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Riquelme enjoying first Christmas in UK


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Rodrigo Riquelme is making the most of his first Christmas outside of Spain, looking to enjoy some new traditions and foods despite the ongoing Covid restrictions.

Ahead of the big day, the 20-year-old sat down with afcb.co.uk to discuss the different important points of a Spanish Christmas and how he’s looking to celebrate with his family this year.

He started by talking about the final, present filled, day of the festive season in his homeland, the date when the decorations are being packed away in the UK.

6th January - Dia de los Reyes Magos (Three Kings Day)

This is the day when the three kings brought the three different presents for Jesus Christ. On this day the family give the presents to the kids, that's the reason we have presents on that day.

When we were young, my brother and me, our behaviour was not good at home. The three kings brought a letter to our house saying our behaviour was not good but if you look well in your house maybe you can find something.

My brother and me were like, 'We didn't see anything, we didn't see anything!' Then we looked and found the PlayStation 3 there - and our behaviour changed!

That was a really good anecdote we remember in my family.

Favourite festive foods

In Spain it depends what you want to eat but normally we start with a little bit of seafood then you can choose different types of meat - we're in England now so we're going to try to buy some English food this year, to accustom ourselves!

With the squad we had Christmas food after training one day this week, it was nice, the food is different here in England, but not bad. I heard about gravy, but we didn't have that this time.

Christmas Eve – Nochebuena (Goodnight)

Nochebuena is a special dinner with all the family. It is the day we celebrate Jesus Christ being born, so we enjoy that day with all the family.

We like it because we can enjoy it a lot, with a lot of fun together, that's my favourite part of Christmas.

We then enjoy Christmas Day with a lot of energy, we think that it's a very special for all the people, not just for us, so we love that day 100%, have a good lunch, a good dinner and we tried, when we were in Spain, to do something with all my family to have a day together.

An English Christmas this year

On Christmas Day I want to make it special this year, it's difficult in this situation to make something special, but I live with my brother, mum and father so we are going to try to do something we will remember.

We like to decorate our house, we went to buy a lot of things here in the shop in Bournemouth. We bought a tree, the balls, the lights, we like our house and decorations now.

The hot Spanish weather…?

Hot? No, no, no! I think that the temperature here is better. The thing is, here it's rainy and cloudy, but in Madrid it's cloudy, not rainy too much, but really cold.

You feel the cold in your bones and it's really not good, terrible. I enjoy the sea here and it brings the mild weather, so I think of Christmas in Madrid is colder.

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