The team had their final session before tomorrow’s Copa Del Rey match vs. Cádiz.
Castilla’s Odegaard, Llorente, Lienhart and Mayoral joined the first team. Marcelo worked alone on the pitch. Dani, who is now also broken, FFS, worked indoors. Sese & The Baby continued their recovery.
“After the last two wins there is confidence in the team”, added the manager.
Rafa Benítez spoke to the media and analysed the game against Cádiz (Wednesday, 8pm CET) which marks the start of the Whites’ Copa del Rey campaign: “There is confidence following the last two wins. The team has played two serious games, working together and that is important for the future. We are approaching the Copa del Rey, which is a target for us, just like every competition that Real Madrid play in”.
“It is a dangerous game, against historic opponents and a good side. They have experienced players and we need to be very attentive and focused to do well because they can cause surprises. I saw some coverage of the opponents and my assistants have helped me to obtain information. They are a team that play well, they have speed on the wings and experience in attack. They will undoubtedly give 100%”.
Playing well against Cádiz
“First, it would be necessary to define what playing well means. Real Madrid really have to respect Cádiz and the Copa del Rey, which is a difficult and dangerous tournament. We have to be focused, with a lot of desire, give everything we have, play as well as possible and win. Real Madrid have to try and win every competition they are involved in. We have to approach the tournament in top form and try to get a good result in Cádiz. We have to get ourselves in the game and make the most of our quality. These are games that worry managers until they are over and done with”.
“Yes, I have thought about making changes. I still cannot say who because we are creating the team sheet. An academy player will come into the first team. Cristiano will rest. Odegaard is one of those who could come in, however in theory he is not in the squad. It is a different type of game but I insist on stating my upmost respect for Cádiz. It will not be easy. It is an opportunity for other players to get game time and show their quality”.
“Cadiz are historical opponents and will be dangerous.”
“Marcelo will not make it, he is recovering. I like to find out first-hand how the players are feeling. He is happy enough to go out on the pitch and work with the ball. January is a long way off and we have enough players to perform in his position”.
“I think he is crucial for us. On a personal level, he is a great guy and he has all of our support. On a footballing level, he is essential because he is a key man up front and provides quality so that those around him can play even better. I support Karim. He is very important for us and he has not started the last few games because he is returning from injury”.
“He is a player that was out injured for 55 days. There are no problems with him, he is an excellent player. The more he comes on and plays, the closer James will be to his best form. He has my full backing and confidence. This is Real Madrid and the competitiveness among the players is as high as possible. I am delighted with the players that featured the other day in Éibar because they really faced up to the game. I insist that I am delighted with all of the players: they are doing well and scoring goals, whether it is James, Isco, Jesé…”.
“If I had read the front cover of Marca I would have an opinion, however I have not read it. I have already stated my thoughts, he is an excellent player and a good footballer. I want the good players to play very well in every game and I want to see James in his best form every Sunday”.
“What Ramos said is the way things are, we don’t know how long Barcelona’s run will last. I have to agree that we do not know that. Firstly. I am approaching the game against Cádiz, and then the one against Getafe. We have to take it game by game”.
The Ballon d’Or
“I am supporting Cristiano”.
The following players were called up for the match:
Goalkeepers: Casilla, Rubén Yáñez and Carlos Abad.
Defenders: Pepe, Nacho, Arbeloa, Lienhart and A. Tejero.
Midfielders: James, Casemiro, Kovacic, Cheryshev, Isco and M. Llorente.
Forwards: Jesé, Lucas Vázquez and Mayoral.
Congratulations to Sergio, James and Cristiano who won last night at the LFP Awards in Barcelona. Sese won Best Defender (beating out Gerard Pique and Nicolás Otamendi). James got Best Midfielder (besting Andrés Iniesta and Antoine Griezmann) while Cristiano won the Fans’ Five Star Player Award.