each country. It is by far the thing I enjoy watching the most. The best sporting event I've ever been to was the 1982 World Cup. I was six. I remember Paolo Rossi scoring two or three goals. Italy always has one of those players that just stood out at a World Cup. Remember Salvatore Schillaci? The guy who blew everybody away last year and has blown everybody away for a million years was Zinedine Zidane. He proved he was the best player in the world at the World Cup but since America doesn't watch soccer very much, he's now he's going to be known here as the guy who head-butted another guy.
I have to say I respect athletes immensely. When you are in the music world you can start whenever, like 18, 19, or 20 years old. But if you want to be an athlete, you have to start young. There is so much dedication, so many hours, mentally and physically. Sometimes you mind wants it so much but your body cannot handle it. Anna [Kournikova] took to me the place where she was brought up in Russia and if you see the house she lived in, you can open up your arms and touch it wall to wall. Out of there, she played every single day of her life for eight hours since she was 5 years old.. To me she is the most amazing person I have ever met. She played for 15 years or more before she kind of stopped playing. There are critics who say why stop playing when you are 22. Look at Kim Clijsters, for example. But I get it. It's normal that you are tired and don't want to do it.
Enrique Iglesias' latest album is "Insomniac."