Read via Sevilla Fútbol Club’s English-language website

Sergio Rico was the guest on SFCTV’s A Balón Parado on Thursday night, and the goalkeeper spoke in depth about his experiences since breaking into the first time.

The 23-year-old has made 42 appearances this season, and discussed the team’s dynamic ahead of Friday’s game against Granada.

He said: “There are great characters the team and you can see this on the pitch. The team is concentrating on solely on our objective and working to give their all in every training session and game.

The stopper commented on the importance of the support of the fans at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuan. He explained: “It’s fantastic for us, we are looking to achieve big things and we need everyone’s support.”

Sergio Rico was a Sevilla supporter growing up, and holds fond memories of going to the Sánchez-Pizjuán as a youngster. He said: “I sat in Gol Sur (South Stand) and then preferencia (the main stand). I used to go with my neighbours to all the games and we would always talk about the games travelling to and from them. I loved seeing how the goalkeepers warmed up, I’ve got great memories.”

The club has played a big part in Rico’s life, having joined the academy at the age of seven. He explained: “It’s my second family, the place where I was raised, where I’ve grown as a person and as a professional. After my parents and siblings, it’s everything.”

“I don’t think about the Zamora, I prefer to keep on focussing on helping my team in any way possible”

After bursting on to the scene in the 2014/15 season, Sergio Rico hasn’t looked back. “A year-and-a-half ago was when I felt that I was holding down my place in the first team, you realise that you’re a professional footballer from that point and you only think about what you have to do to keep improving,” he said.

“Everything has happened very quickly, three incredible seasons in which I’ve had a lot of important experiences.”

During his time in the youth ranks, he was influenced by the coach Ernesto Chao. Rico explained: “The parents who travelled with us were really pleased with him because he didn’t only show us how to be better footballers, but better people too. He taught the youngsters to always be well presented and to have good manners on the trips because we were already representing the club.”

On being in the frame to win the Trofeo Zamora (the golden glove) with 16 clean sheets to his name, Rico commented: “For me a save is like scoring a goal for a goalkeeper, its denying the forward their objective. I don’t think about the Zamora, I prefer to keep on focussing on helping my team in any way possible, with saves and if I can keep a clean sheet then that’s great.”

José Antonio Caro is a young ‘keeper who recently signed new contract with the club, and Rico expects big things from the prospect. He closed: “I’m happy for him and have sent him my congratulations, I’m sure that he will serve the club well.”

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