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“Nothing but football in your head is not good”

“Nothing but football in your head is not good”

Photographer:Fotograaf: Joey Roberts

The seven sins of footballer Twan Roex
  • Greed. During a match, you can show that you’re up to the task: coaching my defenders, giving them faith that they can play the ball back, stopping attackers. So I want to play as much as possible. When it comes to my outfit, I prefer not to have black boots. That used to be the norm, but brightly coloured shoes are much more noticeable. They make you stand out. I always wear a thermal top under my shirt, otherwise you rip your arms open on synthetic turf.
     
  • Gluttony. I eat two pieces of fruit and two to three hundred grams of vegetables a day, and I drink three litres of water. Recently I started trying to eat less meat, but as an athlete that can be difficult because it’s just easy to get your proteins for muscle recovery through meat. After a good match I’ll sometimes have a pizza or fries; there’s nothing wrong with rewarding yourself. I try to go through all the material before an exam, but it’s not always possible because of football. I’m aiming for the best marks possible, but I’m just as happy with a 6 as with an 8.
     
  • Lust. I think it’s easy to get girls as an eredivisie player, but I’m not interested. I’ve had a girlfriend for three years and it’s going well. At the moment I’m injured and whenever I struggle with that, she’s always there to cheer me up. She’s studying Health Sciences too. If there’s something I’ve missed or don’t understand, she helps me out.
     
  • Envy. I’m very level-headed, but I do get jealous of some of the guys I played with in the national under-15s. Some of them have already had their big break. Am I going to make it too? I’m really happy with my sponsors, but I can be jealous of keepers with a Nike or Adidas contract for their gloves and boots. I’d like that too.
     
  • Sloth. On my free days I can be very lazy. Sometimes we have Sundays off and in the morning I’ll go watch my old club in Gulpen or my younger brother in Aachen. Then I’ll spend the afternoon on the couch watching Netflix. Having nothing but football in your head is not good. That’s why I’m glad to be studying. I’m close, but still, if it doesn’t work out with football, at least I’ll have a degree. If football is the only thing you have and it comes to nothing, your whole world falls apart.
     
  • Wrath. I rarely get properly angry. If a trainer says something I disagree with, I swallow it. I trust his knowledge. If I make a mistake during a match, I don’t dwell on it. You have to move on. But afterwards, I do take the disappointment home with me. I’ll be irritated all day long, and my family and girlfriend bear the brunt of it.
     
  • Pride. Two years ago I had a run-in with a trainer. I felt I was better than he thought. But I was brought back down to earth with a crash. If I play well for a few weeks in a row and get confirmation from everyone, I sometimes need that. I’m quite vain. I find fashion important and always want my hair and clothes to look good. On the field, too – but once the match starts, that’s not the main thing on my mind.

Twan Roex, 20, second-year student of Health Sciences, born in Heerlen, lives in Gulpen

Trains ten to fifteen hours per week, keeper at Roda JC

Best performance: selected for the national under-15 squad. Training for a spot in the first team

Sponsored by ONEkeeper (gloves) and Umbro (boots)

This is a series about students who sport at the highest level

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