Ike Opara recently returned from Europe after training with Team Generation adidas in Madrid. Opara and the GAs went 3-0 with wins against reserve teams from Real Madrid, Rayo Vallecano and Atlético Madrid.
SJEarthquakes.com caught up with the central defender to talk about his roommate, sightseeing and his José Mourinho impression.
SJEarthquakes.com: Who was your roommate on this trip?
Ike Opara: Stefan Frei (Toronto FC goalkeeper)
SJEQ: Tell us one thing out of the ordinary that you have learned about your roommate.
Ike: He builds computers as a hobby, which was interesting, and he is a really good paint artist.
SJEQ: What was it like stepping into the Bernabeu in Madrid?
Ike: It was cool getting a tour and learning the history of Bernabeu. Also, catching a couple of games was an awesome thing to experience as well.
SJEQ: What is the craziest thing you ate on the trip?
Ike: I Kept it pretty much standard on what I ate. I did have some new dishes, but nothing wild at all.
SJEQ: If you had time to go sightseeing at all, where did you go?
Ike: I roamed Madrid and saw some interesting sculptures, buildings, shops, restaurants, etc. I also visited Toledo, which I heard was the old capital of Spain. I'm not sure if that is true (it is - nice job, Ike!) and I am too lazy to look it up on online so I am going by word of mouth on that one. Toledo was probably the coolest place I have been to in a while. It is very unique and I would suggest anyone who goes to Spain check it out.
SJEQ: Who did you hang out with most on the trip?
Ike: I hung out with the three Chicago Fire “boys” the most (Corben Bone aka Jason Bourne, Baggio Husidic and Sean Johnson aka Miguel).
SJEQ: Where does Madrid rank in cities you have visited?
Ike: It ranks up there for sure. It would have been higher if it wasn’t cold a majority of the trip. However, I would say it ranks just below Durham, NC…I hear that place is a fortress.
SJEQ: Explain what it felt like to go 3-0 on this trip against the quality clubs you guys beat.
Ike: It was a good feeling winning all three games. We only practiced twice before our first game so there was not too much time to get on the same page, but we really came together well and accomplished a common goal. Our performances in these games were just as important as the results; we played really well throughout the trip.
SJEQ: Describe your Jose Mourinho impression. How long have you been working on it and how would you rate your performance in the Madrid Blog No. 8 video hosted by Sean Johnson?
Ike: Sean and I were just messing around, having some fun. Earlier in the day we were being ridiculous by randomly imitating Sir Mourinho and then we decided to just get a few clips on the flip cam. Unfortunately they left off Sean’s performance, but it was a good time.