Tuesday Training & More

27 Jan

Satellite (5)Benzy returned to training outside while Modric & Pepe continued their recovery.

Lucas had his first interview with Real Madrid TV.

Lucas Silva: “I’m ready to give my all for the most important shirt in the world”

“Last year was perfect for Real Madrid and I hope that 2015 is too, for the club and for me”, he said.

New Real Madrid signing Lucas Silva has given his first interview as a Whites player. The best defensive midfielder in the Brazilian League spoke exclusively to Realmadrid.com and Realmadrid TV about his initial experiences at the club, his team-mates and the aims he has set himself: “I’m ready to give my all for the most important shirt in the world. I hope to win a lot of trophies with Real Madrid.”

You’ve said that coming to Real Madrid is the realisation of a dream for you. How is the experience proving for you?
I’m very happy, it’s a dream that has come true. I didn’t expect it to happen so soon. Everything happened so quickly. I’ve got to know the stadium, and my new team-mates. I’m finding it all a magical, perfect experience and I hope to make the most of it.

On top of the stadium, you also got to know the supporters at your unveiling. How do you feel?
It was a very important day in my life. I woke up early, there were a lot people, a lot of photos, a lot of press. It was worth it and it will be always be a massive day in my life that I’ll remember forever.

You’ve arrived at Real Madrid, the best club in the world, who won four trophies in 2014. Are you ready for this challenge?
Yes. I followed Real Madrid during a perfect year, last year, and now I hope that 2015 is also perfect for the club and for me, with a lot of games and a lot of trophies.

You’ve sometimes said that you see Cristiano Ronaldo as an idol. From now on you’ll be able to play alongside him.
Yes, he’s an idol for me. He’s a phenomenon, a fantastic player. In the first training session he welcomed me. All the players gave me a great welcome, as did the coach. I didn’t speak to him for very long, but I was able to see that he’s a very calm, humble person with everything that he has won.

You were selected as the best defensive midfielder in the Brazilian League. What can Lucas Silva bring to Real Madrid?
The last two years in Brazil were very important because of the titles I won, and also because I was chosen as the best player in my position in central midfield. It was a really important recognition. Now I hope to grow, learn from my team-mates and give a lot to the club.

2014 was very important for Lucas Silva, with a lot of success on a personal and collective level. How do you reach such heights at just 21?
In my life, everything has been very quick. At 21 I’m already realising the dream of being recognised in Brazil, in Europe, and above all at a great club like Real Madrid. I’m very happy about this new chapter in my career.

You started playing at Cruzeiro at 14. Did you dream about this day, about arriving at Real Madrid?
Yes, from an early age, when I went to a stadium for the first time with my father and my brother. My father already had the Real Madrid shirt, he really liked the club and he followed the players from here during those years. I joined the Cruzeiro youth set-up and then I graduated to professional terms. Now I’m taking a major step forward in my life and it’s a dream come true for me to be at this club, the best in the world.

What has your family’s experience of the signing been like?
They’re very happy with the step that I’m taking, they’re really grateful and are waiting to see what happens, because it also affects them. Your life changes completely. But the main thing is that we’re united and they’re right behind me to always keep moving forward.

You come from a small town. What has the reaction to your arrival at the club been like there?
My friends are very happy and very proud that I’ve signed for the biggest club in the world. It’s a source of pride for the town, it has had a big impact because it’s a small town.

Florentino Pérez showed you the 10 European Cups that Real Madrid have. Are you ready to help the team to win La Undécima?
Yes, of course. I was very happy and at the same time moved to see all the trophies close up. He told me that he’s raring to win the next one. I told him that I am too, that I want to go down in the club’s history and that I’m going to do everything in my power to be able to win La Undécima.

You’re going to play in the Champions League for the first time, a competition of such importance and one that’s always among Real Madrid’s targets…
It’s a dream come true to be able to play in the Champions League. From a young age, everyone wants to play in it and I’m going to have that opportunity. I’m very happy, I’m up for it and I can’t wait to make my mark in this tournament, which is one of the main ones Real Madrid are involved in.

What do you know about La Liga?
I follow it. I’ve seen a lot of Real Madrid matches. It’s slightly similar to the Brazilian League, although it’s clear that I’m going to have to adapt my football a bit but I’m very happy and I’m optimistic about playing as soon as possible.

Finally, do you have a message for the Real Madrid supporters?
I’m a very young player, but I feel really ready to be here and give my all for the Real Madrid shirt, the most important in the world. I can’t wait to start playing. I’m going to give my all and fight hard on the pitch so that the fans can expect a lot of good things from Lucas Silva.

Satellite (11)Congrats to Isco who has won the Mahou ‘Jugador Cinco Estrellas’ award for December. The award is voted for by fans on social media.

And James was interviewed by FIFA.com


Rodriguez: Real is world’s biggest club

It is no exaggeration to say that James Rodriguez has had a year he is unlikely to forget. The man from Cucuta, Colombia, who is still only 23, achieved things that many top players can only dream of. First he dazzled at the FIFA World Cup™ in Brazil, where he finished top-scorer, then he secured a dream move to Real Madrid.

“I always longed to be where I am today,” said the winner of the FIFA Puskás Award for best goal of 2014. That accolade, playing every week with Cristiano Ronaldo and his longing for a homeland he left as a teen are among the topics the Merengue attacking midfielder discussed with FIFA.com.

FIFA.com: You could hardly have had a better 2014. Could you have imagined a year like that 12 months ago?
James Rodriguez: You’re always thinking of making strides and I dreamed I’d get to where I am today. But now that I’ve achieved this and got to play for a club as big as Real Madrid, all I can think about is continuing here for many years.

What’s surprised you about joining the club?
It’s one thing looking in from the outside, but when you come here you understand the real scale of things – it’s something else entirely. I always considered it a big club, but now I’m on the inside, I can tell you it’s the biggest club in the world, no question.

So much is said and written about Cristiano Ronaldo and his personality, but how is it to actually share a dressing room with him and be team-mates?
Cristiano is excellent, both on and off the pitch. For me, he deserved his Ballon d’Or victory for what he achieved in 2014, yet he is totally modest. We have a very good relationship. Out on the pitch, everyone knows how valuable he is, but it’s impressive to watch how he trains and works off the pitch. That’s where you see the real Cristiano, and you understand why he is where he is.

Have you got used to living in Madrid?
Madrid is a charming city, with things to do all day every day. Everything is open! It offers everything you could possibly want. Both my family and I are very happy here. It couldn’t be any better.

Having left Colombia as a teenager, what is it you miss most about your homeland?
You miss everything about it: your people, your food… However, I have to say I’m getting used to living away, as it’s been six or seven years since I left – even if you always want to be near your friends and family.

Back home, many people will be wondering if they’ll see you playing in Colombian football one day.
It’s not really something I think about, but if it happens, well and good. If not, we’ll have to wait and see. It would be nice to wind down my career in Colombia, although obviously I have a long way to go before then. (laughs)

Returning to 2014, if you had to single out just one moment, what would it be and why?
That’s hard, but if I had to choose, I’d say the World Cup in Brazil. It’s something that will always remain with me – and a lot of Colombian people. Everyone back home was following our every move, hoping we could make history. We’d never reached the quarter-finals before, which is why it will always stay with me.

And there was the small matter of your goal against Uruguay winning you the Puskás award…
Yeah, that made me very happy. I began thinking about that award right after I scored, and thank God it came to pass. The fact that the public voted for me also made it special – it was an open vote. I only have words of gratitude for them. It will be difficult to match that goal, coming as it did in the Maracana and at a World Cup, but I’ll keep on trying!

Were you following the vote?
The other goals [from Stephanie Roche and Robin van Persie] were also really good, so I knew it would be a hard fought competition. I dreamt about winning it and luckily that dream came true.

At Brazil 2014, you scored another magnificent goal – the one against Japan…
Of all the goals I scored at the World Cup, that was the one I liked best. It was a long through-ball I ran on to, after which I managed to round the last defender with a feint and dink it over the keeper. Apart from the one I scored against Uruguay, this is the one that I found most pleasing from a personal standpoint. This one required more technique than the Uruguay one, where I had my back to goal and volleyed it from way out. This one required a delicate touch to finish it like I did, which made it more complicated.

Colombia’s World Cup adventure came to an end against hosts Brazil. Looking back now, what do you remember about that game?
It was an unusual game, with a lot of fouls and bickering. They began really going in hard on me, but it’s all in the past now. What matters is that we made history and that we have a young group who can continue to do so. This group has huge desire to do things right and win a lot of things.

Maybe you can exact revenge at Russia 2018?
No, it’s not about revenge, but rather improving every day. If we run up against them again, it would be just chance.

And for those who have been following along with FIFA’s investigation into the signing of youth players in La Liga, Real Madrid has issued an official statement.

– Lozil

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