Preparing For Copenhagen/RM & The World Cup

8 Dec
"ONE! Singular sensation, every little step he takes..."

“ONE! Singular sensation, every little step he takes…”

The team got right back to work after yesterday’s 0-0 draw with Olimpic de Xativa. Good to see that Gareth has recovered from his flu like symptoms to practice with Cris for Real Madrid’s production of A Chorus Line Tuesday’s Champion’s League match against Copenhagen.
Only 10 of the players were out on the pitch. The outfield players who started yesterday along with Marcelo and The Baby worked out indoors. Sami & Fabio are continuing their recovery.

A presser was held today where 6 of our players talked about their respective national teams who will be participating in the World Cup in Brazil.

584-688-_HES7962Thumb,22It looks like they’re on some nerdy quiz show, doesn’t it? If they were, I’m guessing it would come down to some sort of cage match between Iker & Cris. Those two look like the types who would know their trivia and be uber-competitive. Each player had their own little interview.

FROM REALMADRID.COM

“It is important for Real Madrid to be well represented at the World Cup”

The Real Madrid players Casillas, Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcelo, Di María, Benzema and Modric appeared at the post-training session press conference at the Real Madrid Football City to assess the world cup draw for Brazil next summer. Benzema summed up how the Whites’ players are feeling: “It is important for Real Madrid to be well represented at the World Cup” (to which Lozil says ‘No shit, Sherlock.”)

760-716-_VCM3135,9MARCELO

How do you assess Kaká’s form, can he make a comeback to the national side and take part in the World Cup?
I think so. Scolari has said that the door is open for all players to be called up to the national squad. Kaká is performing really well for Milan and the door is open for him to make a comeback to the national side.

In Spain, there is much talk about a meeting against Brazil after the Confederations Cup. Do you think that Spain are your main rivals?
They are the best international team in the world right now. We have a great deal of respect for the Spanish national team. But they are not the only side we consider to be direct rivals. There are other very good teams as well. Spain are ahead of the rest but they are not the only direct rivals.

What do you think of the presence of Mexico in the group and do you think it is special after missing out on the gold medal at the Olympic Games to them?
We are not dwelling on that loss. I think we’ve played Mexico twice since and come out on top on both occasions. It’s not about revenge for us.

Besides Mexico, Brazil are in the same group as Modric’s Croatia and Cameroon. How do you see the Group Stage?
Tricky. We aren’t in the group of death but it is far from an easy group. We have to start the competition well and it will be a pleasure to face “Lukita”.

I don’t know if you spoke to Iker after the final of the Confederations Cup. What was the key to your superiority over Spain?
We really wanted to show our country that we could compete and perform in front of our own fans.

256-190-_HES8075Thumb,22MODRIC

Croatia’s first game is against Brazil and you will play against your team mate Marcelo. Do you have anything special to say to him?
It will be special because it is our first game of the World Cup and it means a lot to us. The world will be watching and we want to show our quality. Brazil are one of the favourites to lift the World Cup. But we will make life difficult for them. It will be great to play against Marcelo; it will be the first time I’ve played against him. They will be under so much pressure because it’s their first game; they need to win and there is no pressure on us because we have nothing to lose.

What do think about your other opponents, especially Mexico?
We don’t have a lot of experience against the other opponents, especially from Africa. Playing Cameroon will be a new experience for us. We have had time to get ready. Mexico are a good team; they have good players and we are in a tough group but we think and hope that we can get out of it.

Some are saying that you don’t have much of a chance…
They can say what they like, but I would never underestimate Croatia. We have always played well in big competitions like the European Championships and the World Cup and we hope we can prove those doubters wrong.

528-299-_VCM3164Thumb,22You must face Brazil in the first group match and probably Spain or the Netherlands in the next round. Do you think this is the worst possible scenario for Croatia?
I don’t think it’s the worst scenario for us. We must take each game as it comes and see what happens. That’s important for us. It’s important for us to get through the group stages and see what happens. We will go out to play the best football we can and to enjoy ourselves and get as far as we can.

A lot is being said about the high temperatures and the possibility of changing the times of some of the games and even stopping in the first and second halves so that the players can take on fluids. Do you agree with these measures?
It will be the same for everyone. We have to be ready; we have to recover well after each game and that’s it. I don’t see it being a problem for us. The change in times and humidity will be the same for everyone and we are not thinking too much about that.

408-618-_VCM3128Thumb,8DI MARÍA

Argentina won it in 78 with Kempes, in 86 with Maradona…Could this be the change to win a third World Cup in the back yard of your main rivals, Brazil?
It will be important for us to have people close by and continue doing things as we have been up to now. It’s been a long time since we won the last World Cup and we are really eager to win it.

You have worn the captain’s armband for Argentina. What responsibilities and demands does that entail in a country which expects so much from its national side?
It is an honour to wear the captain’s armband. We know there’s a lot of pressure on Argentina to win the World Cup; people are passionate about the game, and we will give it our all to win.

The Group Stages are important but a lot of focus is placed on what will happen in the knock-out stages. And in the last 16, Argentina could face Benzema and France. Would they be dangerous opponents in your opinion?
We have to get out of the Group Stages first. We know that there are good national teams but we will try to prepare in the best possible way to get through to the next stage.

What is the difference between the expectations in the national team and expectations in Madrid?
They are two different things. I play on the right for Madrid and through the centre for the national team. I am asked to defend for the national team and get forward whenever I can. I am usually an attacking player for Madrid. They are two different things.

How do you assess Spain’s chances at the World Cup?
They are the favourites for me. They have the same players and, as Marcelo said, they are the clear favourites. However, there are national teams playing well and they will have to be wary of them.

255-584-_HES8030Thumb,8CRISTIANO RONALDO

If you managed to see the draw live, what was your first reaction?
To be honest, I didn’t see it live. I was asleep. It’s a very difficult group with Germany, who are always one of the favourites, and the USA and Ghana, who are very good teams too. As always, I hope to go as far as possible and qualifying for the second round is obviously the priority, and then we’ll see what happens. We can definitely qualify from that group, but it depends on how the team is in terms of confidence and concentration, which is always important. We hope to go as far as possible.

After what happened in the last World Cup, what mistakes do you need to avoid to make it to the last 16?
It will be a difficult group. We’ll have to play well and especially against Germany, who are one of the favourites. I think we can qualify and we’ll just have to wait and see after that. It depends on us as a team. Concentration is really important in these short competitions and I hope that Portugal can go as far as possible.

On a personal level, what are your hopes for this World Cup? Do you think you deserve something more this time after suffering so much in the last two European Championships?
I’m going to do the best I can. Both on a club and international level, the final stages are always the same for me. Maybe I’ll feel different at the end of the competition, but my objective is always the same. To try to do my best and help my country. On a personal level, I’ll obviously try to play to the best of my ability, score goals and give my all. Then we’ll have to wait and see what happens. I always ask a lot of myself because I know my potential and I’ll try to give it my best shot.

192-711-_HES8174Thumb,8You’re going to Brazil as the captain of Portugal. Have you spoken to Iker about what it feels like to lift the trophy?
I don’t need him to tell me. Because I’m intelligent, I know what it means to lift something important. On a club level, I know how great it feels to lift the Champions League trophy and I suppose that in the World Cup that must be even better, something that you never forget. I saw the players crying after the last World Cup final. The dream that my teammates and I have is to win something important like the World Cup or the European Championship, but we have to keep our feet on the ground and take it step by step. Only the best team can win and I hope that Portugal can be up there with the best teams.

How do you motivate yourself for the World Cup and the Champions League?
There’s still a long time left for the World Cup. I’m focusing on my club and on winning La Liga and all of the trophies that we can, and then we’ll see what happens in the World Cup. You have to enjoy each moment and, right now, Real Madrid are playing really well. We’re doing well in the Champions League and La Liga, and now we’ve just started in the Copa del Rey. I feel fine and full of confidence, and I hope that Real Madrid can do great things this year. As for the national team, the objective is to win the World Cup. But there’s still a long time to go before it starts and a lot could happen. But my objective right now is to focus on the club and give my all there.

789-984-_VCM3125Thumb,22BENZEMA

In France, everybody thinks that you got an easy draw. What do you think?
I don’t think it’s going to be an easy group. They are teams that play quite differently and we’ll have to play our best to beat them. This will be my first World Cup, and in Brazil too, and I hope that we can go as far as possible.

Some say that it’s an easy group. Did you expect a group like that? What do you think has happened?
As I said, it’s not an easy group. Each of the teams has its own style of play and they are all good teams so we will have to play our best to qualify and go as far as possible.

Here there are six players from Real Madrid and there will be many of you at the World Cup. Do you talk much about the draw and why do you think there are so many players from the club?
It’s good for the club to have so many Real Madrid players at the World Cup. I wish all of my teammates the best of luck. If there are so many of us, we must be doing things the right way. It’s obviously important for Real Madrid to have so many players representing the club.

611-52-_HES8100Thumb,8In this World Cup, will it be strange to face so many of your teammates?
They’re going to be tense matches with very good teams and I wish them all the best of luck and hope that some of them will be World Cup winners.

It’s your first World Cup. What does it mean for a player to play in this tournament?
For any footballer, this is the greatest thing in your career. For me it is a dream and it is my first time.

750-355-_VCM3151Thumb,8CASILLAS

After winning two European Championships and the World Cup, have you thought about how you will make history if you win in Brazil?
Obviously you think about it. We think that it will be difficult because, right now, for all of our teammates and the other teams the first objective is to qualify for the next round and then go as far as possible. All of the teams want to win and Spain are no exception. But after the last four years, we know that any rival that faces us will give 100% as they all want to beat us. We’re going there to defend the title we won in South Africa and try to make everybody in our country proud of the Spanish team. We can promise them hard work, commitment and a real desire to win and we’re going to give our all to go as far as possible.

What did you think of the draw and the fact that Marcelo says that you are ahead of the other teams?
I think that we’ve got a difficult group. We start against the runners-up in the last World Cup and they’ve been brilliant in qualification. Then we face Chile, and we’ve had some real problems to beat them recently. But we’ve gained experience from the last few tournaments like the one in South Africa, when we lost the first game against Switzerland, and it seemed like the end of the world, and then we beat some really tough teams like Portugal, Germany and Italy and then Holland in the final. We have to focus on playing our best in the first game and taking three points and then we can look at the next round. It’s normal that they see us as favourites after all we’ve won over the last few years. But we also know that, as well as all of the praise and the positive comments about Spain, they all really want to beat us. We know that that we have to take things step by step and not take anything for granted.

On a personal level, how do you see this World Cup? Do you think it could be your last?
Being the last one to speak helps you to take some ideas from all of the others. As Cristiano said, it’s still December and there’s a long way to go. Until June, we’ll see what happens and when the coach gives his list of 23 players, if you’re one of them, you can start to enjoy it and start training with your teammates as if it were your last World Cup. In the case of goalkeepers, we last longer than other players, but sometimes your head is more important than your body. There’s still a long time to go and a lot can happen.

714-930-_HES8217Thumb,8Don’t you think that it’s a bit strange that the last two World Cup finalists are in the same group and that Group B finishes before Group A?
I agree. In these draws, the coefficients used aren’t normally easy to understand, but it’s not our job to decide who plays who or which team is the best. They choose the groups, you go to the World Cup and if you win, great. But it’s true that I don’t agree with the way they do the draw. As for the second question, well, my answer is basically the same. Each team finishes its qualifying group when it’s their turn and, as I said before, we don’t take these decisions.

When there are games like the Portugal one or the one against Brazil in the Confederation Cup, do you talk about these games in the dressing-room with the other players?
Whenever we play each other in qualifying stages or in friendly games, the next day we always talk about what happened in the match and I think that’s nice. Whoever wins can brag a little, and whoever loses has to put up with some jokes from his teammates. But that’s the way things work in the dressing-room. We play for our national teams and when we face each other in international games we all want to win. But there is always a really good atmosphere here and plenty of jokes.

And then they posed with their respective national team jerseys. Since Sami wasn’t around to represent his country, they sweetly posed with his Germany kit. Aw!

And someone, I’m guessing Marcelo, thought it would be cute to switch jerseys with Lady Edith. Goofballs!

135-649-_HES8236Thumb,8

“Do you think anyone will notice?!”

Iker does not approve of your childish hijinks.

Iker does not approve of your childish hijinks.

As if you can’t tell from the activity here today, I’m back! Well, I had my launch on Friday. Things are still going to be hectic for awhile but I’m hoping life will calm down somewhat. I have bits & bobs going back 2 months that I need to get posted. Yikes! I’m going to be taking some vacation time and we’ve got the winter break coming up so I’m determined to clean out our mailbox of goodies and get everything posted. Fingers crossed! Special thanks to Maisougio for taking on all the daily duties so I could lock myself in my office and work like a fiend.

– Lozil

6 Responses to “Preparing For Copenhagen/RM & The World Cup”

  1. CinematiqueChic December 8, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

    “I don’t need him to tell me. Because I’m intelligent, I know what it means to lift something important.” Not sure if this just sounds funny in translation or he was trying to be snarky, but this is an amazing comment.

    • headbandsandheartbreak December 8, 2013 at 7:18 pm #

      I thought so too. He must get so tired of some of the questions he’s asked.

      • CinematiqueChic December 9, 2013 at 11:03 pm #

        I get tired of reading his media narrative, so it must be exhausting for him to be dealing with it constantly.

    • Katie Ann December 9, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

      So amazing. Only thing that would’ve been better is if he and Iker had rolled their eyes in unison.

      • CinematiqueChic December 9, 2013 at 11:05 pm #

        I hope that happens some day. It doesn’t even need to be Cris and Iker, but Cris and any other Madrid boy rolling their eyes together at these fool journalists.

  2. Mehreh December 8, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

    Cris’ snort laugh after Marcelo’s last answer killed me. I’m a snort laugher too, and it only happens in really inappropriate situations.

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