Exclusive - Pedro Matias Interview
Pedro, Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to speak to us at Vital Walsall...
1) You started your career at Real Madrid! Not many people start their careers at one of Europe's biggest clubs.
What was it like pulling on the famous white shirt and are there any famous names that you played alongside?
Playing for Real Madrid was a dream come true for me. I learned everything about football but I also learned a lot of things which helped me in my personal life. The biggest two names I played alongside were Raul and Guti, but the most influential person for me was Rafa Benitez who was my manager for three years.
2) Following your exit from Real Madrid you went to Almeria and Logrones before making the switch to England, to join Macclesfield Town.
Did you find it difficult to get use to the English game?
Well at first it was a very difficult time for me I did not speak a word of English. I was alone, living with a lovely family of Macclesfield supporters (The Mulligans).
My international clearance took nearly a month to arrive, But I fell in love with the English game at first sight. Footballing wise my six years in England were the best years of my career.
3) After Macclesfield and a short spell at Tranmere, you arrived at Walsall FC.
What were your first impressions of manager Ray Graydon and Walsall FC as a whole?
I was not playing regular at Tranmere, Ray Graydon and Paul Taylor gave me the chance to try my luck at Walsall. I felt welcome from the very first moment on and off the pitch. Everybody surrounding the club-players, manager, staff and supporters made me feel at home and that was very important to me.
4) In your first season at the club, Walsall were relegated from The Championship (then Division 1), how difficult was the start to your Walsall career?
My first season was very intense and we fought against much bigger clubs until the very last day, but the second season…. I will never forget the atmosphere in the Play-Off final at the Millenium…without a doubt the best game of my life.
5) You will always be a Walsall legend!
The one thing that many Walsall fans will remember you for is your formidable partnership with Zigor Aranalde.
Do you still keep in contact with Zigor or any of the other players
Thank You, Yes I keep in contact with Zigor and Jorge.
For me it was a great pleasure to play with both of them but also I enjoyed playing alongside Wracky, Wacka and Dean Keates.
I´ve got great memories with them all.
6) What were the differences between Ray Graydon and Colin Lee's approach to management?
For me Ray was the manager, I will always be grateful with him because he gave me the chance and the confidence to play for Walsall. I would love to say thanks to Paul Taylor too.
Ray Knew exactly how to speak to you and to get 100% out of every player.
Colin was a bit less passionate but more of a tactical manager.
7) After 5 years at Walsall, you moved to Bristol Rovers.
How difficult was it to leave Walsall?
Leaving Walsall was the most difficult moment in my career.
When I left the club I was very sad and something in my head told me that my time in England was close to ending.
8) Do you still look out for our results?
What do you make of our start this season?
Of course I keep following the club. I know there has been some very difficult moments over the last few years, but i´m sure Walsall will recover it´s place in English football.
Keep doing a good job and continue to support the players-as you all normally do.
9) At the youthful age of 38, Are you still playing football and who for?
I just retired from football last season and now i´m starting with my new role connected with football. Im Director of Football for Leganes, a club who is currently playing in Spanish second division "B'
10) What are your most memorable moments and memories from your time at Walsall FC?
Without a doubt the Play-Off final.
It was an unforgettable day for everybody at the club, Every so often I watch it at home with friends on video.
What a day !!!
Finally Pedro, is there anything you want to say to the Walsall Fans?
Sadly I did not have the chance to say thanks for your support on the pitch. That is a thing I will change.Im planning to travel to Walsall to watch a game and if I got the chance, say a big thank you for all your support, over the years. That is my wish. I hope that day cames soon.
Thank you so much for taking the time out to speak to Vital Walsall and I hope to see you back at Walsall soon, its been too long!
Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.