Catching Up With The Guys In LA

18 Jul

Lots of stuff has happened in the past 5 days. Sese has joined the gang, there has been birthdays and visitors and lots and lots of training. Here’s a brief recap (and hopefully my life will slow down a bit this week so that I can keep up easier.

Training

The team had their first of two session earlier with a focus on fitness: weight lifting, jumps, abs and muscle strengthening.

After the session Zizou and Marcelo signed autographs for the fans.

Clinic

The team has been super busy. They greeted 100 children from the Real Madrid Foundation clinic in LA, posting for photos and signing autographs yesterday.

The Return of the Ramos

Sese joined the team 2 days ago after his vacation in Mexico.  He greeted his teammates and Zizou.

He got right down to training yesterday and you can enjoy this video of him, legs in the air, crunchin’ those abs. Ramos working out is always the gift that keeps giving.

He also signed autographs for the fans and I need him to get rid of that mini pony tail on top of his head. It’s…challenging.

Birthdays

Danilo turned 26 on Saturday and got a bit of a surprise from Marcelo (with some help from Enzoboy and Casemiro). He was covered in raw eggs and flour. He thought he was being interviewed and it was a distraction so that Marcelo could sneak up on him.

G-Money turned 28 on Sunday and didn’t get the egg/flour treatment but he scored this tasty golazo at training yesterday.

More of that, please! It’s like a present for us.

A Visitor

Indiana Pacers power forward/center Domantas Sabonis stopped by for a visit on Friday. His pops, FIBA and Naismith Basketball Hall of  FamerArvydas Sabonis, played for Real Madrid Baloncesto from 1992-1995 winning two Spanish titles and the EuroLeague title.

Interviews

Lots of interviews over the past 5 days: Marcelo, K-Nav (twice!), Lucas and Dani Carvajal (soon not to be the only Dani on the team, but more on that Thursday).

FROM REALMADRID.COM

Navas: “When you join the biggest club in the world you want to write your name into its history books”

“We had a really good season last year, but we all want to exceed ourselves and win all the competitions we’re involved in”, insisted the Whites’ shotstopper.

Keylor Navas spoke to the media before the start of the seventh day of training in Los Angeles, where the Real Madrid custodian – who is embarking on his fourth season at the club – discussed the challenges that lie ahead this coming campaign: “I’m really happy to be at this great club. During my unveiling I was standing there with the president and the image that sticks in my mind is of all of the Champions League trophies. The club has a great history, it’s very special and I still dream of adding to that collection of silverware and winning more LaLiga titles”.

“When you join the biggest club in the world you want to write your name into its history books. My dreams remain intact, as does my excitement and desire to continue picking up silverware. Last season was a very good one for all of us and it’ll be very tough to top that, but we’re really excited by the prospect and want to win all the competitions we’re involved in this year”.

Zidane
“My relationship with the gaffer hasn’t changed since I joined the club. It’s interesting to hear people say that he gives me special attention, when he’s always been like that with me. He’s very close to the players and instils real confidence in us. He and the rest of the coaching staff are people that you can talk to. You can joke around with them and there’s a good vibe in the camp”.

Back-to-back Champions League crowns
“We’ve got to realise that it’s a real achievement. Winning the Champions League twice in a row is far from easy. Our mindset isn’t that we’ve won it twice on the spin, but rather that it’s another European Cup trophy and we go into this year’s competition with the same desire, belief and effort as we have shown up until now. We’re starting from scratch and we’ve got a great side, with talent and a togetherness and that could see us win the Champions League again”.

Morata
“I’m happy to be able to have the best players amongst my teammates and Álvaro is one of them. He’s a great guy, a top player and he really made a contribution last term. He can continue to help us out this year and I hope that he stays here for many years to come”.

Fans
“The support from the fans has been really special. Madrid have supporters right throughout the world and they show us their affection and we enjoy that. Everyone likes it when their efforts are appreciated and we want to repay their warmth. We’re really grateful for the way they’re treating us”.

Cristiano Ronaldo
“We’re all looking forward to him joining up with us. The world’s greatest player simply has to be here at Real Madrid, and I believe that this is the way he sees things too. We now have to let him relax with his family and friends, so that when he returns he’s raring to go. It’ll be a long, special season, in which we’ll all face challenges, I think that’s the way he views it too”.

Danilo
“I think he’s doing fine, he’s a great professional. I see him as being really excited and happy and he’s working hard. He’s part of the group. I don’t see him as being nervous and as if he’s looking to leave the club. All of the squad want to be here at Real Madrid”.

Criticism
“The past is now behind us. I head into this campaign in a relaxed frame of mind and with real excitement. Each season represents a personal challenge and I’m raring to win more silverware. I’m going to enjoy myself more this season than I have done in previous years and I’ll be working with more enthusiasm this time round. Last year I tried to always give 100% and this year I’ll give even more. I work with humility and keep my feet on the ground. I want to lift more trophies and celebrate them with the fans. That’s something that I give more importance to than a mistake or a bit of criticism and it won’t stop me from carrying on”.

FROM REALMADRID.COM

Keylor Navas: “We’re working hard and are on the right track”

“We’ll gradually improve so as to reach the end of the season in good shape and win some trophies”, declared the shotstopper.

Keylor Navas, who is about to embark on his fourth season at Real Madrid, spoke to Realmadrid TV and Realmadrid.com about the opening days of pre-season training at the conclusion of the sixth day of training at UCLA: “We’re getting ourselves 100% ready and we’re really happy to be able to train every day and give our all. We’re on the right track”.

“We’re working hard because this is the time when you can work on all aspects of the game: have a heavy workload, work on your pace, handle balls of different weights, practice your jumping, complete exercise with hurdles, perfect your technique on the ball and when it comes to aerial play. We’re trying to work on everything, so that once the season starts we’re at 100%”.

“In December, after the break, we’ll put another training programme in place in which we’ll introduce a bit more in terms of the workload, which will take us through to the end of the season, just like we did last year, when we were in very good shape”.

Objectives
“We have to go into the season and remain as gracious as we have been up until now. The team is good enough to win some silverware and that’s what we’ll be fighting for. However, we’ll have to be gracious and be aware that we can gradually improve to reach the end of the season in good shape and win the trophies that we want to”.

FROM REALMADRID.COM

Carvajal: “We want to win all of the competitions we’re involved in”

“This is my 15th season and with every passing year I feel prouder to be at this club”, declared Carvajal.

A 15-season stint at Real Madrid brings with it real potential to achieve a great deal, including an impressive trophy haul, in which three European Cups take pride of place. At the close of the fifth day of training at UCLA, Dani Carvajal – who is embarking on his 15th campaign at the club – spoke to Realmadrid TV and Realmadrid.com to look forward to the challenges that lie ahead this term: “We’re really excited and are raring to go. There’s still a lot more to come from this side. We want to win all of the competitions we’re involved in, there’s real ambition in this squad”.

“We want to give our all and win a lot of silverware for the Real Madrid fans. This is my 15th season and with every passing year I feel prouder to be at this club. I hope to be here for many years to come and I can only but thank the club for all it has given me”.

Pre-season
“Today’s was a pretty demanding session, with some running drills at a good pace, but that’s just what we need. If we want to be firing on all cylinders come March and April we have to be at 100%, these weeks are all about suffering”.

Preparation for the Super Cups
“I remember that in last year’s Super Cup against Sevilla we were able to fight back in the final minutes thanks to our strong fitness levels, which could be crucial for the whole season”.

FROM REALMADRID.COM

Marcelo: “Pre-season holds the key for us to be able to fight for silverware on all fronts”

“We won LaLiga and the Champions League but are aware that we can improve”, insisted the wing-back.

Marcelo addressed the media gathered at the UCLA campus prior to training on the third day of the pre-season tour, where the Brazilian defender shared his thoughts on the challenges that lie ahead for the team this term: “I always go into each pre-season and every season with real excitement. Every year I try to give my all to reach the end of the season in good shape and lift some silverware”.

“I’ve been here for many years now but I give my all every season, I try to learn new things and pass on a bit of the experience I’ve gained at this great club to the youngsters. My enthusiasm remains the same, each year I go all out with my teammates to try and have the best season we possibly can and look to win some trophies”.

Pre-season
“The pre-season holds the key to the whole campaign. Last year we had a very good pre-season. When you get to the end of the season with real strength it’s because you’ve had a really good pre-season and that’s the most important thing to enable us to fight for silverware on all fronts”.

Theo
“I’ve always had to fight for my place in the team, despite us not having had a left wing-back. I’ve had to give my all to make the line-up. Theo is young and he’ll be a great help here at Madrid. He has all of my trust, that of his teammates and the coach. He’s here to contribute to the squad”.

The Squad
“It’s difficult to say whether this is a better squad than las year’s. It’s tough to say and draw comparisons. Some great players have plied their trade here and the current crop are really good. We head into pre-season in the best possible shape with a view to winning some silverware this season”.

“Last season we won LaLiga and the Champions League, two very tough competitions, but we’re aware that we can improve. It’ll be difficult to beat that, but there are things that we’ve learned along the way and we’re going to try and win as many trophies as we can and we’ll see where it takes us. The key to everything is the work that we’re doing here. We’ve got to continue on in the same vein, with work, work and more work”.

Friendly against the MLS All-Stars
“There’s no such thing as a friendly for us. We always want to win every game. This is pre-season and it’s really special to be coming up against the MLS All-Stars. I follow the division a bit, it’s improving a lot and in a few years’ time it’ll be a really great league”.

Cristiano Ronaldo
“I haven’t spoken to him about it. All of his teammates are behind him and he’s aware of that. There’s no need to say anything about the press, you know how it works better than I do. We’ll speak about it when he returns”.

Zidane
“The gaffer is very clear in what he asks of us: work hard without thinking that you’re better than anyone and do everything in your power to compete for all of the trophies up for stake. Hard work is at the forefront of his mind”.

Mourinho
“I haven’t seen him over here. Revenge isn’t on our agenda. I haven’t got any issue with him, there’s no reason to be seeking revenge. It’s always a pleasure to come up against the best in the game and he’s one of the best. He helped me a great deal when he was here”.

The future
“Real Madrid is my home, I’m very comfortable at the club and I want to stay here for many years to come. I follow MLS a bit and it’s improving massively”.

FROM REALMADRID.COM

Lucas Vázquez: “This month’s preparations are focused on the two Super Cup games”
By Javier Garcia (Los Angeles) | Photographer: Helios De La Rubia/Antonio Villalba

“We feel really well supported by all of the fans in Los Angeles”, the Whites’ attacker told Realmadrid TV.

At the conclusion of the squad’s fourth training session at the UCLA campus, Lucas Vázquez spoke to Realmadrid TV to share his impressions following the first few days of pre-season training: “The sessions have involved a lot of fitness work. We come here on the back of a lengthy holiday period and are gradually getting back into the groove. This month’s preparations are focused around the two Super Cup games that we’ve got in August”.

“We’re really looking forward to those matches and going out and winning them. We’re working hard every day towards that and we’ll go into the games in good shape”.

The fans
“We feel really well supported by all of the fans in Los Angeles. It’s a pleasure to train at these facilities are we’re really happy”.

More soon…

– Lozil

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