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Tuesday, 27 February 2007


Jimmy Rice 27 February 2007
Paraguayan centre-back Ronald Huth talks to liverpoolfc.tv about settling into life in England and his surprise at joining the Reds.
Huth, Ronald

How are you settling in?

Fine, now. At first it was a bit difficult. The football at first was quite different for me, and also the day-to-day life took some getting used to. The speed of life is faster here. On the pitch, the football never seems to stop because the style of play is so much more intense than what I'm used to.

Are you living on your own?

My mum is living here in an apartment, but I'm actually staying with an English family. They can help me learn English a little bit quicker.

Have they been looking after you?

Yes! They've been doing my washing and cooking, which is brilliant.

Were you surprised by Liverpool's interest in you?

Yes, it surprised me quite a bit. Firstly because it is such a big club compared to those in South America, and secondly because Liverpool is quite a long way from Paraguay. You don't expect people to be watching you. It came as a bit of a shock. The president of the club told me Liverpool were interested, and if I'm honest I didn't believe him at first.

What did your family make of it?

They were of course very happy, but like me they couldn't believe it. They were probably more shocked than me, because they know I am so young.

When did you first speak to Rafa?

I've spoken to him a few times now. He's a fantastic manager, but there are also a lot of other great backroom staff here. Rafa went into detail about what the football was like here, how the style differed and what he expected of me. He made it clear how he wanted me to develop as a footballer as I learn my trade here in England.

Okay, describe how you felt the moment you signed on the dotted line at Liverpool?

It was a special moment. I couldn't wait to put pen to paper. As a lad growing up in Paraguay I was very aware of all the trophies Liverpool had won. I knew they were one of the biggest clubs in the world, and what I've seen since I came here has just reiterated that to me.

You're the only Paraguayan in the Premiership; how does that make you feel?

It makes me very, very proud. The thing is now, I want to work really hard to ensure I don't let anyone down. I want to pay the club back for giving me this fantastic opportunity.

Was moving to a different continent a difficult decision to make – it's quite brave for a player of just 17?

You could initially say that it was brave, but as soon as I knew of Liverpool's interest I prayed that it would all come off and I'd sign for the club. There is such a huge difference between a big club in Europe and a big club in South America. Football is on a bigger scale here in every way.

Have you been homesick yet?

There's a few little things you miss at first, but I'm that happy here, they're not worth mentioning.

ronald huth new signing

How do the facilities compare to what you've been used to?

You just can't compare the two. They're hugely different.

Have you been to any games yet, and if so, what did you think?

I've been to a few of the home games and all I was left with was a huge desire to go out there and play football.

What has Rafa told you about when you might play?

We've not talked about that just yet because my clearance to play has only just been approved. We've not talked about when I will make my debut. My immediate goal is to get into the reserves, and then if I do well there I can start to aim higher and get into the first team as soon as possible.

How does it feel to be training with world-class centre-backs like Jamie Carragher and Sami Hyypia?

I obviously have huge admiration for them, and hopefully I can pick up some of their qualities when I play and train with them.

So you're prepared to be patient?

Yes, I'm absolutely aware of the quality of all the defenders at this club. I must learn as much from them as I can, then it's just a case of waiting and working.

Which Liverpool players were you aware of before you arrived?

I knew about all of them because all the games are on TV in Paraguay. I watched Liverpool a lot.

Have any of the senior players spoken to you much so far?

I've spoken with all of them, we chat all the time. I've also trained with them – sometimes the reserves and first team train jointly. I've spoken to Bolo Zenden quite a lot, he was the first to talk to me. I've also been chatting with Momo, Fabio, Luis Garcia and Xabi Alonso.

How did you cope training with the first team – did you get booted off the ball a lot?

[Laughs] No, no. It was tough at first but I haven't had too many problems so far. The thing is, they are all so quick.

For those who haven't seen you play yet, what kind of player are you?

I don't like to talk about how I play before everyone has seen me. I prefer people to make up their own minds. So now I've got to work as hard as I can to get into a condition where I can play, and then people can decide for themselves.

Who are your heroes?

Steven Gerrard and Zinedine Zidane.

You've just been interviewed by LFC Magazine, now the official website; is all this attention something you're used to, and how are you coping with it?

All this is very different for me, but it's okay, I'm enjoying it.

Finally, you're from Paraguay but you have an Italian passport. How does that work?

My mum's dad is Italian, so that's where it comes from. However, I was born and grew up in Paraguay.

Huth, Ronald

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