Hey all – sorry for my absence lately. They finally – FINALLY! – finished the renovations on my new apartment so I was able to start the moving process this weekend. Now I’m just racing to finish packing up the last of my current place so the movers can come in this weekend. And then it will probably take months for me to pack but at least I won’t be between two households, right? Thanks to mygypsyspirit for getting the match posts up and doing such a great job.
So, good news: Cris returned to training yesterday and Benz is running on the field today. Hooray!
“That feeling when the fans inside the Santiago Bernabéu get behind you and are with us is unexplainable”, he added.
Keylor Navas, who is yet to have conceded a goal in this season’s Champions League home games, is aware that the supporters inside the Santiago Bernabéu on Wednesday will have an important role to play, as the team bid to book their place in the Milan final. In an interview given to Realmadrid.com and Realmadrid TV, the Costa Rican goalkeeper had the following to say: “I’d ask our supporters to get behind us, to be with us and for them to give their all, just as we will be doing out on the pitch. Whenever they roar loudly we really do feel it. We’ll be going out for the win. Hala Madrid and long live life!”
“Our supporters are incredible. We’ve all got to be united. That feeling when the fans inside the Santiago Bernabéu get behind you and are with us is unexplainable. We’ll be trying to chase every ball and each player is going to be giving their best to ensure that everything works out perfectly, so that we win the game and that everyone is happy come the end of the night”.
Squad motivation levels
“We give thanks to God that we’re all very well, happy and motivated for the challenge that lies ahead. It’s a great game and it’s one we must approach in the right way and try to win it. We’ll be going out to give our all on the pitch.”
“We always try to treat the games with the same importance. The next game is the most important one and that means that Wednesday’s game is the most important match of the season, and we’ve got to approach it in the way it deserves”.
“Home advantage will help. We’re counting on the fans and I’m sure they’ll not let us down”, explained the Brazilian.
Only one game separates Real Madrid from another European Cup final. It will be played this Wednesday at the Santiago Bernabéu against Manchester City and Casemiro is aware that the support from the fans will help achieve qualification for the final in Milan. This is what he said on the Bwin website: “Home advantage will help. The fans have to support us, we’re counting on them and I’m sure they’ll not let us down. When they play with us they help us a lot. Manchester City have to feel that the Bernabéu is strong”.
“If we start well and we play well our fans will be with us without a doubt, alongside us like the game against Wolfsburg. They supported us from the start. It is going to be a very difficult game but our fans are strong. That gives us a small advantage, although all semi-finals in the Champions League are difficult”.
“When they were at home they came out very strongly. We had to withstand the first 20 minutes and after that we began to play. We played well there but we now have the second-leg. We have to do our homework, play like we always play in the Bernabéu and give our all”.
“It doesn’t matter who scores, we have to win and be in the final.”
“We have to win and that’s it. It doesn’t matter who scores. We have to score and win. We have to always play wanting to win. It doesn’t matter if I score with the head, with the feet… What I want is to help Real Madrid get to the final”.
“We have to play with a lot of attention and strength. They’ve not only got Agüero, they’ve got big players with a lot of quality. We have to be switched on to all of them and focused on the game. Play the same as we did there, with attitude and character”.
Praise for Pepe
“We know that he is a great players. He’s been here a long time, he’s very experienced and one of the best centre backs in the world. We count on him because he is a player with a lot of character and a lot of energy out on the field”.
La Liga and Champions League
“You have to think game by game. We’ve got the Champions League now and we have to be totally focused on that. We have to win what’s left and if the others slip up, we win. We have to do our job and then we’ll see”.
“I admired Zidane as a player and now as a coach as well”, he said in an interview with UEFA.
Cristiano Ronaldo gave an interview to UEFA’s official media in which he talked about his experiences in the Champions League, Manchester City, Zidane and about his pride at being the competition’s leading scorer: “It’s a privilege for me to know that I am the highest goal scorer in the history of the Champions League. It’s a privilege, and obviously I’m very happy to have achieved it”.
Two years ago, you won the Champions League in Lisbon. Can you describe what the victory meant for you on a personal level?
To win it with Real Madrid was a beautiful feeling, wonderful, because the Champions League is always a special competition, and to win it in Lisbon, in front of a Portuguese crowd, was special too.
Do you still get the same feeling when you hear the Champions League music as you did when you started out in this competition in 2003?
It’s a different feeling, a different sensation. Like I said, it’s a special competition and the emotions are different too. That’s why I feel every game in the Champions League like it were my first. Obviously, winning it is a priority for Real Madrid. We know we face a difficult challenge but anything is possible. If Manchester City have made it to the semi-finals, it’s because they’re an excellent team. Knocking out PSG is not an easy task, but they managed to do it. They are a team with very few weaknesess.
Your hat-trick against Wolfsburg sent the team into the semi-finals. Where do you rank that performance in terms of your greatest nights in this competition?
It was perhaps one of the most important games: we had to win by three goals and I scored all three, so it was a special night. It had to be perfect and that’s how it turned out. It wasn’t just because of my goals, I think it was everything. I think the team played very well… and our fans as well, who played a very important role in the come back. It was a brilliant night, a magical moment.
What has Zidane brought to the team since taking charge?
I think we feel more appreciated under Zidane. We feel his affection, we know he’s in a period of adaptation, but things have come together very quickly and I’m really happy for him. I always admired him as a player, and now as a coach as well, for how behaves, how he deals with the players. He’s a coach who I would like to see stay at Real Madrid.
And now back to work for me!