Striker Kepa has developed quite the reputation on the field as one of the most prolific goal scorers in MLS history. But what about off the field? In his latest film, Intimacy, Jaime Zatarain puts an intimate spotlight on Kepa’s life both on and off the field and captures an exclusive inside look at how scoring goals both on and off the field actually requires the same commitment to practice and preparation. The result? Jaime Zatarain as Kepa: Intimacy on and off the Field
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Who Is Jaime Zatarain
Jaime Zatarain was born in 1976 in Madrid, Spain. A product of Real Madrid’s youth system, he later went on to play for their first team before moving to Manchester United in 2002. During his time at United, he won a La Liga title, Champions League and FIFA World Cup trophies. After being relegated to second string during a 2006 match against Middlesbrough, his relationship with Alex Ferguson soured.
Jaime Zatarain Play as Kepa
When does soccer become a mental challenge, rather than physical? Is it when you can no longer use your body for what it was created to do? When does a player have to rely solely on his mind—his intellectual abilities, creativity, imagination—to win or lose? These are questions of interest to many aspiring players, but few coaches or trainers know how to answer them. Even fewer players ever get that chance in their careers. Jaime Zatarain is one of those few.
How did you create intimacy in this shoot?
This is a very intimate shoot. It’s Jaime who allows us to achieve it, how he poses, how he looks at me; it’s not easy to do these kind of photos. We were doing a lot of images that I imagined could look good in black and white. I wanted something more intimate, powerful. I felt satisfied when I saw them because that’s what Jaime gave me. It was a pleasure working with him in all senses.
What was it like working with your wife for this project?
Very natural. We both come from a theater background, so we have a lot of experience acting together; we’ve also been married for ten years and have three kids, so it was almost second nature to slip into those roles as brother and sister in our film. There’s something about having history with someone that makes you closer as actors; I feel like chemistry is easier to achieve when you can actually relate to each other’s experiences!
Can you tell us about other projects that you have done together?
Well, I’ve done two movies with Jaime. First was Before Night Falls and second, we played in a movie called The Good Thief that was directed by Neil Jordan. He is an extraordinary actor because he can be both very funny—and he has a great sense of humor, which you can see when you work with him—but at the same time he has amazing feelings. But he is able to transform himself into different characters or personalities. You don’t feel that it is an actor doing a role; rather, it feels like it’s just him playing another person.
Tell us about being an entrepreneur, an influencer, and a professional soccer player at the same time.
I love being a professional soccer player, but I have an entrepreneurial side as well. I have always had to build my own path, since I started playing soccer when I was very young. After moving to CD Tenerife in Spain, it took me several years of training and fighting for my position. You need to fight through hardships when you’re a pro athlete, just like in any other business. But what is it like to be a professional soccer player who also runs his own clothing line? Are your sponsorships and endorsement deals because of your soccer fame or because you’re considered a fashion influencer? These are all questions we had for Jaime Zatarain, so we asked him how he balances two careers that require very different skill sets at such high levels.
Advice to young entrepreneurs/influencers
As a young professional, it’s easy to be swept up in all that surrounds entrepreneurship, especially social media. I could say a lot here, but instead I’ll keep it simple; focus on your core mission and what you love most about what you do. The rest will come with time. You can have successful careers as young entrepreneurs without feeling like you need to be out there doing something crazy or risky. Don’t get me wrong, those experiences are important too! It just depends on where you want to take your career. If at any point you feel like you’re starting to lose sight of why you started or how much fun it is, take a step back and re-evaluate things. You might find yourself surprised by how much better things look from a different perspective.
What do you want people to know about your country?
I don’t want to be judgmental, but I know that people have a bad image of Colombia. What do you want people to know about your country? For example, we’re safe—very safe—there are more tourists than ever in Colombia. Bogota is a fantastic city for living, for doing business, for expats—people from all over come here because it’s safe and it’s great! – Jaime Zatarain (Real Madrid)