The team had their final training session before they meet Malmö tomorrow in the Champions League.
In happy news, Sergio joined the group for training (he won’t play tomorrow though) along with Marcos Llorente, Odegaard and Borja Mayoral. Dani & The Baby are still recovering.
Malmö also trained today, but at the Bernabeu.
The following players were called up for the match:
Goalkeepers: Casilla, Rubén Yáñez and Álex Craninx.
Defenders: Pepe, Nacho, Marcelo, Arbeloa and Danilo.
Midfielders: Kroos, James, Casemiro, Kovacic, Cheryshev, Isco and Marcos Llorente.
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Lucas Vázquez and Jesé
Benítez: “We’re happy to be top of the group but we still want to win”
by Alberto Navarro
“We need to extend our winning streak to keep confidence high”, the Real Madrid manager added in the press room.
Rafa Benítez spoke in the Real Madrid City press room on the eve of the Malmö game (Tuesday, 8:45pm CET). The manager of the Whites looked ahead to the team’s final group A encounter in the Champions League: “We’re happy to be top of the group but we still want to win. This isn’t an ordinary match but while we respect Malmö we’ll also be thinking ahead to beating Villarreal. We have to try and win with a good performance in order to keep confidence high. The mood around the camp won’t change if it’s not a great match, however, if we do play well and win it will have a positive effect on morale”.
“We have to do what we did during the first half against Getafe and extend our current run of four wins on the trot even further. The foundations have been set for us to continue growing and we’ve had important players unavailable who are now making their way back to fitness”.
Keep our focus
“We’ve won our last four matches. We made mistakes away to Shakhtar when we were 0-4 up. In the case of Getafe we had control over the game, but it’s not easy maintaining that same level of intensity in the second half because your brain tells you to ease up in the knowledge that there are still plenty more games to come. The main positive was the first-half performance, it was one of our best so far in terms of how we played and the lead we took. We should be looking to repeat that performance as often as we can”.
“Tomorrow will be a chance to rotate the squad, but always with the aim of winning and managing both things: alternating the players and winning the match so that everyone is in the best shape possible for the Villarreal clash”.
“He’s on the mend but he won’t be included in tomorrow’s squad. I’m not ruling him out for the Villarreal game. I think he’ll recover in time as long as nothing out of the ordinary happens”.
Academy players against Malmö
“Their involvement is affected by the fact that a lot of players are making their ways back from injury bit by bit. It’s not very likely that the academy players will have a chance to play tomorrow because we need those returning from injuries to get back into the swing of things and recover match fitness. Marcos Llorente is the only one who will be in the squad”.
“We have highly talented players and the BBC are exceptional.”
“It’s unfair to the other players who have helped the team out so much in attack to only talk about the BBC. We have highly talented players and the BBC are exceptional. Footballers’ form is judged over the course of the season and our players haven’t been able to play together as much as we would have liked”.
“We don’t need to say much to Lucas. He’s one of those players who trains well all the time, takes care of himself, listens to you and as a result he’s always improving. We’ll make a decision about whether or not he plays tomorrow because we always assess both of the week’s games”.
“He links up well with the team-mates around him thanks to his ability and his movement. He makes the most of one-twos, can slip away from whoever’s marking him and as a result the players around him perform better”.
Copa del Rey
“We still think we have a strong case and are confident about what we believe in”.
“I’m not going to say whether or not he’ll play. People don’t need to think about what the reasons behind him being left out might be. Instead they should focus on the quality players we have in the squad. He pushes himself to the max in every training session and he’s available to play”.
Bale as a left back
“There are a lot of players in this team who are capable of playing in a variety of different positions. Gareth could also do a job there but that’s not our objective”.
“I’m not going to talk about signings or players during a Champions League pre-match press conference. We have to focus on the match and what might happen tomorrow”.
The Luis Suárez incident at Mestalla
“I don’t get into what players of other teams do. We have enough to concentrate on with our own team and we are fully focused on tomorrow’s game”.
Nacho: “We need to approach this game as we did the first half against Getafe”
by Javier Garcia
“It’s important that we beat Malmö in order to boost our confidence”, stated the defender.
Nacho spoke to the press with little over 24 hours to go until Real Madrid face Malmö at the Santiago Bernabéu. The Whites’ defender talked about the final group stage fixture: “We need to approach this game as we did the first half against Getafe. We should be as focused as we are for every game and treat each game the same way in order to boost our confidence even further. Malmö will be looking to defend well and hit us on the break. We expect to have most of the possession and come out on top in order to close out the group stage with a win”.
“The team want to play an entire 90 minutes similar to that first-half performance. That would be ideal. We went in at the break 4-0 up and with that margin we started thinking about the next game a little bit. Those were the circumstances. We’ve shown in many matches, like the one in Bilbao, that we’re capable of keeping our focus for the entire game”.
“We’re having bad luck but that’s part and parcel of football. I’m ready to go whenever the manager needs me and he knows I’m going to be available. No other team in the world has three centre backs of Real Madrid’s quality, but as long as I keep doing well in training, I’ll have opportunities to play”.
“We’re in good form at the moment and everything will be weighted up at the end of the season.”
“We have a lot of confidence in ourselves. This time last year we were in spectacular form. We’re in good form at the moment and everything will be weighted up at the end of the season”.
“I prefer being in the centre of defence because I’ve played there since I was a kid, but at the end of the day playing is what matters most”.
Distance between Real Madrid and Barcelona
“The Clásico was a one-off. There’s not as big a difference between the sides as that result may have indicated. We’re confident, we have a better playing style and we hope to be able to prove that when we play against the top teams”.
How he never picks up injuries
“I’ll have to knock on wood. I try to take really good care of myself. Like all footballers I watch what I eat, rest up a lot, stick to healthy foods…”.
“The coach has had a big hand in my development, and Malmö’s”, said Tinnerholm.
Malmö coach Åge Hareide was joined by defender Anton Tinnerholm as the pair spoke to the media in the Santiago Bernabéu press room, on the eve of the Swedish outfit’s clash with Real Madrid on the final matchday of Champions League Group A (Tuesday, 8:45pm CET). Hareide explained: “Even though Madrid are already through, I know they’re going to be out to win the game every time they play. It’s a Champions League match and it’ll be difficult. As always, we’re going to prepare well to try to get the result we need to make the Europa League; that’s the task facing me and my players”.
“The players performed very well at home against Real Madrid. We started very well, but maybe there was too much excitement surrounding the likes of [Cristiano] Ronaldo and that affected us. We did a good job, but little mistakes led us to concede the first goal and then we weren’t able to turn it around. We looked to stop Ronaldo, but then there’s another really good player coming up behind him. What’s important is to work together and show good organisation, and I think we’re going to put in a good match out there”.
Prestige of Real Madrid
“The silverware that this club has won is there to see, as are the players they have, who have been playing together for a number of years. They’re a leading name in world football and they play the best football around. That enables them to be a benchmark for the rest. In any country you go to, Real Madrid are talked about as one of the top clubs in global football”.
Hareide: “We’re going to prepare well and try to get the result we need to make the Europa League.”
“I think that we’ve got to where we are by giving it everything all together; our players and supporters have been a good combination. We know that the atmosphere our fans create has made an impression in Europe. Even the big stars have felt the presence of our support. I hope that Malmö can keep that up in February in the Europa League”.
“It’s best to leave everything concerning Odegaard in the hands of [Rafa] Benítez. This is a massive club, he’s going to learn a lot here and in time he’ll become a great player”.
Tinnerholm: “We want to finish off on a high for our coach and fans”
“Hareide has had a huge influence on me. I wasn’t very experienced, and suddenly I’m playing in the Champions League. He helped me to start believing in myself and helped the whole team to believe in ourselves. He has had a big hand in my development, and Malmö’s. He’s very demanding, and that has helped us to make it into Europe. We want to finish off on a high for our coach and to give the fans what they deserve”.
Let’s hope we have a good drama-free match tomorrow, eh?