Fabricio Coloccini has shown some previously hidden depths in his latest interview.
The Argentine defender had real highs and lows when at St James Park as a player.
Relegated in his first season, promoted in his second, then fifth place and in the PFA Premier League team of the season for 2011/12, only to then spend the remaining years at St James Park with declining form and repeated attempts to jump ship as the team repeatedly fought relegation.
As Captain, leadership was almost non-existent and Coloccini seemingly having no positive impact as the team slid into the Championship and the Argentine international returned home to San Lorenzo.
If you wondered what Coloccini got up to in his spare time, then this illuminating interview for Goal is intriguing.
The former Newcastle Captain saying he takes a keen interest in politics and past conflicts such as the Cuban revolution and the second world war.
Coloccini says that he often used to chat about the Falklands War with one of Newcastle United’s security officers who served in that conflict as part of the British Army,
The now San Lorenzo player saying he has also visited Nazi concentration camps and Cuba, where he retraced the steps of Che Guevara.
Fabricio Coloccini speaking to Goal:
‘You spent many years living in England while playing at Newcastle. While you were there, Cristina Kirchner (Former President of Argentina) went to the UN and spoke of the sovereignty of the Falklands. How do you feel about that topic?’
“I followed the issue closely. I was in England and I have to respect that. Even some jokes were made around me that obviated the subject.
“I consider myself very patriotic and, honestly, it bothered me a little. Anyway, there are many there who have no idea about the issue. But I found some amazing things on that subject.”
“A Newcastle United security officer was a soldier in the Falklands War. He was English, he fought for the British and we talked about it. As I liked the subject, I brought pictures and a lot of material, so we got together to chat.
“I showed him the weapons used and the clothes. He said: ‘Honestly, we pitied them for how they had to fight. They were very young, they had no weapons, they were hungry, they were cold. Unlike us – we had the newest weapons around.’
That to me was amazing because I had read about it many times, but here was someone who had actually lived it.”
‘When did you become interested in World War II?’
“With the national team I visited some Nazi concentration camps. That called the war to my attention. You start to investigate it a bit because there are things you cannot believe. For instance, they made soaps out of fat from people, it’s horrifying how humans can commit these barbarities.
“We were in Germany and we recently went to another concentration camp in the same country. We were in Prague and went to Terezin, another concentration camp.”
‘Where did you first see the face of Che Guevara?’
“Once I received some socks with the image of Che. I said, “That’s great, but who is this?”. Then I began to see what and why he fought. So I got into to Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution.
“I travelled to Cuba with two friends who also liked it. There we were, in Havana, and we rented a car and went down to the south of the island. We went where the Granma (the ship that transported fighters from Mexico to Cuba) arrived, we walked around where Fidel had commanded. It was a beautiful experience.
“We got to see where they were standing, which is more urbanised today, but at that time there was nothing. I found it amazing what you had to live with the obstacles the terrain and climate brought, and yet they succeeded.”
‘How many of those things influence you as a player?’
“It’s more personal than anything. It points out what you want to follow: ideals. You might like one thing better than another. I always say I like the leftist system, which is great, but you have to be very brave to follow that idea.
“We always have ambitions, above all in football, where there are massive contracts and you see beautiful, imported cars. You have to stay out of that, because in life you find beauty in the small things. You can go around in a nice car, but you should never lose sight of how important a friend’s embrace is.”