Maqueda: “It’s important to keep in shape for when the moment to go back arrives”
Jorge Maqueda is in his second season with Hungarian club MOL-Pick Szeged, and the last before he leaves for Veszprém next summer.
Until now, it has been a very good season for the Spaniard, who was crowned European champion at the EHF EURO 2020 and elected the best right back of the championship.
With Szeged, he fought for the top positions in VELUX EHF Champions League group A and reached the Last 16. HC Vardar will be their opponents to fight for the place in the quarter-finals.
ehfCL.com caught up with Maqueda to find out how he is spending the days of confinement at home.
ehfCL.com: First of all, how are you?
Jorge Maqueda: “Fortunately and for the moment, my family and I are well. But a lot still remains and it’s very important that everybody follow the instructions of the authorities.”
ehfCL.com: You are in Hungary with your wife. Your home country Spain is one of the countries most affected by COVID-19. How do you handle this situation?
Jorge Maqueda: “It’s hard to live this from outside and from a distance. Our families are far and we can’t feel the closeness as if we are in the same city. In Hungary, the measures are not the same as in Spain, where they are stronger and more restrictive. It’s difficult when you see news of how it is going on TV.”
ehfCL.com: Are you one of those who has increased their internet consumption over these days of confinement?
Jorge Maqueda: “No, I’m not! Unlike everybody, I’m not watching Netflix or films. Every day, my wife and I are doing sport – what you can at home. It’s important to keep in shape for when the moment to go back arrives. Also, we use the time for cooking and studying more, because now we have more free time. And we started to make puzzles. We’ve found a new passion!”
ehfCL.com: This Thursday will mark two months since you took the EURO title in Stockholm. Have you watched the final again?
Jorge Maqueda: “Two months, and it seems it was centuries ago! Yes, I’m watching some handball these days and on the EHF EURO channels I saw you can watch the final against Croatia again. Also, we watched some matches on the Spanish television, like the final of the Champions League between Ciudad Real and Kiel in 2009.”
ehfCL.com: Are you following a home training plan?
Jorge Maqueda: “The club made the decision to take precautions and measures – some more restrictive than the country itself. Every week, they send us the plan to follow.”
ehfCL.com: Your wife is Macarena Aguilar, a former player for Spain also. We have seen how you train together on social media. You are lucky to have someone to do the exercises with!
Jorge Maqueda: “I’m fortunate to have someone to do sports with. It’s an extra and very high motivation. If you’re a little lazy or something one day, you have someone who encourages you, and vice versa. And with Macarena, I can do passes to not stunt the shoulder. She is asking me to start with one-against-one. We will see the next days.”
ehfCL.com: The next step for Szeged in the Champions League would be the Last 16 against Vardar. Are you thinking about these matches?
Jorge Maqueda: “Not really. With this situation, the last thing you have in mind is the matches. We are all thinking of beating coronavirus and everybody being healthy. Of course, you think about when we can go back to trainings, but competition is now on a second level.”
ehfCL.com: It has been a good season for Szeged and for you individually. Do you think this lockdown situation can affect you?
Jorge Maqueda: “Yes, it had been a good season for Pick Szeged and for me. I think it will have an effect on all teams. We need daily and constant training. You do exercises at home, but it’s not the same as being on the court and competing. We’ll need some time to be back at 100 per cent.”
ehfCL.com: You mentioned you love cooking and we can see that on your Instagram. What is your speciality? Do you cook Hungarian food as well?
Jorge Maqueda: “We cook lots of different dishes, but I think my specialty is still the ‘tortilla de patatas’ (Spanish omelette). I didn’t try any Hungarian food yet, but I would like to do goulash, the typical soup here.”Author: Laia Coll / cg