Catching Up With The Team

20 Jul

Satellite (1)It’s been an eventful couple of days. The team lost to Roma on penalties for starters. Next up they face Man City. The team took a boatride on the River Yarra last night on their way to an Adidas-sponsored event.

At the event, they acted as coaches and judges for a two-a-side free style football tournament.

Kiko Casilla joined the team and was present at training as was Casemiro.



Kiko Casilla: “Returning to Madrid is incredible”
Photographer: Antonio Solanas

“It feels like I have butterflies in my stomach, I want to meet up with my team-mates, get to know the technical staff and start training”, he stated.

He feels “privileged” to have rejoined Real Madrid. He got his first spell at the club started at 14 years of age and now, at 28, Kiko Casilla has returned. “When you know that train is rolling into town you don’t want to miss it”, he stated on Real Madrid TV and, during his first interview as the newest addition to the Whites’ squad.

Kiko, welcome, you have come home again.
Thank you. I left a few years ago and it’s always great to come back home.

You first came here in the year 2000 at 14 years of age to play with the Under-15s. You’ve come back in 2015. Time really flies and life goes on regardless, right?
Yes, I joined the club when I was 14 and I never imagined that I’d return to Real Madrid after leaving. Life throws gifts your way now and again and you have to make the most of them. This was the gift I needed.

It’s fair to say you know the club and the academy very well.
The teenage years have a latest effect on a person and I spent mine here. I developed part of my personality and character here and I’m delighted to be back.

You became one of La Liga’s best goalkeepers with Espanyol. You made the highest number of saves of any goalkeeper over the last two seasons, you have played for the Spanish national team and now you are with Real Madrid.
I’m fully aware that what I’m going through at the moment happens to very few people. I’m very privileged to have signed for Real Madrid, to have returned to my roots. I have an opportunity now that I want to make the most of and, above all else, I want to fight for this club.

You just said that you never gave up on the idea of returning to Real Madrid. Now that you are back, how has the experience been?
Just like when I was 14 and came here for the first time. It’s true that I’m pretty familiar with everything, in terms of the housing, the installations, the city, and that helps towards adjusting to the move. I feel like I have butterflies in my stomach and I’m really eager, above all else to start training, which is what matters most. Being on the training pitch and being available for the manager.

How did you feel when you found out Real Madrid wanted you back?
I didn’t want to miss the opportunity. I wanted the deal to be done as quickly as possible and for Espanyol to let me leave. I got what I was looking for in the end and I was treated very well. When you know that train is rolling into town you don’t want to miss it. And I also felt I could return home, to Madrid, and that’s what has happened.

What is your greatest attribute as a goalkeeper?
I haven’t thought about it much. Above all else I try to stay calm. If a goalkeeper exudes calmness between the sticks that’s half the work done. As well as that, I like to help out in defence by being strong in the air.

You are only 28-years-old but have already played over 100 games in La Liga. No one can say you lack experience in the Spanish topflight…
I have gained experience, especially over the last four years during which time I’ve been appearing more frequently in La Liga. Each match is a test. You can tell I’ve played hundred odd games and that I’m no longer the kid I once was.

You have joined a team with a lot of expectation surrounding it, and with a dressing room packed with excellent players. What is your objective?
My obectives are to be the first choice keeper, help the manager as much as I can on the pitch, form a strong bond with my team-mates and try to play as often as I can.

And the next thing to do is quickly join up with the team on the summer tour.
I can’t wait. What I want now is to be with my team-mates, get to know the technical staff and start training.

And once the tour is finished you will return here, to Ciudad Real Madrid, your home. These pitches and installations are something else…
You can’t make any excuses here. You have everything you need to get on with your work and improve yourself here. The facilities are superb.

What do you expect from the supporters and do you have a message for them?
Any time I’ve come here to play against Real Madrid the fans have always treated me very well, with respect, knowing that I was one of theirs. I’ll be giving my all for this club and I hope they’ll support me.

Now you are wearing the badge on your chest, do you want to make a wish?
First and foremost, I’d like to avoid injuries, which is always important for an athlete. After that, winning a title with Real Madrid would be incredible. I hope I can win a lot of trophies. As well as that, I’d like to play as much as possible.

You are aware that the European Cup is particularly special here. It wouldn’t be bad to be part of the team that won the Undécima.
Yes, that would be a dream come true. We’re going to fight to make that happen.


Casemiro: “My aim is to work hard so I can triumph with Real Madrid”

“The mentality of the players is excellent. That’s the right way to win titles”, stated the Brazilian.

Casemiro has returned to the Real Madrid first team squad after playing with Porto for the past year. During an interview with and Real Madrid TV, the midfielder stated that he is “living another dream”, emphasised the squad’s mental strength and spoke about his own objectives.

You have joined up with the squad and met up with your team-mates again. Are you happy to be back?
Without a doubt. I’m living another dream and it feels like I’ve returned home. I was gone for a year but I was always thinking about being at Real Madrid. I’m really excited about triumphing here.

You had a very good season in Portugal, where you also popped up with some stunning goals.
It was an extremely important year in my life. Porto helped me quite a bit but I worked really hard, with lots of enthusiasm and humility and with my mind always focused on returning to Real Madrid. It was a fantastic year on a personal level.

How have these first few days been?
They have been very positive. The technical staff are doing a great job and, on top of that, the city and where we’re training are both spectacular places. The mentality of the other players is excellent. I believe this is the right path to follow for winning titles at the end of the season.

What is Rafa Benítez like?
He is a manager with high expectations of his players and I like that. He knows how to communicate with his players and he is intelligent. Our mentality is geared towards winning titles.

You have returned to Madrid and you will be wearing the number 14 jersey. Why is that? Does it have special significance for you?
It’s a number I like a lot and without a doubt there have been some great players who have worn it here like Guti and Xabi Alonso, who made history with this club. I believe that I can make history too. I’m really eager and I’ll keep working to make that happen.

The next match is against Manchester City…
It’s a tough encounter because City are a good side, however, it’s a preseason game and we’re still only getting started and we have a new manager, so we’ll have to keep working one step at a time.

What are Casemiro’s objectives for the upcoming season?
They’re the same as the objectives I had on my first day with Castilla. Work hard and eagerly try to win with Real Madrid, which is my dream. I’m home.

And Gareth was strapped with a Go Pro for the team’s Australian Rules Football experience.

Sadly, he didn’t move around all that much. I would have liked to see more of the action. I hope they do this again for training or something. That would be cool.

– Lozil

3 Responses to “Catching Up With The Team”

  1. mygypsyspirit July 21, 2015 at 7:09 am #

    Yesssss… Strap it to Cris during training! Then we can see what the loving looks of James, Gareth, and Jese look like from his point of view!

    • Mandy July 21, 2015 at 5:46 pm #

      That would be supremely awesome. I don’t think anyone could do anything more awesome than that.

  2. jellyace July 21, 2015 at 9:43 am #

    Even on a short boat trip, their seats have Real Madrid Logos just like on the bench. Was the boat painted to look like the Evil Bunny Bus?

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