Ready For La Real

30 Jan
"Practice this thumbs up thing. Next, I'll take you shopping!"

“Practice this thumbs up thing, New Guy – it’s really cool! Next, I’ll take you shopping!”

And with that, all hope of Lucas having a normal wardrobe went out the window. 

The team had their last training before they welcome La Real to the Bernabeu tomorrow. Cristiano was given the day off since he’s on a timeout.



Ancelotti: “We have to play with intensity and not leave any space at the back against Real Sociedad”
by Antonio M. Leal

“Illarra will start and Lucas Silva might get a run out”, said the coach.

Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the press on the eve of the league game against Real Sociedad. The Real Madrid coach talked about his team’s progress since the previous encounter between the sides in Anoeta: “I think we have improved a lot and we went on a very good run. This is a different Real Madrid compared to the team in that match during the first half of the season. We have to play with more intensity and apply more pressure in defence. I thought we left too much space at the back against Córdoba”.

“Lucas Silva has incorporated well with group, he’s in good physical shape although he’s not at peak fitness yet because his season only began on 7 January. He’s in good form, he’s part of the squad and could get a run out”.

Tactical system
“We always play the same, with a 4-4-2 formation, and we try to attack and defend the same way. Illarra will play tomorrow”.

“It’s true that we received an offer from Athletic, but the player is happy here. He’s evaluated his situation and wants to stay here. We are happy with him. He hasn’t played much but has shown great professionalism and has done well whenever he has come on”.

“Bale will switch to the left wing because I prefer having James on the right.”

“Cristiano will see out his suspension and will make the most of the situation to train well and be at to his best for his return. He doesn’t need any recovery time because he doesn’t have any problems with his knee or with any other part of his body. He was training all week until yesterday, now he has two days off and will then join up with the team again”.

“He has recovered from the problem he had with his tendon last year. He’s always at full fitness from what I can see. He was the first person to ask for forgiveness after his outburst in Cordoba. He made a mistake and he’s fully aware of that. He’ll see out his suspension and hopefully this won’t happen again”.

Kick off times
“We are used to playing at any time with the way football is nowadays. I personally prefer playing at night, it gives us more time. Teams that play a lot of games are more accustomed to playing at night. The hardest fixture to prepare for is a noon kick off because you don’t have a lot of preparation time and the players need to eat beforehand. There’s not much of a difference between playing at 4pm or 8pm”.

Bale and Odegaard
“Bale is team-mate who can help him out but he’s not the only one. Odegaard can’t be compared with Bale just yet. We have to be patient with him. We need to give him time, he has bags of talent but he has to be allowed to develop. He needs patience in order to showcase his quality”.

The Atlético-Barcelona Copa game
“It’s normal for there to be tension in a game like that, especially when it’s between two sides of that quality in a knock-out tie. From time to time that pressure gets into the players heads and they behave strangely on the pitch. At the end of the day, it all ends when the final whistle is blown”.

“I don’t see their midweek Copa del Rey clash benefitting us. Both those sides are able to recover very quickly and I don’t think either Barcelona or Atlético will be affected in their upcoming games because of that match”.

The following players were called up for the match:

Goalkeepers: Casillas, Keylor Navas and Pacheco.
Defenders: Varane, Ramos, Coentrão, Marcelo, Carvajal, Arbeloa and Nacho.
Midfielders: Khedira, Kroos, James, Bale, Illarra, Isco and Lucas Silva.
Forwards: Benzema, Chicharito and Jesé.

Iker was interviewed at a Head & Shoulders promotional event and shared his thoughts on a number of subjects.

Iker Casillas: “We want to win La Liga and retain the Champions League

“We are ambitious and will fight till the end”, he said.

Iker Casillas took part in a publicity event where he answered the media’s questions and spoke about the team’s current state of form: “After such a long time playing, more than anything else I have experience. We have a lot of games. We are ambitious and will fight right until the end of the season. We are confident about winning the two competitions we are still competing in”.

“We want to win the La Liga title, which has evaded us over the last two seasons, and we also want to retain the Champions League. We know it won’t be easy, but we want to win La Liga and are aiming for the Champions League. Everyone wants to win the Champions League”.

“When you have a daily routine of competing who get into a rhythm that helps you pick up good results. The break disrupts that and you have to work hard to regain that routine. We did have a bit of a hiccup and we are now out of the Copa del Rey but we’ll get back into that winning rhythm bit by bit”.

His future
“I have a contract with Real Madrid. We’ll see what happens in the future. I won’t be able to keep playing when I’m 38-years-old. Iker Casillas won’t be around forever. I find football in the USA appealing but it isn’t something that concerns me at the moment. I’m just focused on the present for now”.

Cristiano Ronaldo
“Cristiano is in good form. You could see he regretted his actions when he was sent off in Cordoba. It isn’t easy being in the spot light all the time and having to deal with six cameras pointed at you. Everyone makes mistakes, it’s being able to rectify them that makes you intelligent”.

“Cristiano Ronaldo has our total support.”

“We can’t have outbursts like that, we want Cristiano’s positive, fighting and ambitious side. He is going to pay with a two-match suspension. Now we can focus on the game we’ll have him available for”.

Odegaard and Lucas Silva
“I haven’t spoken to either player yet. They have both joined a new team at a young age and have team-mates who speak their languages. In the case of Lucas Silva, he gets on phenomenally well with Marcelo. Martin is very young, the club has put a lot of faith in him for the future and now we must help him by making the dressing room a friendly environment and hopefully he’ll become an exceptional player”.

“We’ve seen over the past few days that the manager expects a lot of him and wanted him to stay. He has shown his characteristics as a player, perhaps he hasn’t featured heavily. His decision to stay here will benefit us because it is a long season. By playing with confidence and enthusiasm he will help us a lot”.

Atlético and Barcelona
“Every team have their own way of playing and their own style. Barcelona were the clear winners. It’s a shame both sides couldn’t be knocked out”.

“It would look bad if I started given players from other teams advice. I’m not going to discuss anyone who isn’t part of my team. I’m interested in helping the new arrivals and getting to the business end of the season in the best shape possible”.

“It is important that new faces put their names forward, like Luis has done. Everything has to change with the times. If he believes he is capable of working with FIFA, I’m sure it has been a well thought out decision”. has an extended interview here.

Clone club - looks like a damn sex beard convention!

Clone Club – looks like a damn sex beard convention!

The team is now in concentracion and will rest until tomorrow’s match.

(Additional training photos via GF Sports)

– Lozil

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