Miguel Quintana is one of the main names from the sports journalist generation that has been born in the era of the new platforms such as YouTube.
He actually began his professional career and gained national relevance in Spain through his own YouTube channel, Diary of a sports journalist, where he created a big community and became one of the main referents as LaLiga content creator. Furthermore, he also had an important role as the manager of the YouTube show Mister Underdog.
Now Miguel has earned a spot in the national media. He currently runs the radio show La Pizarra de Quintana and participates at El Marcador, both shows at Radio Marca, and then presents El post de DAZN at the end of each LaLiga fixture.
No doubt that he is a great example of a sports journalist that has made himself a name on the new platforms and a close person who takes care of not getting too far away from the new trends and tries to keep himself connected to the work from the new generations that are coming up.
Regarding to his abilities as a communicator, he does not hesitate to stand out his capacity to connect facts on his analysis, which is something that he proves to be good at during this interview to ELXIIDEAL.
Do you think that that capacity of starting working by yourself is today the most common way for a sports journalist to establish himself in the industry?
Miguel Quintana: My goal was never to get a job in the traditional media. My goal was to make a living out of sports journalist, but I did not really care about the where and how. Now the Internet allows us to use new channels where we can create communities and make a living out of that, as it was my case.
However, I want to point out that most part of my community came from my previous time at Ecos del Balón. It has not been a path that I have walked by myself. There has been a lot of people who have worked to achieve their goals, but also to help me out achieve mines.
What differences do you see between the new platforms’ journalist and the traditional media’s?
Miguel Quintana: I see way less differences than most people. Journalist is journalist anywhere. Of course there can be a different tone and ways of doing it, but this kind of revolution has also taken place at the traditional media. For example, José Ramón de la Morena represents a stylish revolution in the same media. I believe that this is more of a generational topic.
Most of the time people want to present this as a battle of the good against the evil, of new and old, and I do not agree with this perspective. I believe that there is good and bad journalist. I think that there is more journalist and less journalist. People can like many different things, but I am the same journalist nevertheless the format.
Do you see the new platforms as competitors or complements for the new media?
Miguel Quintana: They are competitors because leisure, entertainment and informative time are finite. However, they are also complements because I believe that the traditional media must also use the new tools daily.
In the end, journalists talk about our own battles, but people do not really care about them. People want to have a great time, inform themselves, many also want you to tell them that they are right, but then they do not really care about the formats. Those are very low productive internal battles that only belong to us. We have to think more on them and less on us.
Will your YouTube channel return at some point? You have said in other interviews that, despite it provided you with great moments, it also made you to go through tough ones
Miguel Quintana: Yes, it could certainly return in the future. I love to work with people. I was my own boss on YouTube and that is not as easy as it seems.
I always say that my biggest privilege is to say no. That is the most important thing in life. If I want to return to YouTube in the future, I will be able to, as I can afford that financially. Independence in life is most of the time financial, as in the end you have to be able to pay the bills.
“My biggest privilege is to be able to say no”
What do you think of the current journalism degree?
Miguel Quintana: I quit it in my junior year. I had a great experience at college, but I did not learn too much. In the end, I always search to get better in my job and I couldn’t find that purpose at college. In fact, they wore away my motivation. I just di not sense that I got better as a professional in the real world. If I started again, I would also drop it again.
You have told many times the story of you signing the mortgage and then being noticed that a project that you already counted on was cancelled. You never wanted to tell what it was about up to this point, but is it the right time now?
I can give you more details. It was going to be a morning TV show about LaLiga and my partner Alberto Edjogo was going to be by my side. I felt a lot of confidence on this, but it got cancelled in the last minute due to a matter of numbers.
However, they did it too late for my forecast, as they noticed me two hours after signing my mortgage. Then I had the bid to join the radio, but if I had not had that, i would have had to return to my YouTube channel and I just did not feel in the mood to by then.
Do you think that the new platforms such as YouTube and Twitch are the ideal showcase for the new journalists?
Miguel Quintana: They are the showcase. I would actually invest my time and money on them rather than on a master’s degree. Journalist is a very tough job. There are very few positions with not the best conditions and it looks like getting there is a success but then you realize that it might not be enough. As a result, anything that can give you some independence, specially financially, and having your own community supporting you, is key.
“I would first invest my time and money on a YouTube/Twitch channel than on a master’s degree”
Why you do not say which team do you root for? Do you think that it is better if people do not know which team a sports journalist supports?
Miguel Quintana: I do not see it as a must-do to reveal your team. I just do not like it when people doubt of my honesty. I do not care if they hesitate on my football knowledge, my way of communicating… But it really affects me when they judge my honesty. Normally, when someone criticizes you, they do not do it to what you say, but instead to why they think you say it.
“It hurst me when people doubt of my honesty”
So if that already happens without saying which team you support, imagine if you did. When I watch games I do it as a journalist, and that results in not positioning for any part involved. I must be respectful to my listeners regarding to honesty.
What do you think that stands you out as a communicator?
Miguel Quintana: I think that I am good at connecting facts and explain them to people, which is the basics of journalist. I I also think that i am good at making journalist that does not bore people. You can always inform entertainingly and I always try to do that.
Collaborator that you would like to sign for La Pizarra de Quintana
Miguel Quintana: I miss someone who can’t currently be by my side due to different media groups, who is Pepe Brasin. I like him because he makes you think and takes you out of the box, which is something that we really chase at La Pizarra. It is not bad at all to change your mind.
How does someone feel knowing that he has inspired a new generation of journalists? Do you believe in the new generations
Miguel Quintana: First of all, I feel embarrassed. I do not think is that much. On the other hand, I should probably tell you that that adds me some extra responsibility, but it certainly does not because I already take care of my job.
I am afraid of not disappointing to myself and I think that that is the best way to make sure that I do not disappoint the ones that follow me. That is why I say that working by yourself is very tough, because you really need constancy and discipline towards yourself.
I believe a lot in the new generations. In fact, I make sure to not missing on the new tredns in order to not become prejudiced. That is why I try to stay updated and come to interviews like this one in order to get to know you.
Let’s talk about football. Barça are set to win LaLiga title after three years of drought in this competition and in a context of rebuild of their roster with the arrival of an unexperienced Xavi in the elite benches and a difficult financial situation in the club. How do you grade their season? Do you think that winning LaLiga is enough to consider it a good season?
Miguel Quintana: Winning LaLiga results in a good season, even though they failed in Europe. I would grade them with a B.
Will it be remembered as LaLiga that they won by 1-0 in too many games?
Miguel Quintana: There are different ways of winning 1-0. Many times, Barça do not look to win 1-0, but that score is just a consequence of not being able to do certain things. Winning LaLiga this year was a requirement for Barça and they have pulled it off.
However, I also believe that they needed to get further in the Champions League. Sometimes I sense some lack of self-criticism at Barça. You much demand from such a club to not be knocked out from the group stage for two consecutive years and so then in the first round of the Europa League. Yes indeed, they have had a good season overall.
“Sometimes I sense some lack of self-criticism at Barça”
What would it mean for Barça a return of Messi? Would it be a step forward or backwards?
Miguel Quintana: It would not be neither a step forward nor backwards, it would just be a to pay a debt. I have no idea how would it turn out to be. I also think that sometimes in journalism it is important to say “I do not know”.
What I certainly believe is that Barça would never sing Messi back if there was not an emotional factor. He has done an outstanding World Cup and a good season, but he is not the player that fits in the best in this team and in this context, which is why I am very curious about seeing how Xavi creates a new Barça with Messi back.
“The return of Messi to Barça would be to pay a debt”
For example, I see some incompatibility between Messi and Lewandowski in several aspects (pressure, work ethic, central area…). Furthermore, multiple players must leave in order for Messi to return. And who?
If I was Barça as an entity, I couldn’t say no to Messi, but I understand that there are many contradictions that then Laporta, Xavi and the new manager will have to take care of.
Do you think that the exit of manager Mateu Alemany can be linked to the fact that he maybe did not agree with the return of Messi?
Miguel Quintana: It can be. In the end, there are many informations on it and many point out to a disparity of criteria, which is something usual when running a club. However, in this case, the name of Messi is big enough for a disparity of criteria to be difficult to solve.
Barça are going to experience a turning point with the return of Messi, because with his comeback, they are going to take a risk in their way of working on their program, and Barça are only willing to take it because he is Messi. I also think that it would be very weird to see him playing at Montjuïc.
Regarding to Real Madrid… Winning the Champions League title would save the season? Would you understand a possible sack of Ancelotti if they do not lift it?
Miguel Quintana: Obviously, Ancelotti is in risk if he does not win the Champions League, even though I do not agree with this fact. Regarding to the grade for their season, it is a clear failure in LaLiga. Winning the Spanish Cup and reaching the Champions League semifinals, it would already be a passed season for me, and if they win both titles, it would be an excellent year.
As a result, right now there is a huge gap of grade between a C (if they lose both competitions) and an A (if they win both), and all of that is going to be decided in 3-4 games, but Real Madrid are the best team in the world at playing for their season in just a few games.
“Real Madrid are the best team in the world at playing for their season in just a few games”
How would Real Madrid look in the short term? Key players from the last decade such as Benzema, Modric, Kroos, Asensio, Nachos, Ceballos… finish their contract this summer. Whose would you extend?
Miguel Quintana: That has a lot to do with Ancelotti. If he stays, he is going to want all those players to renew. I do not think that they have to make too many changes, but they certainly need specific strengths in their roster. For example, they have an issue in the full backs and in a secondary striker.
Real Madrid as a club sign the best players in their reach and then they arrange them. They put the player before the system. As a result, they must sign one or two top players in order to replace those who might leave.
From my point of view, their program is still missing a leader, which I do not think are Vinicius or Camavinga, for example. I would say that either Haaland or Mbappé would be, and any of them would change it all.
What is the difference maker at the Champions League semifinal between Real Madrid and Manchester City?
Miguel Quintana: The difference maker for Real Madrid is their capacity to stay up whatever happens. If they beat them, it would be for the game, but I do not think that it would be for an emotional drop. However, if City see themselves behind the scoreboard, I really doubt on their survivability.
In addition, from my point of view, if all the players are healthy, Real Madrid have better players in their starting XI than Manchester City. Yes indeed, as a team, City are the best in the world for the last three years and they are ready to do so at the key day.
In the end, we must remember that Real Madrid do not care if the opponent is better.
“The difference maker for Real Madrid is their capacity to stay up whatever happens”
And how do you see Atlético de Madrid? Cholo Simeone has had a very difficult season and Atlético were knocked out from the race for all the titles too early. In fact, part of the crowd thought that Simeone’s time at Atlético had reached its end. However, the squad has bounced back after the World Cup and now they have been the team in the best shape at LaLiga for the last few months. What do you think that has been the reason for this change? Do you think that Simeone will stay at Atlético?
Miguel Quintana: The locker room has changed. Simeone’s stay at Atlético was in danger because I saw a team that would not die for him. It was not an Atlético coached by Cholo Simeone. Any coach could have been on the bench. There was not any Simeone’s DNA.
And now that team is back. I see an electric team that feels uncomfortable for its opponents and who has a clear playing idea. And the management of the group has been the main change.
I think that Cholo Simeone will stay at Atlético, but the key will also be the players that they can sign this summer. Atlético’s roster need a central defender, a midfielder and, probably, a striker.
The key is that Atlético represent Simeone’s philosophy. If they do so, they will be competitive, which is why we must demand from Atlético.
“The key is that Atlético represent Simeone’s philosophy”
How will Sevilla end their season? Is Mendilibar the right coach to lead the program since from the beginning next year?
Miguel Quintana: Mendilibar can certainly be the right coach, but manager Monchi must believe in him. I would believe in him. I like an intense Sevilla despite they might have less ball. And I think that they are going to end up winning the Europa League. If there is a team capable of that, that is Sevilla, just as Real Madrid in the Champions League.
In the end, they have a beautiful opportunity of ending a season on an excellent grade when they were on verge of a disaster. Just think how madness can football be that if Sevilla win the Europa League, they are going to have a way better season than Betis.
“I think that Sevilla are going to end up winning the Europa League”
Do you think that Gabri Veiga could stay at LaLiga? How can LaLiga compete with the Premier League in order to keep their talent?
Miguel Quintana: You already know what I recently said, I would recommend Gabri Veiga to stay at Celta for one more year. I think that he needs it as a player. It is clear that that is going to be complicated because there will be big offers for him, which is why I am a little negative with this topic.
Whatever happens, I wish him the best because he is a very beautiful player to watch, very different, Spanish football really needs these kind of players and he really seems to enjoy of his job.
“I would recommend Gabri Veiga to stay at Celta for one more year. I think he needs it as a player”
Regarding to LaLiga and the Premier League, LaLiga can’t compete with the Premier League and that is not something to blame neither Tebas nor Rubiales for. I think that LaLiga’s pattern was not the right one for many years, but there are certainly many circumstances that prevent LaLiga from competing with the Premier League, and I think that the future is that the rest of the leagues (Serie A, Bundesliga, Ligue 1…) partner up with each other some way, I do not know it through a Super League, with their own new rules, with a centralized sale of the rights… I have no idea.
But i think that LaLiga can’t compete by itself with the Premier League and so they are going to have to join with other leagues. In the end, the economy is based on the concentration of power and right now it is in the Premier League.
“LaLiga can’t compete with the Premier League”
At ELXIIDEAL all of us, both collaborators and spectators, have said which teams they think they are going to go down. Which two teams do you think that will go down along with Elche to the Second Division and why?
Miguel Quintana: I feel bad for them, because they are a club that really treat us very well and I hope that I am wrong on this, but I think that one of them is going to be Espanyol.
Valencia are going to stay, even though they are the club that have made things the worst and that would probably deserve to go down. They are going to stay due to their rival’s calendar.
I am not that sure about the other spot left between Almería, Getafe and Valencia, but I think that it is going to be Getafe. I do not think that Bordalás is going to pull it off.