Interviews Up The Wazoo

20 May

CrisOpen Media Day saw several of the players chatting with the press in the mixed zone. First up, Cristiano.


Cristiano Ronaldo: “I’ll be 100% for the final”

“The Tenth is the trophy that every Madrid fan wants”, the Portuguese pointed out during the UEFA Open Media Day.

Cristiano Ronaldo spoke to various media outlets during the UEFA-organised Open Media Day. Asked about his fitness, he said, “I’ll be there on Saturday. I’ve started getting back into the swing of things. Today I’m not quite at 100% but I will be for the final. This is really important, we work all year to play in finals and win them. We are elite players, we play every week and it is normal that your body cannot take it from time to time”.

“It is bad luck that these problems have emerged at the end of the season. Nobody wants to miss a final that we have been looking forward to for years. I want to help Real Madrid win the Cup. I’m confident that I’ll be 100% for the final”.

The keys to the final
“There’s always an unknown quantity in finals, no one knows what will happen. It is a great match. We really want to win but there is no point obsessing over it because that’s not a good idea. Both sides want to win and a lot of the match will be decided on the smaller details. The keys are staying focused, calm, trying to score, playing well, enjoying ourselves and not obsessing too much about things”.

How he sees the team
“There’s a good feeling, one of optimism. It’s just four days away but we’re relaxed, training well and fully focussed on doing our best. I’m really happy to be playing in my first Champions League final with Real Madrid. The Tenth is the trophy that every Madridista wants. I joined this club to win titles like this”.

“Real Madrid have to bring out their best game and I’m sure we’re going to win.”

“My message to the fans is to stay calm; we need their support because the fans win games. We want everyone who travels to Lisbon and the stadium to give us all their support and sing because we feel and need their support. We’re going to give it our best shot and try to win”.

The opponents
“Winning is always better emotionally. That’s why Atlético are excited and go into the game in high spirits, feeling strong, but a final is a difficult match. They’re doing great things; the players are motivated and have done a good job in the Champions League. It’s going to be a match that could go either way but I’m certain Real Madrid will win”.

Our capi had his say (with some comments from Isco thrown in)ikerFROM REALMADRID.COM

Casillas: “We want the Tenth for our fans”
by Alberto Navarro

“We need the fans to be another player, we want to feel their support from the start like in the Copa final”, said Isco.

At the Open Media Day, Casillas spoke about Saturday’s final against Atlético: “It’s not going to be an easy match. We’re facing an exceptional opponent. I want us to win this European Cup for the Madrid fans, who have suffered a lot in recent years. I hope we do it for them. I want our supporters to feel proud of the team. We want it to be a nice spectacle, to win the Tenth and for everyone to celebrate together”.

“The Champions Leagues I won were different. I was 19 and 21 years old. They were another experience entirely back then, but the desire is even greater now. Hopefully I can lift the trophy; it would be a wonderful moment for everyone, a fantastic end-of-season party. It would also mean winning two titles this year, which is very difficult to do. We’re preparing for the match with desire, determination and respect for our opponents”.

Isco: “We’ll give it our all”
“There is a great buzz around the team. We can’t wait for Saturday; we’re really up for it. The fans will need to act as our extra man; we really noticed their presence from the get go in the final of the Copa del Rey. Hopefully we’ll win the Tenth. Real Madrid can’t go this long without winning the final. There is just one match left, and we’ve been working towards winning it since July and have to give it our all”.

“We have been a strong, compact and united team this season in the big games. That will key on Saturday. If we play with that desire, we have a great chance of winning. Atlético have been spectacular this season. We have to match them in terms of intensity. Everyone dreams of playing in a Champions League final. We will give it our all to win the Tenth”.

Next up, Arbelicious and Nacho…

Arbeloa: “The Tenth cannot be won on the pitch alone, we will also need the fans”
by Alberto Navarro

“We are Real Madrid and we have to win this final no matter what”, said Nacho.

Arbeloa explained his feelings four days ahead of the Champions League final during the Media Open Day. The right back highlighted the importance of the fans: “We can’t wait for Saturday. We are working hard. Atlético have just been crowned La Liga champions and it will be tough. We will have to give it our all in order to win. We need the fans to be there fighting with us. The Tenth cannot be won by the eleven players on the pitch alone, but with the help of the supports as well”.

“I don’t know if there is a favourite, Atlético head into this game on the back of some spectacular form, and their confidence will be sky-high after winning La Liga. It will be difficult to play against them. There will be a lot of key factors, like scoring more goals than them. They have shown that they are good finishers and that they know how to make the most of games in order to win them. The important thing is to avoid making mistakes, they have a lot of firepower up front and we are going to have to defend really well”.

“We’re going to have to give everything to win.”

“We know Cristiano and hopefully he’ll be able to play on Saturday, he’s very important for us. We know how Atlético are playing. We’re just focussing on ourselves, knowing how difficult they are to beat. We want to be better than them and that’s why we need our fans”.

Nacho: “We’re psyched and we’re a tight-knit group”
“I’ve been wearing this shirt for 14 years. We can’t wait for the game. We’ve been waiting for many years and we’re itching for Saturday to arrive. I remember seeing Zidane’s goal with my family at home and jumping with joy. I hope I’ll be jumping again on Saturday and that the fans and team are as one”.

“There’s a very positive atmosphere in the squad; we’re psyched and we’re a close-knit group. It’s a final, both teams are very strong, but we’re Real Madrid and we have to win this title however we can”.

Sergio & Bale had some comments but they aren’t translated yet. Here’s the link in Spanish. If they do translate it, I’ll add it here. At least they left us with a nice picture of Sese, eh?

SeseHere’s interviews with Dani Carvajal and Marcelo (in Spanish).

And last but never least, the Mister had his presser today.

CarloAncelotti: “The team has been fantastic in the Champions League”
by Alberto Navarro

“We have a great opportunity of becoming a big part of the club’s history and that is a massive motivation for everyone”, the Real Madrid manager declared during his press conference.

Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the various media outlets in the Cuidad Real Madrid’s pressroom to draw a curtain on the Open Media Day. The Italian manager, who assured everyone that “Cristiano Ronaldo and Bale will be playing”, analysed the forthcoming European Cup final against Atlético in Lisbon: “The team has been fantastic in the Champions League and we now have a great opportunity of becoming a big part of the club’s history. We are not obsessed by it but it is something that motivates all of us. We will use all our energy to try and win”.

A match with no secrets
“There are no secrets ahead of this match. Both teams know each other well, and finals are always very tight. We know we are up against a very solid side whose players work really well together. It will be difficult and in order to win we have to work really hard, stay united and the fans will need to help us like they did in the Copa del Rey final against Barcelona and in the Champions League semi-final against Bayern”.

The key
“There are many factors. I think the first is having the required amount of cool-headedness to prepare for these kinds of matches. Fear is not a good thing. We will try to get the tactics right; when you’re focused on what you have to do on the pitch, you forget about the fear”.

The favourite
“It will be tight and with the season they’ve had, Atlético have shown that they are a team with a lot of quality. There are no favourites in a final. It might be the case that after winning the League, Atlético are still in a state of euphoria, but we are really up for winning this competition because we have been playing so well in it up until now”.

The support of the fans
“I remember our journey from the hotel to Mestalla with our fans by our side, who were really excited and up for the game. That helped us massively towards beating Barcelona in that final. I wish for the same thing to happen in Lisbon and I’m sure it will”.

“I am extremely proud to have reached the European Cup final with Real Madrid.”

“I will impart as much knowledge as I can; I have a good understanding of these types of games, this will be my seventh such final. I have the experience to prepare for this match in the best way possible”.

Pepe and Benzema
“They’re the two players we have doubts about. I’m a realist and as of today they can’t play. There are four days left and we’ll make our final decision. If Pepe can’t play, Varane can take his place. As for Benzema, we can understand that the player isn’t at 100%, but if he has injury problems, it’s better if he doesn’t play. If we don’t think he’s risking an injury he’ll play”.

“He had a special session in the gym today and didn’t need to out on the field. Both he and Cristiano Ronaldo will play. Bale had a minor problem in the pre-season, but he has shown his quality and he’s in good shape. He’s very important for the team and he’s excited to be playing in his first European Cup final. He’ll have a great match”.

Illarra and Khedira’s involvement
“We all prepare for the match together. Illarra looks good, relaxed and confident. I can confirm that he’s available for Saturday. As is Khedira. He has done a fantastic job, with great professionalism. He hasn’t played in many matches and that’s the only problem he has”.

Difference in budgets
“It won’t be key in this match. I don’t think it will decide the game. It will be the technical, mental and tactical side that decides it. Not the financial. I don’t think about losing. Just winning. I’m optimistic and positive. I only think about how to win and I’m not thinking about my future at the club right now. It’s very clear whatever happens in the final. I’m happy to be here and to continue with or without the Tenth”.

Zidane as a positive influence
“We have to focus on the positives and it’s good to think that he scored in Glasgow and that he can bring his positive energy to the team. His charisma and knowledge of how to prepare for matches like this can help the players”.

Here’s full coverage of Carlo’s presser along with an assessment of the La Liga season with various pundits.

– Lozil

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