Tomorrow we face Borussia Dortmund at home in the Champions League. We need to win in order to progress as Group F winners. No pressure or anything…
Monday saw the team start preparing for the Champions League. Danilo, Morata and Fabio joined the group along with Castilla’s Enzo. Crispy stayed indoors and Gareth continued his recovery in Cardiff.
All available players were called in for the training today. (Video)
Borussia Dortmund had their training session today at the Bernabeu.
“We will not overthink things. We’re playing at home and we want to have a great game”, added the coach.
Zinedine Zidane appeared in the press room at Real Madrid City the day before the game against Borussia Dortmund. The Real Madrid coach spoke about the final match in the Group Stage of the Champions League: “We are going to play it like a final, a group final. We’re playing at home and we want to have a great game tomorrow. We will not over think things, just play the game with intensity and try to finish first. We will prepare the game well and see how to cause them problems”.
“We must concentrate, paly with intensity and look for an early goal. We play every three days and it’s important to me that all the players are ready to play. Everyone is focussed and it will be a game that will take a lot out of us physically. The important thing is to have a great game”.
Does it matter to you finishing first or second?
“We can’t think about the possibilities. We have an important match and it’s always our objective to finish first in the group”.
Your work as a coach
“It’s true that I’m very lucky because I do something that I like every day and I’m lucky to be in this great club. I like football, the work and the passion that I have in my profession is also important”.
“We must highlight the work of each of my players. They are very professional, hungry and experienced. They have won a lot but they always want to win more. That is remarkable and very important to me. If we remain unbeaten it’s because they’re working well. We want to win everything and to do that we have to win as many games as possible”.
“Everyone is fine except Gareth. They are training with the group and are available for the team. Fábio (Coentrão) is good and available to the team. They are all in good shape physically”.
“I’m not worried because I know that we can always give more, like everyone else. He trains well and there are game that we need more from him, but he always works and tries to do his best in every match. Every day he works spectacularly. We cannot always have excellent performance and we always ask for more due to his spectacular quality”.
“It’s not a problem for. He can do things better or worse. The other day, in the Champions League, he scored the winning goal. In Barcelona I know that you expected more from him, but he trains and is focussed. I’m not going to judge him because there was a game in which he played a little worse”.
“I admire James. He trains and is available to the group and is part of the group. I have the same deal with James as with everyone. When you play less you can think about leaving, but he is an important player for me. It’s true that it’s a problem because he wants to play more, but for me he’s important because I’m going to need the whole group”.
Ramos: “Our priority is to win against Dortmund and finish first”
by Alberto Navarro
“Real Madrid always have to fight for all competitions”, said the Whites’ captain.
Sergio Ramos spoke to the media a little over 24 hours before Real Madrid face Borussia Dortmund at the Santiago Bernabéu (Wednesday, 8:45pm CET). The captain spoke about the Whites’ final game in the group stage of the Champions League: “As football lovers we like to know the results, but our priority is to win tomorrow and finish first. We have a very important game and we know what we are going to come up against, but with our fans we are going to try to have a great game. Then wait to see who we get in the draw”.
“We got an important point on Saturday in a difficult stadium and against a big rival. As the goal was scored at the end it seems like it was worth more, but the league is open and we are forced to fight for everything. We’re not talking about a treble because from the first day the madridista DNA forces you to fight for all titles regardless of the outcome of the other day.
11 years after his first goal
“It’s one of the most beautiful moments in my career. It was a wide free kick, which I think Raul Bravo took. A lot has happened since then, but it is a joy and I’m proud to still be here and remember it”.
His miracle goals
“The more I work the luckier I get. You always have to search for luck. Raul was always there due to his belief. Hope is the last thing you should lose and in these last few years there are these beautiful memories to show my child on video”.
“I am a defender and I must try to keep a clean sheet. If we can then take advantage of set pieces, one of the virtues of this team, then that’s a bonus. Since I was a little boy on the beach, I was up against my father in the air, that’s why I’m god in the air. If I scored again tomorrow in the 90th minute it would be amazing. The important thing is that the team wins and we continue going in this direction”.
Cristiano Ronaldo and the Ballon D’or
“He had a great season and won the Champions League and the Euros, that speaks for itself. He must win the ballon d’or. He motivates the group, he is a born motivator and he is the most important player in the history of Real Madrid”.
“Zidane has that magic that dazzled us as a player and he now takes it to the bench. He manages the dynamics with harmony, sympathy and the way we work is very good. We are happy and proud that he leads this team. As for the tactical and physical work, we are proud of how he is doing it and we are with him all the y way”.
“I am a defender of his. He is a different player from the rest and that is why he is in the best team. We are human and can have lows, but we all believe in him and all the players in the squad. He will end up getting goals and changing a lot of people’s opinion, as he has done for many years”.
Don’t make the same mistakes
“Not many years ago, we had a very similar run without losing and then things got complicated after Christmas. It is very fresh in the memory. We can’t get carried away with the other day at the Camp Nou. We’ve got the whole season ahead and in the season after the World Cup we had major drop in form. Mistakes are there to learn from and hopefully it will be a wake-up call so it does not happen again”.
Goal celebration at the Camp Nou
“It was for my son because I was going to call him at the end of the game. After an injury and a recovery period with a lot of lonely moments, coming back with a goal in el Clásico is always very nice. I’ll always have that picture in my office”.
The referee’s performance in el Clásico
“I would not change anything I say. A point each and we will see each other again at the Bernabéu. I prefer to stay on the side-lines and not to create headlines that I don’t want. I have always had the utmost respect for referees and I find it hard to believe that they make mistake on purpose or look the other way. We will say it’s possible to get things wrong and leave it there”.
“It’s a very delicate subject. I believe in law and justice. There’s nobody better than them to make those decisions. It is an uncomfortable subject, but it cannot affect any player or team. I think it doesn’t affect performance. Personally I am very calm in that sense because what I have earned throughout my life is placed on the table. Some things will be true and other things lies to destabilise things, but I do not think they influence the team”.
“You have more connection with some players than with others. I talk to Cristiano Ronaldo about many issues and I always try to give my opinion. Then everyone does what they think is fit. Private life is of oneself and not everyone else”.
“It’ll be one of the top games in Europe”, stated Bartra.
Thomas Tuchel and Marc Bartra took to the media room at the Santiago Bernabéu to preview the final Champions League matchday group-stage clash between Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund (Wednesday, 8:45pm CET). The German coach had the following to say about the reigning European champions: “You can’t go out and play for a draw against Real Madrid, I’m in no doubt about that. When you put the result before anything else a lot of different things can end up happening. We know what the situation is and we’re able to go out and perform without any pressure. It’ll be a good test to see where we are as we look to keep on improving”.
“The good thing about finishing top is that it proves that you’ve been capable of winning the group. If we want to go through as leaders we’ll have to draw or win tomorrow. It’s all about having confidence in yourself and finishing top isn’t something that can be used to gain an advantage in the next round”.
“Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are two different sides. Madrid are more fluent in attack. The middle third is key and we don’t want to be giving them a lot of space in that area because they’ll make us suffer. We’ll have to fight hard to counter the pressure and quality of Modric and Kroos. We must be organised and play with aggression and be quick. We’ll have to perform with intensity and we’re going to need to display all of our quality”.
“He’s been suffering with a cold since yesterday. He’s not currently 100% and we’ll have to take that into consideration. Ideally he would be able to start the game, but we won’t be making a decision on that until tomorrow. He’s an exceptional player”.
“Without Aubameyang we won’t be able to achieve our objectives. He’s an extraordinary forward and he makes everyone raise their game. He’s capable of making all the difference. I’m not surprised that he wants to play for Real Madrid at some point because they’re one of the best teams in the world. If he’s under pressure to perform at the Bernabéu it’ll be a good sort of pressure. He can cope with it and he needs that to give of his best”.
Bartra: “It’ll be one of the top games in Europe”
“Coming to the Bernabéu is always special. It’ll be one of the top games in Europe. We come here keen to put in a good performance and come away with the win. We’re doing really well in the group. We’ve won all of our games apart from the draw against Madrid and we’ve got a good enough side to come here and give Madrid a real game. It’ll be tough because Real Madrid are a very good team and we’ll have to give it 100% if we want to win”.
“Madrid require you to be right on top of your game defensively. We’ll have to be really focused and do what we’ve done against the likes of Bayern and other teams with real quality. Real Madrid have some world-class players and all of them contribute, both in attack and defence. I know their players very well and we’ll be looking to go out and compete against them”.
Dangerous Real Madrid
“Madrid are a side that create a lot of chances and are very dangerous in attack. They’ve got some really top strikers. We’re showing ourselves to be very compact at the back and we’ll need to be strong defensively if we’re to pick up a good result”.
“We can’t be thinking about whether we’re favourites or not. We’ll have to let our football do the talking and I believe that the team is capable of putting in a good performance and giving them a real game”.
Goalkeepers: Navas, Casilla and Yáñez.
Defenders: Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Varane, Danilo and Marcelo.
Midfielders: Kroos, James, Casemiro, Modric, Asensio and Isco.
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Morata and Lucas Vázquez.