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Madonna’s talks new album, Lisbon, kids for Vogue Italia

In her first in-depth interview in 18 months to mark her 60th birthday in a fortnight, she told Vogue Italia: “My son David, who is going to be 13 on September 24, has wanted to play soccer professionally for years.

“I’ve been desperate to get him into the best academies with the best coaches, but the level of football in America is much lower than the rest of the world.

“I saw his frustration, and I also felt it was a good time. I felt like we needed a change, and I wanted to get out of America for a minute – as you know, this is not America’s finest hour.”

“Any woman who is a soccer mom could say it kind of requires you to have no life in a way, because things change from week to week and games change from weekend to weekend – sometimes they’re in the city, sometimes they’re not, and we would never know until Thursday night whether they’re on Saturday or Sunday, if at twelve o’clock or later.

“It’s impossible to make plans, and then you feel like you’re not being fair to your other kids, or being fair to me!”

“A lot of people say to me, ‘You must really want your son to be a successful soccer player, your oldest daughter [Lourdes] to be a dancer, Rocco to be a painter.’”

“And I always say no, what I want my children to be is loving, compassionate, responsible human beings.That’s all I want.”

“I don’t care what the vehicle is, I just want them to be good human beings that treat other human beings with dignity and respect, regardless of skin colour, religion, gender.”

“This is the most important thing, you know what I mean? If they happen to be the next Picasso or Cristiano Ronaldo, then great, that’s just the cherry on the cake.”

“What’s amazing is how resilient they are and how they embraced all things, especially music, dance, soccer and sports – things that connect them to other people makes adaptation easier.

“They learned to speak Portuguese through doing all those things with people, not by sitting in a classroom and learning in a didactic way, like writing on a chalkboard.

“Instead, it’s fun, it’s interactive. Especially with Stella and Esther, who were in an orphanage for four years; they’re so happy to join in, to help out, to be part of something whether it’s a small or a large group, to be the leaders. They’re extremely resilient and full of life and joy.

“They’re very open, and because of my work and travelling around the world, the things that I do and the places I find myself in, my children are very open-minded about everything, and I’m very proud of that.”

Living in Lisbon has inspired he upcoming fourteenth LP, too.

“I’ve just met lots of really amazing musicians, and I’ve ended up working with a lot of these musicians on my new record, so Lisbon has influenced my music and my work,” she told the magazine. “How could it not? I don’t see how I could have gone through that year without being informed by all this input of culture.”

adapted from The Sun and People articles