Two more sleeps till El Clasico. Argh. Anyhow, all the internationals are back to work and knuckling down.
Keylor, Danilo & James exercised individually while Cris, Pepe, Toni & The Baby joined the group. (Video)
And a little leftover picture from yesterday:
Navas: “We’ll play with character in the Clásico and give everything to win”
by Javier Garcia | Photographer: Angel Martinez
“La Liga is going to be difficult but we can’t let our heads drop, we must keep the fighting spirit that characterizes this club”, he said.
Keylor Navas took to the media room at Real Madrid City after completing the penultimate training session ahead of the match against Barcelona (Saturday, 8:30pm CEST). The goalkeeper discussed how he was feeling with just two days to go until the Clásico: “We see the match as a beautiful opportunity to win. With where we are at the moment and with all that´s still to come, it’s an opportunity to continue confidently and take an important step towards our goals”.
“I think it will be a close game, both teams will be out to win it. We don’t want to do anything silly, we’ll play with character. We have to make good decisions, know when to attack and when to defend, and of course, we want to score goals. You can’t keep the same rhythm for the full 90 minutes”.
“We all know that La Liga is going to be difficult but we must be aware that the values of this club come first and we have to give our all until the final whistle. We can’t let our heads drop, we must keep the fighting spirit that characterizes this club. We will give everything to win this game”.
His first Clásico in Barcelona
“I’m very calm about it. It’s a beautiful match and every footballer in the world would like to be a part of it. I have the opportunity and the privilege, and I have to treat it like it deserves, with responsibly and a desire to give everything to win it”.
“He’s got his methods, he’s a very respectful person and we all have great respect for him. If we don’t give a good performance, like against Las Palmas, it’s only normal that he gets angry. What he says is of extreme importance to all of us. We knew after that game we had to improve things, and the results were evident in the following match”.
A starting role
“I have to be grateful to the managers I’ve had this year because they’ve given me the opportunity to be first choice. I’m happy with Zidane because he’s given me the confidence necessary to perform on the pitch. I always try to be professional, repay his confidence with good results, and that’s what I want to keep on doing”.
“I think it will be a close one. We have to make good decisions and know when to attack and when to defend.”
“From the start, the only thing I dreamed about was having the chance to play. You never stop believing in yourself. Thank God, things have turned out well for me. I believe you can always get better. Since I arrived, I’ve done that with the idea of being here for many years and enjoying this great club”.
In good form
“I am in good form, happy, and enjoying being first-choice. Saturday’s game will be beautiful, and must be approached responsibly. I have worked hard and I feel calm and confident”.
Confidence in James
“We shouldn’t doubt James’ quality and commitment. He has everyone’s support. We rely on him because he’s important and I know he’ll really help us in this final stretch of the season”.
A united team
“I don’t think the team lacked unity before. I think like Gareth, that the team is more united now. That comes with results. When results don’t go your way, that’s where problems arise. We know we have the chance to win the Champions League and we’ve got La Liga games to get better and go into it playing well. The dream is there and that makes us stronger”.
The Barcelona front three
“They are brilliant footballers. I always respect my rivals. I can’t say that one is more dangerous than another. They are great players but we have talent and we have to try and do things better than them”.
“I always try and do the same against every opponent. Some rivals have less penalty takers than the rest. It’s tough because they have great players and they can change who takes them”.