Man, has it been a busy week. Between work and watching history happen before my eyes, I haven’t had much time to get posts up. I’ve been so out of it, I completely got the day of the PSG-RM game wrong and was all pissed when I couldn’t find a stream. Oh well. Perhaps not the result we would have wanted. Congratulations to Castilla Muppet Babies Febas, Mariano, Enzo and Achraf who made their first team debuts!
The team is now in Ann Arbor where they will face Chelsea at Michigan Stadium, a place I have rather bad memories of. They hit the field today for training.
And Sergio, James & Lukita took a nice long run with the fitness coaches through the lovely Ford Lake Park.
Zidane: “Those who come to the stadium will want to see a good Real Madrid display and we’ll be trying to give them that”
by Alberto Navarro (Ann Arbor) | Photographers: Helios De La Rubia/Antonio Villalba
“Pre-season fixtures allow you to work on things so that they come as second nature”, Zidane stressed in the press room at the Michigan Stadium.
Zinedine Zidane took to the press room at the Michigan Stadium on the eve of Real Madrid’s second pre-season game to preview the European champions’ clash against Chelsea: “Pre-season fixtures allow you to work on things so that they come as second nature. I want to see a little bit more tempo and some of the things we’ve been working on in training. We’re well prepared and I now want to see a bit of a stronger performance from my team”.
“The important thing is that, knowing that we’ve got supporters right throughout the world, we’re happy to be here and we want the fans to enjoy our football. I want to see my team performing better than they did in the first game. We need to be showing a bit more and prove that we’re getting better in terms of fitness. We’re not 100% yet, but I want to see a different performance. Those who come to the stadium will want to see a good Real Madrid display and we’ll be trying to give them that. We’ll have to play on the pitch regardless of the state it’s in tomorrow”.
“He won’t feature tomorrow. When a player has got an injury, it’s always a concern. It’s hip-related and it’s something that continues to bother him. We’re working on it and every day he’s in with the physios. We hope that he can play a part in the third game because it’s important that he plays before the Super Cup”.
Ramos, Modric and James
“They’re fine-tuning their fitness and they’re following the same programme as their teammates. They’ll train in the morning and we’ll have to see whether they play in the evening. The plan is for them to be ready for the Super Cup and to do that they must play against Bayern, at the very least”.
“Yes, I think that we’ve got the best squad in the world, but we’ve got to prove it and that’s what we’re working on. Up until 31 August anything can happen. There are players who could end up going out and nothing is done and dusted. I’m happy with the players I’ve got. We’re working hard and that’s very important for a coach, it’s the most important thing. I’ve got to work the talent in this squad. My press conferences might be a bit boring because I always say the same thing, but it’s important to prepare well for the season”.
Praise for Marco Asensio
“He’s happy here and he’s showing that he wants to play. If he stays with us he knows what he’s going to get. I’m delighted with how he’s performing and anything could happen between now and 31 August. I’m happy with how he’s playing. He’s very young and I’m his coach.”
Cristiano Ronaldo’s injury
“He’s ruled out of the Super Cup. He has to get himself prepared and we’re not going to throw him in after a month off. We’ve got 10 days between the Super Cup and the next game. He’ll be working with us, but I don’t think that he’ll play in the first La Liga game”.
“He’s doing better, but it’s looking unlikely that he’ll make it for the Super Cup. When we get back he has to go and see the doctor to continue with his recovery programme. It’s tough, but he’s working very well, he’s fine within himself and he’s getting stronger by the day. Casilla is our number 2 and he’s in fine shape to be called upon. We’re happy with him and he’s ready to play”.
Enzo and Luca
“I’m the coach. They’re good enough to be here and be training with us and that’s all there is to it. At home they’re my sons, but we’re here to work and they’ve got just the same right to do that as the others. We’re focused on our work”.
“We’re happy with this year’s trip because we’ve had 10 days in a row to train without having to travel. We’ve got three games without long journeys between them and a lot off back and forth and both the coaching staff and the players are pleased with that”.
“One of the things that helped us to win the Champions League was learning very quickly what Zidane wanted from us”, he added.
Keylor Navas is going into his third season as Real Madrid’s number one. The Costa Rican is working on getting back to full fitness and in an interview with Adidas he spoke about his role in the team, Zidane, the Undécima triumph and how he views the upcoming campaign: “I am going to work with the hunger to improve on what I’ve done so far and keep becoming a better person and a better footballer”.
“I’m very excited heading into the new season. I’m eager to work hard and I know I’ll have to give my all. I’ve got the benefit of knowing what the club is all about, how to work with my team mates, things that were new for me before are now becoming familiar. You can always learn and get better”.
“He really understands us. He’s clear in his ideas and we all try to understand what he wants as quickly as possible so we can put it into practice on the pitch. One of the things that helped us to win the Champions League was that we learned very quickly and had the ideas clear in our minds. In the end we managed to achieve our goal”.
Champions League final memories
“I try to remember all of it. Before we got to the final, I was just trying to enjoy it as much as possible, live it all to the full, regardless of the situation. They’re special moments and I made sure I experienced them intensely, I enjoyed the happy times as well as moments when we had to work hard. Becoming champions really was the icing on the cake”.
Unbeaten for 338 minutes in the Champions League
“It was a beautiful thing and a very intense experience. Nobody achieves anything without the help of their team mates. It’s an individual milestone but I always say that if they left me alone between the posts, I’d definitely concede a lot of goals. When they are there to help me out, I’m just a reflection of the team and I’ll always be thankful to my team mates”.
“I have a great friendship with Lluis Llopis but we have always managed to keep that friendship separate from training. On the pitch he treats us all the same and if he has to correct me on something he will do. He’s always eager to help us to improve and he’s a great coach”.
An idol in Costa Rica
“It’s a privilege and I always try and give my best. I try and set a good example for all those children. They admire me and I have to make sure I fulfil my obligations to them. I hope they turn into great professionals in the future and that I’ve helped to contribute to that in some way”.
The new kit
“You have to feel good in what you work with and I feel great in that sense. The gloves are very comfortable and the boots are always designed to match. They’re things us goalkeepers really like and they make me feel good”.
And speaking of, we got a look at the third kit! What say you? I’m kinda side eyeing those shoulder designs. Part of me is like “Huh, it’s kinda got an art deco feel.” While the other part is “Yeah, it does and is that really what I want in a football kit?” Jury is still out.
And there is this odd little campaign entitled “Let the blah fuel you to be first.” Not all that catchy, is it?
Okay, I’m so tired, I can’t even see straight and I need to be up at 7:30 AM tomorrow so that’s it for now. I’ll try to be more diligent this week esp. since RM will be in town!