Spanish football referee Eduardo Prieto Iglesias is one of the two new match officials who who got promoted to the highest league in Spain.
Thanks to Spanish blog Árbitros de Fútbol we can get to know him much better. The author gave me permission to translate it. You can read the (full) interview with Prieto Iglesias in Spanish here.
How did you hear of your promotion and what was your first thought?
“It was a phone call from Vice President of CTA, José María Enriquez Negreira. I’ll never forget.
It was an indescribable feeling and my first thoughts were with my family.”
And the first three people I called to notify?
“My first call was to my parents and brother who were home, my girlfriend’s second and third to Alberto Undiano.”
Eduardo Prieto started officially refereeing at the age of 16. At some point he must have thought that he could reach the professional level. What was the turning point in your career?
It was the jump from the third division to Second Division B. That’s a very important move. It’s also when referees get the opportunity to work with fourth officials, like in the Segunda and Primera Division. You see the professional world coming closer, it means an extra motivation at mental level.”
That promotion must lead to a change of physical effort. How many kilos you weighed about your promotion to 2nd B and many weigh now?
“I am currently between 70-71 kilos and at the time of promotion to 2nd B would weigh in around 78 kilos, enough to have to change my wardrobe.”
“In the weeks that I have no matches there are six days of training: two days in the gym, two days with series on a running track and two days of continuous running off track. The weeks that we have appointments I have four days of training: a day of gym, one day series in track and two days of continuous running off track.”
Eduardo Prieto was already a fourth official on the highest level. His best memory? “The day I made my debut as a fourth official in the First Division. It was with FC Barcelona versus Real Madrid and my partner Alberto Undiano arbitrated. The confidence shown by Albert and allowing CTA (referee association, JtH) to debut in a match of that entity was awesome and I will be always grateful for that.”
To reach the top of arbitration requires a major effort and personal sacrifice, I think. Did you ever think at some point that the level of demand could be as high?
“Yes, listening to my friend Alberto Undiano’s experiences will give you an idea how demanding it will become. But it is also true that when you get to experience it in person, it is even more demanding than it looked. All vacation days that I have in the company, which are about 26 working days per year, are entirely used for traveling to a match and physical training. The truth is that I have no time to enjoy and relax.”
Do you see a possible future as international referee?
“It would be a dream, but I think it is important to go slowly to set short-term goals.”