It’s almost time for El Clasico! And Sese is looking rather peppy. I love the balls hovering above his head, on his back foot and by his knee and how he is in midair.
With the Clasico just 2 days away, the team had a training today. Castilla’s Tejero, Odegaard and Enzo joined the first team. Danilo & Fabio trained individually on the pitch. Toni & Morata trained away from the group while G-Money continues his recovery (Video)
“The secret to the team’s good form is hard work. There are no wins without sacrifice.”, he added.
Benzema spoke to Mahou in an interview regarding the current state of the team and more specifically, about el Clásico, which takes place on Saturday at the Camp Nou: “It will be a very tough game against a great team, so we know that we have, as always a huge match ahead of us. There will be a lot of pressure, everyone is braced for that. For that reason, going into the game there as league leaders does not make a difference”.
Pressure on Barcelona
“We also have pressure to deal with. In every game, regardless of whether you’re playing, even the lowest ranked team, there is always going to be pressure. What changes things the most is the game itself, people say it is a prestigious game because Barcelona-Real Madrid is el Clásico”.
“Honesty, it is always special. It is the game to watch, it is as if when Real Madrid play Barcelona the footballing world stops and everyone talks about this game, so in some ways it is like every game is your first. Regardless of the fact that play is many of these clashes it is always the same”.
The keys to the team’s good run
“The secret is work. There are no wins without hard work, without sacrifice. So when we go into training, we give it our very best, we all play for each other. If we think back to last year or any previous years, we have committed errors in the final minutes of the game, but we cannot afford to, we need to keep our focus and win”.
“They are always the same, to win titles. Keep scoring lots of goals, make decisive passes and keep playing for this great team”.
“I would like to win LaLiga as I’ve only won it once, but I’d also love to win the Copa del Rey or the Club World Cup, which is coming up. We are focussed on winning that”.
The same group
“The best teams don’t change players too often. Everyone here knows each other well. Each year we incorporate one or two new faces and that strengthens the team, so I think that it is good that we stick to that idea”.
Toughest defenders to play against
“I think that the toughest defenders are in my team/ Ramos, Pepe and Varane. I have played against some great defenders, but I think they are the toughest”.
“It is special to have him here. Before he became a coach he was a player that I used to follow, a terrific player, a legend of the game. I have a lot of admiration for him, so it was an absolute pleasure when I met him. I talk to him a lot. I am so happy to have him as our coach and he is great person”.
Do you feel valued?
“I think so, The statistics do the talking. People can criticise me, that is part and package of my work, of my life, and I know that I am playing for a team such as Real Madrid. I had always dreamed of playing here, of winning titles. I keep developing, I keep training, helping my teammates and winning titles. That is what I’m focussed on, much more than the criticism, that is something that will always exist”.
And congrats to the 11 Madridistas who have been nominated for the FIFA FIFPro World XI: Keylor Navas, Sergio, Varane, Pepe, Dani, Marcelo, Lukita, Toni, Cristiano, Karim & Gareth.