To celebrate Hector Bellerin's 20th birthday we found out what he was like during his formative years. This School Days interview first appeared in the Galatasaray programme in October 2014.
Name of school: Escola Pia
Location: Calella, near Barcelona
Age attended: 12-16
Did you enjoy your school days?
Not really the early ones. But I remember that I enjoyed them when I got older and made new friends. Break times with friends were always fun.
What was your favourite subject (not PE/Games) at school and why?
It was history. I don’t know why but I really enjoyed it and learned a lot.
What was your least favourite subject and why?
I would say probably biology. I always had the same teacher and we didn’t really get on. I was often tired from training in biology so I would fall asleep in lessons from time to time.
Did you have a favourite teacher? If so, what made them so good?
The last teacher I had really helped me because it was difficult to combine football and school when I was at Barcelona. He was kind of like a friend.
Did any teachers in particular encourage you to be a footballer?
Not at all, it was the opposite. They told me to focus more on studying and less on football. I hope one day I can make it and go back to school!
Did any of your teachers tell you to get a ‘proper job’? If so, what did they recommend?
They used to tell me that I had to take more interest in my studies and see what career I wanted to focus on. But I always wanted to be a footballer and never thought about anything else.
How far away from school did you live and how did you get to school?
I used to walk every day, but it took about half an hour. The walks with my friends were always something to look forward to and are something you always end up remembering when you leave.
Did you wear a school uniform and, if so, what was it like?
No, in Spain you don’t really have many schools where you have one.
How often did you get detention at school? Can you remember for what?
I used to get a lot of good grades but at the same time didn’t pay much attention in some lessons. I don’t think the teachers liked that so my relationship with them wasn’t always the best!
Did you ever kiss a girl behind the bike sheds?
We didn’t have bike sheds at my school… but I used to plan to meet girls at a certain time during school hours. As I grew older, I was more focused on football.
Did you ever perform in a school play or end-of-year show?
Yeah, I used to do that a lot when I was really young. I see the pictures now and think ‘Hector, what were you thinking?’ It was compulsory to do it but it’s funny to look back at the videos.
What was your favourite ever school trip?
I didn’t have many because they used to go for a few days and I had training, so I missed out. But I remember one where I just played football all day.
Were you a member of any school clubs? (apart from the football club)
I used to play futsal and that was something I really enjoyed.
How good was your school football team?
We were really bad when we started but then some other players came along and we won the league. That was my first trophy and I was buzzing for it.
Can you tell us one thing you learned in maths that you can still remember?
I think if somebody showed me a paper with some equations, I’m confident I could do most of them.
Can you tell us one thing you learned in any other lesson that you can still remember?
Yeah, a lot of English – I could probably even challenge my teacher now!
What was your favourite sport at school apart from football?
I was really good at handball. I was a kid that liked every sport but we played handball for a few years.
Who was your best friend at school?
I never had one best friend but in my last year, I met this guy who was the funniest person I ever met. I remember crying with laughter in every single lesson.
When you left your school for the last time were you happy, sad? And why?
I knew I was coming to Arsenal so I was pretty happy. But it was sad to say goodbye to friends and teachers. It was too crazy because I had school for the whole day and then I trained. I was ready for the next chapter in my life when I left.
When was the last time you went back to your school?
Last year, because some of my friends were still there doing a degree that you can take after school. I went there as well because I wanted my English teacher to be proud of me!
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