Reddit AMA: The answers from Pablo Mari

Pablo Mari spent time on Wednesday afternoon answering a wide range of questions from Arsenal fans on Reddit.

The Spanish defender was taking part in our sixth 'Ask Me Anything' session with the r/gunners subreddit, the largest community of Arsenal fans on the platform, with over 159,000 registered supporters.

Scroll down to read the questions - and find out how Pablo answered:

Pablo, what was it like to play - and do very well - against that famous Liverpool front three in the Club World Cup final?
We think we played a really good game there and we know Liverpool in that moment was maybe the best club in the world. They won everything and they won every game in the league. They are a really strong team. But we had one thing that we thought we could beat them with and that was our mentality. We had nothing to lose and everything to win so we could put this mentality in the pitch to try and win against them. But it was proved that in one action you can lose the game. But I thought we were fighting really well against them. 

Of course it was a really difficult to play against the front three because you know they are fast, they are strong and they know every player and what to do and they have really good quality. Of course it was difficult but I was focused 100 per cent in that game and I know it was a difficult game but I felt like I improved a lot in six months there playing in Flamengo so that I can play against Liverpool and these three players. My focus when I arrived in Flamengo was that we knew we would play against a club like Liverpool in this final and that if we improved a lot we could beat them.

Having already played in four countries, which one was your favourite to live in?
I like all of them because all of them are different! In Holland it is cold, it is rainy but it is really beautiful. We lived in Breda so that city was really good. It was small but really nice and the football and the atmosphere there was unbelievable. Spain... I'm not even going to talk about Spain because for us, Spain is perfect! Brazil is also a good country and an unbelievable place to live because some places are like a paradise and it is unbelievable to live there. And in football I played in stadiums like Maracana and I find it impossible to describe that feeling. Now I'm in London and we live really close to the centre but we only had three weeks to explore the city and have time to enjoy it! But I have really enjoyed every country that I have lived in so far in my career.

What was your journey into becoming a football player and what has kept you motivated to keep going?
I always think that I need to work so hard every day so I can be a better player. I have the qualities and I have the mentality and I know if I don't do it every day in every day, in every training, in every warm up and in every gym session and every time of my life to be a better then I can't take the things I have now. So my mentality was like this from when I was 10 years old and this is what I always have in my head. If I want to be a good player I have to work every day.

David Luiz recently spoke about Jorge Jesus’ influence on him as a coach. How did he help you develop your game while he was your manager?
Yes we spoke a lot about that because when I arrived in the first week at Arsenal, we talked a lot about the coach I had in Brazil. He's a coach that always stays with you for the rest of your career because not so many people can do what he does. Me and David spoke a lot about those things and it's funny because every player is the same when they have had Jorge as a coach. It was really good to have the same thing with David and it means we can have it as an understanding when we play together on the pitch.

I was in the crowd at Athens against Olympiacos when you and a few players were jogging around the pitch after the game and you came to the Arsenal fans corner and tapped the badge. It made us all love you!
Thank you so much! That feeling I felt when I went to the corner and all of the supporters were starting to shout to me was like I had started really good in the club with those fans. It gives me a lot of support to fight every day to give everything to this club and to the fans and I hope that we are going to enjoy a lot of wins together in the Emirates!

What were your first impressions of the club when you joined?
I was feeling like I am in a historical and traditional club. I already knew it's a big club because when you are young and you see the Premier League you always look at Arsenal like an unbelievable team. But you only know how big Arsenal is when you come inside. I feel like I've improved a lot in myself and can improve with this club to be a better player. So I am feeling really well when I signed the loan with Arsenal and I hope I can extend this to permanent with them because I am ready to fight together with Arsenal.

What are the main differences between Brazil and England so far?
It's a little bit different because in Brazil you have good weather all the year! For example you have rain here a little bit more but for us the life is pretty much the same. I focus 100 per cent to be ready for the games and the training and we enjoy a little bit of life to go shopping, to go to the centre of London, to go to the parks with the baby but we cannot do a lot of things because I need to be ready to train and play games!

People say losing is a part of the game, but when you're an elite sportsman, I can imagine that saying doesn't help much. How do you cope with a loss?
This is a good question! Of course football is a game and you can win, you can lose or you can draw. It's all part of the game but if you want to be a good professional and you love what you are doing, you never want to lose. But you do have to accept that it is a game and when you lose you have to learn. If I learn when I do bad, maybe next week I will do better and I will grow like a player. This is what I try to do every week in the games whether we win or we lose.

Which dishes have you enjoyed the most throughout your travels around the world?
I love the food so far! I like to eat in every country and of course every country has their traditional food. In every country I play in, I like to eat the traditional food but most of the time we have to eat the same at home because we have to eat healthy if we want to be fit to play. Most of the time I can't eat a lot of traditional things of the country because I can't eat it a lot and it's not healthy but I do like to try traditional foods when I have a day off!

How have you and your family been keeping yourselves occupied during lockdown?
First I want to say that we know it's a difficult time not only for my family but for everybody in the world. Now we are in London but we could stay in another part of the world but it would just be the same. We need to stay at home and save lives and I know it's a difficult time but we all have to do what the experts are telling us to do to stay safe. The most important thing is not our work or our passions but to focus on life. We try to enjoy all the days with our baby and play in the garden with the ball when the weather is good! We're cooking together and playing with toy animals on the floor with the baby too! We try to read books and do a lot of other things as well to enjoy a lot of hours we are spending together at the moment.

What has the transition from Brazil to England been like for you, and who has been the most welcoming?
I try to enjoy with all of the players because I don't like to have a small group in the dressing room. I speak with everybody but until now I speak more with the Spanish people and the Brazilian guys because I can also speak Portuguese so it means I can talk with them easily. But I think it's very important to speak with everybody not only one or two players in the dressing room.

What is training like in these strange circumstances?
My mentality now is that I am not on holiday. I am working at home with my wife and we workout every day. Some days I will do a double session so I work in mornings and afternoons because if we are going to return to train and restart the competition it's going to be a big difference between guys who worked a lot at home and those who didn't. These players can give more to the pitch than those who did not, so this is why you work a lot at home. I'm not on a holiday.

Who are your favourite bands?
I like a lot of bands but I don't think I have one favourite above all the others. Some of my favourite bands... maybe Queen or AC/DC. I also like some Spanish rock or pop rock and I listen to Spanish pop and English pop as well so I would say I like all music.

Who was your favourite footballer growing up?
I didn't have a favourite football player! I loved football a lot so I didn't have one favourite on his own. I love to sit and watch games on the TV so every game in the league and I like a lot of players. I never really had one favourite player

Who’s the best player you faced in your career and why?
I think this moment was the three strikers of Liverpool! Salah, Mane and Firmino. It's because of speed, intelligence and their characters. I think these things are most important and make them top players.

Before coming to Arsenal, who was the most talented player you?
I felt this with maybe four or five players. For example, in Holland with Angelino and Manu Garcia on loan with me in Breda. I was really happy to play with them because they were unbelievable players. In Flamengo we had a few incredible players, like Everton Ribeiro, Rodrigo Caio, Bruno Henrique and also Gabigol so I can say that for the last few years I played with some really top players. I think before I got to Arsenal there were three or four players who I thought had unbelievable talent like Aubameyang, Pepe, Laca and Dani but when I came here and saw my new team-mates I saw a lot more players with unbelievable talent. It's not only about the technical talent you have, it's also the tactical talent and the mental talent and character inside the pitch, but you can only really know these things when you are inside the dressing room. played alongside?

Which club did you support as a kid growing up?
I liked Valencia because it was the team that was supported where I am from, so I always supported Valencia!

How was your first day at Arsenal and what were your emotions when you signed the contract?
My feelings were that I was so happy to sign the contract with Arsenal because I think that I found a good option for me to grow as a player and a person. I know we can do it together with Arsenal.

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