Giovanni Simeone sat down for an interview with Repubblica a few days ago, and it seemed like the usual routine stuff: to beat Napoli this week, Fiorentina must believe in themselves; that he wants to score goals; that he’s humbled to have reached 50 appearances in Serie A. You know, the boilerplate platitude routine at which so many athletes excel. However, towards the end of the interview, he went a bit further off script and discussed how Buddhism and meditation keep him unruffled even in the biggest moments.
To follow up, today Violanews asked him a little more about his comments at the tail end of his previous interview, and Cholito was happy to chat, much to everyone’s delight.
“My passions? Reading, meditating, fishing. What am I reading? There’s a book I haven’t read yet that I can’t wait to get to. It’s about a monastery where they practice a rule of silence. My dream is to visit places where they cultivate the spirit. There can be silence even in the middle of crowds and the noises of the city. It’s an interior question: what helps you listen to yourself and live better even in difficult moments?”
Although that’s a lot more zen than you might expect from such an all-action, do-or-die striker, he’s not just some blissed out dude who happens to play soccer: “Fishing? A friend taught me in Argentina. After we played on Saturdays, instead of going to the club, we’d go to be early and wake up at four to go fishing.”
So yes, we do have another South American fisherman wearing purple now, but the interviewer, having gotten Simeone in the mood to open up, wasn’t done, and next asked him about his favorite music: “Jazz. It relaxes me. When I meditate, I choose zen music. And I also really like Coldplay.”
I love interviews like this, because they make footballes look like they stepped out of a Coen Brothers movie. Cholito possesses a blood-and-thunder style of play fueled by zen meditation. He’s a Buddhist whose favorite hobby is fishing. He freaking likes Coldplay. Guys, I’m starting to think that Giovanni might be a pretty weird dude.