Thursday Training, Awards, Ouchies & An Interview

10 Sep

Satellite (1)Yoinks! Getting home from work super late puts everything behind schedule. So this will be a drive by as I want to get it up before midnight.  The team finished their fourth training session of the week.
Marcelo, Sese & Cristiano joined the rest of the squad on the pitch to prepare for Saturday’s match vs. Espanyol. (Video)

The International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) presented the team with 4 awards today: World’s Best Club of 2014 (Real Madrid), World’s Top Scorer and the World’s Best Top Division Goalscorer (Cristiano) and World’s Best Playmaker (Toni). Captain Sergio accepted the team award (Video)

And we had some crappy luck with injuries from the international break. James has been diagnosed with a tear in his left thigh muscle, resulting from a knock during the match vs. Peru. And Danilo has been diagnosed with a plantar fasciitis tear in his right foot. As someone who had that happen to me last year, Danilo, I am totally feeling your pain because that was fucking excruciating. Both players will be evaluated and monitored.

And finally, Arbie was interviewed. Apparently at sunset (Video)

Arbeloa: “Benítez is going to make us better”

“It’s impossible to triumph at Real Madrid if you don’t have the ambition to win”, explained the full back.

Álvaro Arbeloa, who has got his seventh consecutive season as part of the Whites’ first team squad underway, gave an interview to Realmadrid TV and The Salamanca-born defender stated, “I’m more excited than ever to start this season and I’m delighted to be a Real Madrid player for yet another year”.

You have just started your seventh straight campaign with Real Madrid. How are you handling it?
I’m more excited than ever. I’m really eager and delighted to be able to enjoy being a Real Madrid player for yet another year.

How has Álvaro Arbeloa evolved during this time on both a professional and a personal level?
On the personal side of things, I have become a father of two and I’m hoping to have my third child this year. The family is getting a lot bigger and it’s obvious that the years of experience force you to view life differently; they make you grow up as a person. You’re always trying to improve yourself. As a professional, over these six years I’ve won everything a footballer could win both with the Spanish national team as well as with Real Madrid, so I can’t complain.

What has belonging to this club and its history meant for you, and what does it mean now?
I always say that the three greatest things that can happen to a footballer are: training in the Real Madrid jersey, playing in the Real Madrid jersey and winning in the Real Madrid jersey. I have the good fortune to perform one of this things every day by coming to Valdebebas, and I’m becoming more aware all the time about what it all means. I have a lot of friends playing with big European teams and I’m well aware that Valdebebas is a special place. Year after year Real Madrid is considered to be the world’s most prestigious club. We are number one in terms of revenue and are role models when it comes to our commitment to social responsibility, which we demonstrate year after year, and that makes you feel extremely proud. Behind all that is the great work being carried out by the president and the Board of Directors, who ensure that Real Madrid is model organisation, not just among other football teams but among all of the world’s sporting bodies. As a Real Madrid player that should not be forgotten. Sometimes it’s easy to forget, but it needs to be said loud and clear. I’m very proud of this club and to be part of it.

What has been your best moment with Real Madrid to date?
I fondly remember the day I made my debut. For all of us who have dreamed of becoming football players that is a special day, and for me it was particularly special. I got to make my debut in a team packed full of star names, players who were my idols at the time, like Raúl, Zidane, Figo, Roberto Carlos, Ronaldo… It was a dream team. And along with that is the day we won la Décima. Those are the two I think about the most.

And what day are you still waiting to experience?
At the moment I want for every day spent at this club to be the best. I’m trying to work on that each day, enjoying every second I spend at Real Madrid. I hope tomorrow is the best day yet, and that the next one is even better, and so on.

Additionally, this season you have teamed up with Rafa Benítez again. How have these first few weeks with him been?
They’ve been great. Once it became known that he was going to return, everyone started asking me about him and I made it clear: Rafa is a very methodical coach, a very hard worker, highly demanding and I assure you that we are going to become better players and a better team through hard work and effort. He has gotten off to a very good start. While you might hear that certain people aren’t happy with him or that he shows more affection to certain players, for me, at this stage of the game, nothing surprises me anymore. It doesn’t matter which manager we have because there will always be people out there looking to portray an image of the team that isn’t true. The team is more united than ever. Following a year in which we failed to meet the targets we set for ourselves, we know this year is very important for us and we have to be extremely united. We’re not going to get any help from outside, but that’s not news for us.

Are there any differences between this Rafa Benítez and the manager you had at Liverpool?
It’s clear that he is a better coach now after six years, during which time he has accumulated experience with other clubs and of other leagues. In order to manage Real Madrid you have to be one of the best managers in the world and Rafa meets that criteria. Over those six years he has improved personally and professionally.

Am I right in saying that it was Rafa Benítez who first played you as a right back, a position from which you have enjoyed your greatest achievements?
Yes, Rafa might be the manager to have left the biggest mark on my career. Not just because of the opportunity he gave me by allowing me to play for Liverpool, which is such a unique club and was a very important one during that period, as we were always fighting to win the Premier League, the Champions League… Not only did he give me that opportunity, which led to me playing for the Spanish national team and, most importantly, joining Real Madrid, but he also changed my position. Ever since then I’m still playing there and thanks to God it has gone very well for me.

You have won everything with Real Madrid as well as with the national team. Where does a player like Álvaro Arbeloa get his motivation from now?
Winning motivates me. In every game we play, even the ones in training, we’re hoping to reach the deciding game so we can win. I think that ambition goes hand-in-hand with this crest and every Real Madrid player needs to have it. It’s impossible to triumph at Real Madrid if you don’t have that ambition to win. I think that drive grows bigger as the years go by.

The project this year also has a special characteristic that exudes the Real Madrid spirit. It is represented by Rafa Benítez and a number of players who have returned to the club after adventures elsewhere. Youth team players who grew up in La Fábrica, something you too experienced. For a youth academy graduate like yourself, does that make you proud?
Obviously it does. We youth academy graduates know we have a responsibility. Not just on the pitch, where we are placed under the same demands as players who join the club from elsewhere, but we have a responsibility to convey the club’s history as well as what Real Madrid represents for those players joining from outside. We have to set an example, on the institutional side of things as well. It’s clear that it is a source of pride for a youth team player to make it into the first team and play for Real Madrid, but I’d also say it comes with double the responsibility.

With all the new players who have arrived this year joining those who were already here, what can Real Madrid hope to achieve this season?
Like always, to win everything. We know that will be very difficult, that expectations are high, but anything other than aspiring to win all the titles is not good enough at this club. The club has made a big effort to improve the squad we had last season, which was already so strong. We have great players and others have joined who I believe will add further strength to the squad. Our hopes are set high and we are very enthusiastic. I was looking forward for the holidays to end and to get back to work, get back to fighting for titles, to win games… We are eager to get going after our the pain of last season. We want to make it up to the supporters, who got behind us during those difficult moments, and give them something to cheer about.

We’ll be back in action on Saturday. Hala Madrid!

– Lozil

2 Responses to “Thursday Training, Awards, Ouchies & An Interview”

  1. Mandy September 10, 2015 at 11:51 pm #

    According to an interview with Fernando Santos (Portugal’s manager) after Portugal vs Albania; Cris suffered a knock in warm-ups. Suffering excruciating pain in his bum knee and he still played a full 90 minutes giving it his all. He’s super human. I was expecting he’s sit out the rest of the week, yet, here he is training and probably starting vs Espanyol.

  2. Mandy September 11, 2015 at 12:02 am #

    Also, Toni is such a cutie! Love him.

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