PSG Prep Continues…

12 Feb

The run up to the big game continues and the mothership has tons of interviews…

Training

All hands on deck again today.  Dani Ceballos did some training alone and finished with the group. Vallejo continued his recovery work, running alone on the pitch. (Video)

Interviews

FROM REALMADRID.COM

Cristiano Ronaldo: “We’re a strong group with a lot of experience in the Champions League”

The Portuguese forward received the Goal 50 Award for the best player in the world during the 2016/17 season.

Cristiano Ronaldo received the Goal 50 Award for the best player in the 2016/17 season, a trophy that the Portuguese forward picked up for the fifth time in his career after winning it in 2008/09, 2012/13, 2013/14 and 2015/2016. The Real Madrid forward received the most votes among directors and correspondents of the 38 editions of the online portal Goal, which produced a list of the 50 most outstanding players of the season.

Acknowledgements
“It’s a pleasure to receive this award once again, I want to thank everyone who voted for me and above all my colleagues and the technical staff at Real Madrid, without whom it wouldn’t have been possible to win it”.

The tie against PSG
“This tie between Real Madrid and PSG is one that could define the whole season. We’re going to come up against a great team with excellent players, whom we respect a lot. But we’ve already shown that we have a very strong, united and experienced group in this competition”.

“I always look to be at my best level and sometimes things don’t go as we’d like, but experience has taught me that we must continue working hard to achieve our goals”.

Nine Real Madrid players
Buffon (2nd place) and Modric (3rd place) complete the Goal podium in a list which sees Real Madrid, with nine players, the most represented club. Cristiano Ronaldo and Modric are joined on the list by: Sergio Ramos (5th), Kroos (10th), Marcelo (11th), Isco (13th), Casemiro (26th), Carvajal (33rd) and Asensio (38th).

FROM REALMADRID.COM

Kroos: “I’m looking forward to playing against PSG, they’ll be difficult games”

“They’re a difficult team, not only because of their forwards, but the most important thing is to focus on what we do”, said the German midfielder.

Toni Kroos and journalist Rodrigo G. Fáez shared a five-star meeting for Mahou in which the Whites’ player analysed the tie against PSG: “We’re not only coming up against three of the best forwards in the world, we’ll face one of the best goalkeepers, four of the best defenses, three of the best midfielders and three of the best forwards”.

“They’re a good team, difficult, but not only because of their forwards, of course they are very good, fast and score lots of goals, but we have to concentrate on our game, as well as the opponent, because we also have great forwards, midfielders, defenders and goalkeepers, that’s why we have to focus on what we do, which is the most important thing”.

Optimism
“This year will be difficult against PSG, of course, but so was last season, when we played against Bayern, Atlético and Juventus in the final. We came up against the best teams and we managed to win the title again after having won it in 2016. I’m looking forward to these games. They’re going to be tough, of course, because PSG are a great team. But I’m looking forward to it and I’m optimistic”.

Time at the club
“From the first day I felt very good at Real Madrid. It’s undoubtedly the biggest club in the world and we have achieved a lot in recent years. I hope we continue doing so in the future. Every title is special, especially my first league, which we won last year, because I had a goal of winning the league in Spain as well. And, of course, the two Champions Leagues because it’s the most difficult competition to win. In Europe there’re always a lot of great teams that are trying to do the same thing and we won it twice in a row. It was incredible”.

“When you win the Champions League once it’s difficult to remain motivated, to keep the hunger to continue winning everything, but it was possible with this team. We had a great mentality. We were happy to have won one, but we didn’t stop working hard or being motivated. The opposite. We worked more than before to defend the title, which is the most difficult thing to do. We won it and we were happy, but again, football continues and we have to continue working to hopefully win more in the future”.

Superstitions
“I don’t have any special rituals or superstitions for these games. The only thing is in the last seven or eight years I’ve keep the same model of boots and I’m not going to change them because I feel comfortable with them”.

Life in Madrid
“I’ve been in Madrid for three and a half years and I enjoy living here. People who know me know that I like the warmer climate and we have it here. First of all, I’m happy at the club and in the team, because if not it would be difficult. My family is also happy and I think my children enjoy being able to play nine or ten months a year with sunlight. I like the climate and the Spanish cuisine, although I also like the German one”.

Future plans
“After I retire, I would like to live in Germany, because it’s my country of origin, my language, and snow can also be beautiful sometimes. Although I may stay for a while in Spain because I feel comfortable in the country, like my family. Why not?”.

Toni Kroos Foundation
“I think I have to do something to help and I want to help. I have a wonderful life, I don’t go without anything, but I know there are many children with problems and illnesses. When I see my children, who are healthy, I realise that they are the best thing I have and that there are many parents who have problems with their children, who are sometimes very sick. It’s always important to see that other side of life to know what is important and I try to help as much as I can with the foundation. It should be normal and I try to do my best”.

FROM REALMADRID.COM

Bale: “We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday and hopefully we can make history together again”

The players are counting on the support of the Bernabéu faithful as they bid to enjoy another magical night of Champions League football.

Real Madrid host PSG in the first leg of the sides’ Champions League round-of-16 tie on Wednesday night (8:45pm CET). The players are hoping to serve up another great night of European football for the fans and are counting on the support of the Bernabéu faithful as they bid to overcome the French side. “Together we’re stronger”, declared Marco Asensio. “The Bernabéu will help guide us towards our 13th European Cup title”, insisted Mateo Kovacic. Gareth Bale also had some words for the madridistas: “We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday and hopefully we can make history together again”. Meanwhile, Casemiro stressed that “Your support is really important to us and together we’ll continue to make history”.

FROM REALMADRID.COM

Keylor Navas: “We’re playing at home and we’ll go out and give everything”

“PSG are a great team but we believe in our ability”, said the goalkeeper.

Keylor Navas spoke about the round of 16 Champions League tie against PSG in an interview with Codere, official betting house of Real Madrid: “It’s a nice match that any footballer would like to play in, it’s an opportunity that we have and it could help us move forward. We know that they are a great team but we believe in our ability, we’re playing at home, we have the support of our fans and we’ll go out and give everything”.

“When there are two talented teams with a well-defined style, the team that is more focused and makes fewer mistakes is the one that could win the tie. We’re going to work hard to try to take advantage of any mistakes they make, take our chances and be focused in defense to counter their attacks”.

Feelings
“I feel very good and in good health, which is the most important thing. This season we’ve had some good moments and some not so good. It’s part of football, we feel mentally strong and we know we can move forward”.

The Champions League
“It’s always a dream for everyone here. Winning the Champions League is something very nice, it’s a privilege to lift that cup. There is no greater motivation than having the opportunity to get to another final, to be able to continue fighting for this title”.

Dream achieved
“As a child I always thought about playing for Real Madrid. The dream came true and I was able to win several titles. I remember the day of my presentation, also when we won titles…They are feelings that are going to be in my heart forever”.

FROM REALMADRID.COM

Varane: “The PSG game will be a frenzied clash between two huge teams”

“We will have to play exceptionally in both games if we want to progress”, stated the defender.

Raphaël Varane spoke to UEFA before the knockout tie against PSG. The Whites defender takes a look at his time with Real Madrid so far as well at the game against the French side, the first leg of which takes place this Wednesday (8:45pm CET) at the Santiago Bernabéu: “will be a frenzied clash between two huge teams, the little details can prove decisive. We will have to play exceptionally well if we want to progress. We play at home first and will need the support of our fans. We will give our all because they are so proud of our football”.

Let’s talk about the PSG tie. How do you set about playing this kind of match?
It’s special, obviously because I’m French, they’re a French club and it will involve travelling to France. But it will be a frenzied clash between two huge teams. They have some impressive players and I’m sure we’ll see two thrilling games. We have enough experience to know that the little details can prove decisive.

Almost everyone looks at the PSG front line. Tactically, how do you play when you have to be aware of so many players?
They are a very strong team. Football is a team sport and, for me at least, PSG have a really united front. Like us, they have players capable of making a difference at key moments in the game. We must defend all together, we always d that. We will have to keep our focus at all times. Together we can stop PSG.

How important is it that you’re playing the first game at the Santiago Bernabéu?
We’re playing at home and we will have the support of our fans, who will surely give us extra motivation. The club’s history will be with us and we will have a great atmosphere. We will do our best to make our fans proud of our football and what we do. The second leg will be decisive because, as we have seen in recent years, some teams manage to get out of adverse situations. We will have to put in two flawless performances if we want to qualify.

The first Champions League title you won at Real Madrid was against Atlético in 2014. What are your key memories from that final?
It will always be one of my favourite memories in my footballing career. The Champions League is a a huge competition and, when you are lucky enough to play in a final and win, the emotions are indescribable. It was glorious and I will always have those good memories.

In 2017, you won the title again. How was it, being the first to retain the trophy?
It was wonderful. It is a very difficult feat and in the modern history of football no one else had managed it. I think we still have yet to come to terms with it. Maybe that’ll sink in with time. It’s something exceptional, tremendous. This year we have the chance to break another record and that is an extra boost.

What would it mean to win the Champions League title for a third season in a row?
It would be amazing, truly fantastic. No club has managed that yet. We have a good team and I think we’re capable of doing it. This club has a very special relationship with the Champions League. It is a real ambition of ours. We know it will be very tough going, but we are driven and have the capacity to do it.

You’ve won three Champions League trophies and you’re still young. What else do you want to achieve?
I’m lucky, I’ve won 14 titles already in my career. Winning makes you want to keep on winning, I still have that drive. I really want to push on and win more titles.

You are one of Real Madrid’s most loved foreign players. How does that make you feel?
I feel honoured. This is a special club, challenging and tough at times. The fans welcomed me. I felt practically like a player who had come up from the youth team. I try to give as much as possible back to the fans giving the best of me and trying to get into the mind-set of the club values. I want to be like those legends that were part of this club before. It is very nice to have spent seven years here and I hope to stay for a long time.

– Lozil

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