Ready For The Final

25 May

Ready or not, it’s time for the Champions League final!

Training

All 24 players participated in the final training session today. (Video)

Real Madrid Legends

Some of our legends (Raúl, Roberto Carlos, Arbeloa, Míchel Salgado, Makelele, Mijatovic and Karembeu) made the trip to Kiev to support our boys.  (Video)

Presser

FROM REALMADRID.COM

Zidane: “There’s a great deal of hard work that goes in to reaching three finals in a row”
by Alberto Navarro (Kiev)

“We’re a tight-knit group and a player who starts on the bench may also bring something to the team”, insisted the Whites’ boss.

Zinedine Zidane addressed the press gathered inside the media room at Kiev’s Olympic Stadium on the eve of the Champions League final against Liverpool. When quizzed about the secret behind reaching three finals in a row, the madridista boss commented: “There’s a great deal of hard work that goes into reaching three consecutive finals and a lot of talent too. Reaching a final is far from easy. We’re happy to have made it through to another final. We’ll experience other things in our lives but this moment will never come around again. There’ll be an element of pressure, but that makes things all the more special. As human beings, we all have emotions”.

“You need to work out how the opposition can hurt you and try to control that. When in possession we’ll have to attempt to hurt the opposition, whilst bearing in mind the way they play. There are always moments of madness in games and it’s a case of trying to suffer as little as possible when out of possession and do damage when we attack. We’ll have to dig in, there’s no question about that”.

Favourites?
“There’s a lot of things that are said, but we know very well that it’s not the case. Neither side is the favourite. It’s a final and we’ve both got a 50% chance of winning. We’ll have to put in a big performance to try and win the game. Within the dressing room, we know that we’re not the favourites at all”.

No other coach has lifted three European Cups in a row
“What we’ve got the chance of achieving tomorrow is special. I’ve always been competitive and it’s my passion. When you enjoy competing, and all the more so at Real Madrid, and you work hard, you can achieve what we have. There’s a great deal of work from the players that has gone into this and that’s what this club is all about. I consider it to be perfectly normal”.

“I see Cristiano Ronaldo as being in good shape. We have our final training session tonight and tomorrow is our last game of the season. He lives and breathes for these kinds of games”.

Do you feel appreciated?
“Yes, why wouldn’t I? Although sometimes I don’t. The most important thing is that things are done right and that you give your all. The consequences aren’t so important. There’s nothing better than the satisfaction you get from giving your all. If the opposition are better than you, there’s nothing you can do about it. I’m appreciated because I give my all. What I can’t control is what others say, but that doesn’t matter”.

Substitutes and those to be left out of the squad
“Ramos and Marcelo are definitely going to play. I’m the one who gets lumbered with making the decisions. All of my players are very good and many of them will not make the squad, whilst others will be on the bench. We think only as a team and when the whistle blows, everyone will be right behind the team”.

“We’re a tight-knit group. A player who starts the game on the bench can bring something to the side and be an important player, but picking your team is the worst thing for a coach. There are some players that will keep their place in the team and others that won’t play, but the players know that and it’s my responsibility. It’s one I’ve got to accept”.

Praise for Klopp
“As a player, I was a bit better than him but he wasn’t bad. I have great respect for him as a coach. He has terrific experience and has done a marvellous job in the game. I don’t know whether we’re similar. Every coach is different”.

FROM REALMADRID.COM

Ramos: “The key to this team is our hunger and ambition”

“It’s a privilege to be involved in a Champions League final and the motivation levels are off the scale when it comes to playing on this stage”, stated the skipper.

Prior to the team’s final training session ahead of the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool, Sergio Ramos took to the media room to offer his thoughts on the encounter: “The key to this team is our hunger and ambition. That’s what I’d pick out, in addition to what a great group we are on a human level. We’re a team where we all pull in the same direction. There’s nothing that goes on off the field that can influence us. We’re all important, regardless of our individual roles. Retaining that clarity of ideas, hunger, ambition, excitement and motivation to continue lifting silverware has been key”.

“Whenever you play on a stage like this it’s always an added motivation. There’s such a good spirit within the squad and we’re so proud and keen to keep winning things the chance to contest the Champions League final again is more than enough motivation. It’s a privilege to be defending this title once again this season and to have the chance to make history, that’s also a target of ours. On this stage the motivation levels are off the scale”.

Opponents
“In other years we’ve come up against opponents that supposedly weren’t as strong and they posed us more problems that the teams we’ve faced this year. That said, we’ve knocked out each of the big teams from all of the leagues. We accounted for PSG, Juventus, Bayern … It has been a tough journey and we now have to complete the job against an excellent Liverpool side that is more than just three players. They’re a side that know how to dig in, never give up and they’ve got a great coach who will be giving his all. It’s a unique occasion for all football fans”.

“We don’t pay any attention to the criticism and praise that you receive at certain times. Any sort of distraction is never good. This team has always had a really clear mind”.

Experience
“For me, it’s as if tomorrow were our first Champions League final. We don’t stop to look back in time, although it’s inevitable that you remember one of the finals at certain times, but we don’t like looking back into the past”.

“Praising the opposition is always a distraction ploy. For us, Liverpool also work like clockwork. Tomorrow’s game will see two excellent sides go head-to-head. We’ll try to be fully focused to keep a clean sheet, reduce the danger they pose and trust in ourselves, with the players we have that are so capable of changing the game”.

BBC
“We all pull in the same direction and regardless of who plays, they’ll be doing the best they can. Above all, the most important thing is that Zizou has options. We’re all available to him, we have no injuries, we’re fighting fit and that’s really great”.

Starting XI
“Reaching the final of the Champions League with the gaffer still having decisions to make is positive. We’ve been training incredibly well in recent weeks, with massive drive. It’s good that there’s that competition and for the gaffer to have things to think about right up until the last. Every player will take to the pitch with hunger and desire”.

Kiev
“I have very fond memories of this city. We lifted the European Championship here with Spain and it’s a real pleasure to return to a stadium like this one. Owing to the distance or the cost, there are many madridistas who haven’t been able to make the journey, but we’ll feel the backing of those that are here with us and of those fans back at home, with the giant screens that have been put up around the country”.

Salah
“Comparing players with Cristiano and Messi means they’re from a different planet. There are some players that are all the rage and others that aren’t, there are players who come along and don’t stick around for long and those that come and are keen to stay. He’s got that chance and Salah is obviously an excellent player and he’s proved that, particularly this year. I wish him all the best, but only once this game is over “.

FROM REALMADRID.COM

Marcelo: “Both teams are really attack-minded and it’ll be a great spectacle”
by Javier Garcia (Kiev)

“We know how we have to play and I know what I have to do to help the team”, declared the Brazilian defender.

Marcelo took his place alongisde Sergio Ramos inside a packed media room at Kiev’s Olympic Stadium, where the Brazilian wing-back expressed his confidence in the side ahead of the showpiece, whilst offering his thoughts on the crunch clash against Liverpool: “Both teams are really attack-minded and it’ll all depend on how the game starts. We know exactly what we’ve got to do and we’re ready, but anything can happen in a final. We’re now waiting for the kick-off and it’ll be a great spectacle for all football fans”.

“Every day when we wake up what drives us on is the desire to train for our matches and win titles. We’re back here on this stage thanks to our hard work, humility and the hunger to win things. What we’ve won is now in the past and we’re just focusing on the present and the future”.

Changes within the team
“As the years go by, you see many changes in teams. What hasn’t changed is that hunger to win titles and important honours. Madrid have a history and that has really shown us that you’ve got to fight for all of the competitions we’re involved in. As for changes, there have been plenty, but it’s difficult to say in which areas the team has changed”.

“We know exactly how we have to play and I know what I have to do to help the team. Liverpool are a fantastic side, they’ve had a tremendous season and we can’t afford to just focus on two or three players. Football matches are won by the whole team. We know that it’ll be very tough, just like all of our games have been this season, but we’re happy to be in the final. We’ve deserve to be here, as do Liverpool”.

Klopp’s comments
“I didn’t hear his comments, I’ve just been told about them. In a final like this a lot of people can say things that aren’t true. I’m happy with my performances, as are my teammates and the club. I haven’t got to prove anything to anyone. I go about my work with humility and don’t comment on anybody else’s work. I didn’t hear those words come out of his mouth and can’t comment on what has been published in the press”.

Zidane
“I think that what we’ve won is now in the past. We must always look to the future. We’ve got to continue working hard and winning things. Everyone has their own opinions and they won’t make the slightest bit of difference to the gaffer. That’s what things our like in this industry: one day you’re getting a grilling and the next you can do no wrong, but I believe that my coach is the best in the world”.

A Por La 13! Hala Madrid!

– Lozil

 

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One Response to “Ready For The Final”

  1. M May 26, 2018 at 5:31 pm #

    HALA MADRID!!!!

    WE DID IT! FREAKING THREE TIMES IN A ROW!!!!!!

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