Off To Munich & A Birthday

24 Apr

Lookin’ boss, Baby!

Birthday Boy Varane graced us with his badass presence in the travel pix today. It’s hard to believe he’s been with us since 2011. I love this guy. 

Travel

The team made the short flight to Munich and were met by enthusiastic fans. They’re headquartered at the Hilton Park hotel.

View this post on Instagram

Let’s go👌

A post shared by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano) on

Training

The team had their final training session at the Allianz Arena. The entire team took part, however, Nacho continued his recovery work alone on the pitch. Must have been nice for him to have at least a change of scenery, right? Animo, Nacho!

Call Ups

The entire team was called up for the match:

Goalkeepers: Navas, Casilla and Luca.
Defenders: Carvajal, Vallejo, Ramos, Varane, Nacho, Marcelo, Theo and Achraf.
Midfielders: Kroos, Modric, Casemiro, M. Llorente, Asensio, Isco, Kovacic and D. Ceballos.
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Bale, Lucas Vázquez and B. Mayoral.

Presser

FROM REALMADRID.COM

Zidane: “Bayern are another historic club and we’re keen to put in a big performance”
by Alberto Navarro (Munich)

“We want to deliver a good performance, we’re ready to do so and we know that we’ll have to dig in”, stated the Whites’ boss.

Zinedine Zidane addressed the press gathered inside the media room at the Allianz Arena on the eve of his side’s meeting with Bayern Munich (Wednesday, 8:45pm CEST), with the Whites’ boss revealing what the spirit is like within the Real Madrid camp ahead of the Champions League semi-final first-leg encounter: “Bayern are another historic club and we’re keen to put in a big performance. We’re ready and know that we’ll have to dig in, such is the way of things in football”.

“There are no favourites. It’s a different semi-final tie compared to the previous ones, like last year’s, for example. The good thing is that we’re in the semi-finals and we’re looking to deliver a good performance. We’re going to have to put in a strong display”.

Squad motivation
“Every player likes to be involved in these kinds of games. We’re in good shape, both mentally and physically. We’re ready to put in a good performance. It’s not as easy when you play in a competition in which the motivation levels aren’t as high. In these types of games we’ll be 150% up for, there’s no question about that”.

“I’m not going to tell you about how I’m going to get them up for it. That stays in the dressing room. I like to speak with the players before the final training session. The important thing is that we train well and you start to get a feel for the pitch”.

The key to prevailing in every knockout tie
“This is a club that has always performed well at this level. It’s in the club’s DNA and when you look at the club’s history, that becomes apparent. Determination is key because you come up against some really strong sides. Tomorrow’s will be a tough game, but we’re pleased to be involved in matches like this one”.

Praise for Cristiano Ronaldo
“We know just how important Cristiano Ronaldo is and what he does for this team. I hope that he does well and scores tomorrow night. We’re in the semi-finals and rather than thinking about winning the Champions League, we just want to put in a good performance. We’re up against a club with a fine history and a team that’s doing very well”.

“I’ll always defend all of my players to the hilt. They’re the ones that give my joy every single day. Sometimes we make mistakes, but they’re the ones that battle and put the hard yards in”.

Heynckes
“He’s a coach that I’ve got the utmost respect for because of what he has achieved in the game, both during his time at Real Madrid and at Bayern. I’ve only got good things to say about him but tomorrow we’ll have to put in a big performance against excellent opposition. They’re a good team and a great club. It’ll be a special game”.

Bayern’s strength on crosses
“When know where their strengths lie and we’ll be trying to limit them. It’s also very important what we go out and do”.

Feelings as a player and a coach
“It makes no difference. Anything can happen, but you can’t be afraid of things. We’re fortunate to be involved in these types of games and they’re always enjoyable occasions”.

Conclusions following Juventus return leg
“That’s the way things go in football. Ultimately we got through. I watched the game back with my coaching staff and it’s now in the past. The important thing is what lies ahead and we have to be focused on tomorrow”.

Contrast between Real Madrid in LaLiga and the Champions League
“It has been a tough season. You’ve got to be on it every single game in LaLiga and we haven’t been, particularly at the start of the season. You’ve also got to take into account the season that Barcelona are having. We haven’t been consistent enough, but we’re in good form at the moment”.

James
“He wanted more game time and I understand that he wanted to play more. I never had any issue with him. The toughest thing for a coach is that you have some players that have to end up sitting on the bench. He’ll be up for it because he’s a footballer and he’ll want to do well. You’re wrong if you think that I’ve got something against him. He’s a good player”.

 

FROM REALMADRID.COM

Kroos: “We’re really motivated to win the Champions League for a third year in a row”
by Alberto Navarro (Munich)

“I’m expecting a strong Bayern side, it’s a semi-final tie and they’re obviously going to be tough opponents”, stated the German midfielder.

Toni Kroos addressed the press gathered in the media room at the Allianz Arena prior to the side’s final training session ahead of their Champions League semi-final first-leg clash. The midfielder previewed the showdown against Bayern in the following terms: “We’re raring to get through to the next round. It’s very important for us as it’s our only chance of picking up any silverware this season. It was exactly the same two years ago and we won the competition then and, of course, we’re really motivated to win the Champions League this time round. That has been evident in all of the rounds we’ve played in. To win the Champions League three times in a row would be unique. We’re back and want to win it again. This year we had PSG in the round of 16, Juventus in the quarter-finals and we haven’t had an easy ride”.

“The team that wins this competition can say that they’re the best side in Europe and for that reason, I’m certain that Bayern will also want to win it. Apart from the on-field side of things, I think that Spanish fans are more passionate about the game compared to German supporters. The two clubs are similar in size”.

The opposition
“I’m expecting tough opponents, after all it’s a Champions League semi-final and it’s obviously going to be tricky. Compared to previous years, I think that they won the league title early on this season, but you don’t feel as if they’ve tailed off. Bayern have given a good account of themselves in recent years. They’ll want to make the final and we’re expecting them to be very hungry for success”.

Heynckes
“He’s good at what he does and you can see that everything is working smoothly and I can vouch for the fact that at a club like Bayern and Real Madrid it’s extremely important that there’s a good atmosphere if you’re to have success. It’s not all just about tactics, it’s also important that there’s a good spirit. I experienced that myself and that’s why it’s no surprise that Bayern are doing so well”.

“They’re in a little bit better shape than they were last year. They had a lot of injuries then, Lewandowski missed the game here and they travelled to Madrid with quite a few injured players, the game went to extra time and that’s tough on you. This year they’re in good form and have been playing as a tight unit. I get the impression that there’s a good vibe within the team. Our job is to change that vibe”.

Bayern’s most important player
“I wouldn’t get rid of any one player in particular. I’ve been playing alongside a lot of Bayern players for many years now in the national team, but if you look at Bayern’s possible line-up, you can see that they have a lot of very good players. They’re in better shape than they were last year and we’ve got to go out and play our game”.

Sergio Ramos
“Sergio is a top player and he’s shown himself to be a really key player for us with the trophies we’ve won. Against Juventus we had the chances to score and we got through. We’re now in the semi-finals and are happy to have Ramos in the squad”.

Experience
“A Champions League title isn’t one that you can win by spending money, if that was the case we wouldn’t have won it, because we haven’t spent all that much. You get the feeling that it’s a special competition for a club like Madrid and we’ve got players that are capable of playing at the very highest level and that always helps. It’s experience that teaches you what you need to do and that’s what has taken us so far”.

Bogey team
“I’m not interested in tales from the past. What we’re focused on now is the present. We’re here to play a game tomorrow night between two big teams and let’s see what happens”

Happy Birthday!

How can The Baby be 25?!?!?!?! It seems like just yesterday he was arriving in Madrid, barely 18 years old and we were all like “Who is this kid?!” Boy, did he show us. Here’s to many more great moments.

Let’s get this thing done tomorrow, gentlemen! Bring us home a great win and lots of away goals!

Hala Madrid y nada mas!

– Lozil

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