Brighton & Hove Albion defender Inigo Calderon believes he and his teammates have responsibilities that go beyond the football pitch.
The Spaniard is Albion’s longest-serving player at the club and won the Football League’s Unsung Hero of the Month award for October.
He said, “We are in a position where we can help because we are footballers and they will want to listen to us.
“There are people that are cleverer than us who should do these things, but the community listens to us more because we are footballers. We want to use our importance to our advantage and help the community.
“I feel like I should help and make a good example of myself, and if I can help someone, then I will.
“In any position in any job, you are there to serve, get better, and also to help the community. As footballers we are labelled heroes; I don’t know why, we aren’t, when I think of heroes I think of people that save lives.”
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The 33-year-old feels the game has not changed too much during his five years playing in England, but feels that clubs are more prepared going into games due to their improved infrastructure.
“I don’t there are too many differences. Every game is difficult and more complicated to win.
“If you look at the fixtures, and you do a bet, the odds won’t tell you anything. The games we think will be easy turn out to be harder and complicated.
“One difference is the teams at the top of the league are winning more games compared to previous seasons. I think the winner of the league this year will finish with more than 80 points.
“Clubs are more advanced now, with scouting and facilities and also the managers are more knowledgeable about the opposition. You can work during the week, doing research on your opponent, so maybe clubs are more tactical, not technical.”
After Albion’s unbeaten start to the season, Calderon admits he had to bide his time to secure a place in the team and is now relishing the prospect of facing Middlesbrough in a top-of-the-table clash.
“At the beginning we started really well; for me personally I found it difficult to get in the team, but that’s something that I can’t complain about.
“I knew that I just had to keep fit, be patient because my chance would come soon, and if you take your chance, then you can stay in the team. I am glad I can now help on the pitch.
“I am looking forward to Saturday. First versus second is always a great game to play in and watch.
“In the last two games we have walked away disappointed because we felt like we’d lost two points in both matches. A win on Saturday would be massive.”
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