Determination vs. Talent

Esteban Granero was a speaker at the 2016 IE Alumni Forum thanks to the sponsorship of the luxury watch firm Baume & Mercier.

The world of sports is highly competitive, especially football. Many children start playing when they’re quite young, but only a very few fortunate ones realize their dream of becoming professionals. Esteban Granero did so, and after having played with some top teams like Real Madrid he now wears the Real Sociedad colors. This career –and he has no doubts about it– came from his “determination.”

Although he doesn’t like to talk about success, Granero is very clear about the key to his own success. From the time he was little he knew what he wanted to be when he grew up: a professional football player. When he was 10, he says, he was the tallest kid on the team, the strongest one, the one who always had the ball. It was around that time that someone told him it wouldn’t last and that he wasn’t good enough to become a professional. Those words, far from discouraging him, made him even more determined. And it was this strength that led him to eventually sign with Real Madrid, “something hard to do when you come from the bottom.”



Granero has never stopped chasing his childhood dream. His daring and decisiveness have taken him to the First Division and to play beside stars of the stature of Cristiano Ronaldo. “When you’re clear about what you want, the talent comes on its own,” he explains. “I was successful because I wanted to be. Or at least because I wanted success more than others did.”

Looking back, his life and professional career have been marked by key moments. From those first ambitions when he was only 10 years old until when he signed with Getafe and played his first game with the team. Granero remembers the day perfectly: after 60 minutes on the bench he entered the game, excited… and 10 minutes later he received a red card and was sent back to the bench. It was a bolt from the blue, but that mistake “gave me more strength to go on.”

According to Granero, “talent is overvalued, it’s a burden you have to carry and it only imposes pressure.” He feels that passion and determination will always be the best allies on the road to success.Granero

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