The team had their final training session before facing Rayo.
Dani & The Baby continue their recovery and trained alone on the pitch while the rest of the first team went through their paces.
Benítez: “Our fans have been and will be crucial for us in every game”
by Antonio M. Leal
“Rayo attack, play open football and we have to make the most of our quality up front”, he said.
Rafa Benítez gave a press conference at Real Madrid City a day ahead of the Rayo Vallecano game (Sunday, 4pm CET): “It is always necessary to play as well as possible and make the most of our qualities. If we are on form we can beat any opponent. Rayo are a side that goes forward, they play attacking and open football. Therefore we have to be attentive in defence and make the most of our quality in attack”.
“We have worked well in training, the side worked with quite a lot of intensity and today we even had to reduce the time a little because the side was training was a lot of intensity for the day before a game. Therefore, I am quite optimistic. Mentally, we know when things aren’t going well and of course the players will react”.
“The Real Madrid fans know how important they are for us, they always have been for the side and now they have to forget about what else is going on and focus on supporting. The lyrics of La Décima song are “Hala Madrid and nothing else” and that is crucial for us. The fans have and will be crucial in every game”.
“Yesterday at the Christmas dinner I was at a table with Amancio and we talked about the old sports city and what Real Madrid is. He remembered a phrase from Di Stéfano, who said that the most important thing was to prepare to work, and that everything else comes second. The team knows that and tomorrow we will see a side with the same intensity that they have shown in other games, and that is why they have won so many games”.
“Fortunately, I spent many years in three countries and important leagues winning titles. I try to do my work. There were also many years at Real Madrid and they taught me about respect, work and effort and that is what I do. I am going to keep defending Real Madrid with my work and respect”.
“I am convinced that the team will do well and is going to fight for La Liga and the Champions League.”
“Historically we have always wanted to win. When something doesn’t go well, we change it. The other day we did not have a good first half and we changed in the second half. Our idea is to always win and do things as well as possible”.
“He is a great player and when I’ve spoken to him he is always willing to play wherever we think is best. He is crucial for us”.
World champions badge
“The most important badge in football is that of Real Madrid. We are all quite clear about that”.
Solutions to improve
“Every year is different because circumstances change. The team qualified brilliantly for the Champions league and in La Liga everything could have changed in a few weeks. I am convinced that the side is going to do well and will battle for La Liga and the Champions League”.
“Traditionally, Real Madrid have had intensity and played good football, always with the aim of winning and playing well. They have done that and will continue to do so”.
“He is a good manager. He is improving and we have a good, normal relationship, we exchange information to find out how players are faring”.
The side’s fitness
“For a while we have been talking about the side doing really in the first 45 minutes and then lacking something in the second half. The other day we saw that they lack nothing in the second half and we have to manage to do that for 90 minutes. The side is doing well, the numbers we have are good and we have to win, playing as well as possible, by doing that we will avoid these types of problems”.
The following players were called up for the match:
Goalkeepers: Keylor Navas, Kiko Casilla and Rubén Yáñez.
Defenders: Pepe, Ramos, Nacho, Marcelo, Arbeloa and Danilo.
Midfieders: Kroos, James, Bale, Casemiro, Kovacic, Modric, Cheryshev and Isco.
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Jesé and Lucas Vázquez.
Let’s hope for a good match tomorrow before the holiday break, eh?