Josep Pedrerol (Barcelona, 1965) has just said goodbye to one of the most intense summers in the world of football in recent years. “Messi has spoiled my holidays again,” laughs the presenter as he begins his conversation with ECOTEUVE.ES , in which, as in El chiringuito and Jugones , he starts at a dizzying pace answering each of the questions. The journalist says he is “happy” with what he does every day. And it shows in his words. And it transmits it on screen. “I do not want to win an Ondas, but the daily prize of the people. And we have that prize,” he says.
The work of his team – “they are the best” – translates into indisputable data. Jugones is on track to add 35 consecutive months as leader (in August it equaled its monthly maximum, a 6.4% share) in the after-dinner of La Sexta, while, at night, no gathering overshadowed El chiringuito . “Audiences support a way of working and give you the freedom to continue,” says the journalist whose success is also beginning to show on Twitch.
The presenter answers everything: what was true about his resignation, the criticisms of those who say he is a Florentino Pérez puppet (he also talks about the audios), responds to Gerard Piqué, talks about the Onda Cero offer … Josep Pedrerol knows that it is due to his people and that he has to constantly reset so that the project remains alive. For this reason, he advances that “the set is going to be expanded so that the public returns” to the program and gives clues about the two new signings of the gathering.
He has once again had to suspend holidays for another year. Can’t have a quiet summer?
Messi has spoiled my vacation for two years in a row (laughs), last time for the burofax and this time, for his goodbye. But we like what we do and Messi’s departure has been the most important news in recent years and El chiringuito had to be there. It had to be done and I think we did it well.
The chiringuito did not stop in July or August because it wanted to sign Mbappé for Real Madrid, something that finally did not happen. Did you feel some frustration? Angry maybe?
The feeling that I had at the end is the satisfaction of having told minute by minute what was happening: the offer that Madrid raised, the emir’s non-response, Madrid’s subsequent response … You are frustrated by knowing that Spanish football is faces very powerful clubs. It is a reality that must be assumed.
What is left of all this?
I would prefer that a club like Real Madrid, which belongs to the members, has stood up to a whole PSG, and that a player puts his dream of wanting to play for Madrid above money. Despite not being the richest clubs in the world, Madrid and Barça continue to have a fantastic power of conviction.
Are you much haunted by the videos of Florentino and his famous ‘quiet’ by Mbappé and the ticking due to the countdown to the closing of the market?
Yes. The tic-tac has crossed borders, in France it has been crazy and even in any part of the world. When an expression crosses the screen and is part of people’s daily lives, it means that we are doing something right. The proximity of El chiringuito is shown in this kind of thing. It was an expression that occurred to me one day in Jugones. The tic-tac will return in January, and until Mbappé signs for Madrid. Florentino’s ‘quiet’ was spectacular.
Was it difficult for you to convince Florentino Pérez to explain the Super League theme on the set ?
It was a moment in which I think it had to be explained and El chiringuito has a very important international repercussion. It was a way of sending a message to the world of ‘we are working in the Super League and we want to talk to UEFA’. It was not a ‘we want to break with UEFA’. There were clubs that had created the Super League and that are still there, because the striking thing is that no one has left the Super League. Now it is in a stand-by point with things to improve.
What did you feel the day when it became official that Leo Messi was leaving Barça?
Sadness and grief. That Messi leaves Barça is bad news. I have enjoyed a lot with him, I think we have all enjoyed with Messi. If you haven’t, you don’t like football. It is the biggest thing we have seen in Spain. It is true that 60 million net you cannot pay it to any footballer in our country, and in the world either. Barça has thrown the house out the window and has managed the issue of the salary bill very badly and thus is in a situation as dramatic as it is. Messi’s departure hurt me and when I saw him wearing the PSG shirt it hurt even more, because he should have finished his career at Barça.
How do you see LaLiga, by the way? Do you see more teams beyond Madrid, Barça and Atleti in the fight?
This year we are going to put Valencia in the fight, at least, to enter the Champions League. He has a coach [José Bordalás] who has caste and who is going to bring out the best in the players. Then Atlético has a spectacular squad; Ancelotti has awakened many players in Madrid and is managing Vinicius well. And Barça is more delicate because it has a problem, with Braithwaite’s injury, even more so. Memphis is a guy who is showing personality, and then we all want Ansu Fati to return.
The soap opera of Messi and Ramos led to another more purely television: his resignation. Was it really a real possibility or was it part of the show?
No, people may think it’s a show, but I decided to leave El chiringuito y Jugones . I even spoke with the house, with the management of Atresmedia. But there were two things that made me see that it was worth continuing: the affection of the people, which was tremendous with letters that reached the heart, and then the desire of the enemies for me to leave.
He surprised me when he said that in those days he realized “that there are people who love you badly.” What was going through your head in those moments?
It was a way of speaking. Professional haters are everywhere, so it doesn’t bother me much either.
What do you respond to those who say that you are a ‘Florentine puppet’ or that the show sells smoke?
I do not answer. It’s just that I don’t waste a minute on that. I usually stay away from toxic people. I’m not interested.
Gerard Piqué thinks that ” El chiringuito does not do journalism” and that “it is only a show.” What do you think?
Journalists are badly used to it. Can I say that Piqué is horrible and he can’t say that the program we do is horrible? Why not? If we are in the age of social networks. I celebrate that. That that the journalist was in a pulpit, that he spoke and nobody could answer him, it is over. For Piqué to say that he doesn’t like our program seems fantastic to me as long as there is respect.
Yes of course! If you want to give us birth, that’s fine with me. I also say if I like how he plays or not. This is back and forth, the pulpit is over, the journalist is untouchable, he can criticize but no one can cough him. Here I can criticize his game and Piqué can criticize El chiringuito , of course. It seems most natural to me. Ahead.
Do you think El chiringuito is, right now, an easy target for criticism? Does it hurt to give exclusives?
Surely some are upset, but we do not make a program for colleagues, but for people. The most beautiful thing when you do a television program is to feel that what you are saying comes. I believe that El chiringuito has achieved something very important and it is a closeness to the spectators and that when we do a poll there are 170,000 votes. I don’t want to win an Ondas Award, no. I want the daily prize of the people, and we have that prize. And we notice it every day. It’s a wonderful program for that. I don’t know which programs can get the complicity that El chiringuito gets , but it is surely very difficult. The audience loves us for who we are, that’s it.
Do you feel that you have a very loyal audience and that it follows you wherever you go as happened with García in his day? Do you feel like the king of the early mornings?
No, I don’t feel anything. I am lucky to do what I like and that people follow us. We started in Intereconomía, we went to Nitro, then to La Sexta, then to Neox and, finally, we ended up in Mega. People have followed us and we have joined, more and more, on five different channels. On the other hand, our social networks are the demonstration that we have people who follow us and, above all, the most striking thing is that we are leaders among young people who, at this time, do not watch television. I find it surprising and fantastic.
Florentino audios. Sandra Díaz explained in her day that “no conversation that is part of the private sphere” was going to be broadcast and that the subject would not be discussed. Wasn’t it newsworthy?
From what I understand few televisions gave it. We understood that a private conversation cannot be broadcast. We also respect those who consider that a private conversation should be made public. And I think not.
He has promised two signings for El chiringuito . Will they be galactic? What clues can you give me?
[He thinks about it] He’s a journalist and a former footballer.
The public has returned to the stadiums, but when will it return to the stands of El chiringuito ?
We’re on that. What happens is that the set allowed only twelve spectators and due to the safety distance only six would come. We are trying to expand the set so that the public can return and so more people can fit. I hope that in a short time we can do it.
Jugones and El chiringuito are audience leaders. Do you think this is the best moment of your career?
I do not know. In the end, what audiences do is support a way of working, let’s say that a good piece of information gives you the freedom to continue working. I am happy with what I do and I am happy because I feel that I work with the best and I am going to work happier than ever. For me, success is that. I am in the best moment because I am happier than ever working. And I’m very excited about the new communication, with Twitch and YouTube. El chiringuito is a program that lasts 24 hours, adapted to the times and has understood from the beginning that communication is beyond the degree of Journalism at the university. Communication is the journalist of El chiringuito, of the ex-footballer, and is in Ibai Llanos, El Rubius or Auronplay as well. What I am passionate about now is being at the pace set by technology.
To what extent does it bother you that youtubers have relative ease when interviewing footballers? Have they lost trust in journalists?
But why is Twitch so important? Because people like Ibai or Auronplay have made this platform great and we want to be there as well, taking advantage of the pull of these streamers. They seem fantastic to me, they are natural communicators who reach an audience that previously had no references. What I do is admire what they do, I do not say copy them, but learn from them too. Here we have to learn from everyone, none of us are the smartest in the neighborhood, no. The beach barAt the time it was highly criticized because we were something else. They said ‘this is not journalism’. There are many people who dedicate themselves to working little and criticizing a lot. I like to observe and work. It is not by chance that Ibai gives the Chimes and is seen by 500,000 people. These people are very good. They are not a problem, they are new times.
His name sounded to replace José Ramón de la Morena in Onda Cero. What is true in all this?
I understood that it was not the time to do radio. I appreciate the affection, but it was incompatible to be in Jugones, El chiringuito and Onda Cero at the same time. I like to do everything 100% and win, win and win, as Luis Aragonés would say. You cannot be in everything and control everything, the priority is El chiringuito y Jugones .
In spring he tried Mask Singer . What will be next? ¿ MasterChef ?
[Laughs] It’s amazing. Older ladies stop me on the street and tell me ‘you’re the one from Mask Singer .’ I am the Mask Singer for many people and surely they have not seen El chiringuito. The chain convinced me and it was easy, but I’m not up to these things either. I already did something, that’s fine now. I’m not going to dedicate myself to doing the show every day [laughs].
He told Ibai Llanos that he was preparing a fiction series. Can you give me more details?
I am very excited. We have made the pilot and it is a story linked to football. Use this sport as an excuse to talk about the social reality of young people. It is a project for Atresmedia.