Ready To Take On CSKA Moscow

1 Oct

The Champions League returns tomorrow as we meet CSKA Moscow at Luzhniki Stadium.

Calls Ups

The following players were called up for the trip to Moscow.

Goalkeepers: Navas, Casilla and Courtois.
Defenders: Carvajal, Vallejo, Varane, Nacho, Odriozola and Reguilón.
Midfielders: Kroos, Modric, Casemiro, Valverde, M. Llorente, Asensio and Ceballos.
Forwards: Mariano, Benzema, Lucas Vázquez and Vinicius Jr.

Arrival In Moscow

The team flew into Moscow last night along with the U19 team who will be playing CSKA Moscow in the UEFA Youth League. (Video)


The team had a training session today at Luzhniki Stadium.



Lopetegui: “This is the Champions League and it’ll be a really tough game”
by Alberto Navarro (Moscow)

“It’s an incredible setting and our opponents wanted the game to be staged here and so the atmosphere is sure to be excellent”, commented the Whites’ boss in the media room at the Luzhniki Stadium.

Julen Lopetegui fielded questions from the press ahead of the encounter between CSKA Moscow and Real Madrid (Wednesday, 9pm), with the Whites’ coach previewing the match in the following terms: “We’ve got to continue on in the same vein: go out in every match to win and try to get as many points as possible. The setting is incredible and our opponents wanted the game to be staged here and so the atmosphere is sure to be excellent. We’re up against some fine players and it’ll be an extremely challenging game because this is the Champions League”.

“The players’ mindset is excellent and we’re really raring and excited for the game to get under way. We face a strong side on their own patch and there’s no bigger motivation than that. When the Champions League hymn sounds, there’s no better motivator. We’re confident that we’ll be able to achieve our target. If they’re thinking that this is the best time to play us, we’ll have to see about that tomorrow”.

“It’ll be a really tough game against a side of real pedigree. We’ll overcome the challenges with the players that we’ve got available. We’re up against a side that are on a really good run and who managed to beat Viktoria Plzen. We’ll have to see how they set up tomorrow. They usually go with a five-man backline but they’re capable of switching to four at the back. They’ve got some top players, the likes of [Alán] Dzagoev, and tomorrow they’re sure to put in a big performance”.

Ramos’s absence
“He’s played 125 minutes more than anyone else and I’ve decided to rest him for this one. There are times when you have to rest, so as to be able to feature in the other games. His hamstrings will thank him for the rest”.

“We improved as the game went on in the derby and performed better than Atlético. We showed that we’ve got the options to cope with difficult situations. We want to create as many chances as possible and improve. Tomorrow is another opportunity to improve when faced with adversity”.

“He’s a lad that we like and who really helps us as a team. He’s responding to the faith we’re placing in him in the best possible fashion by playing some sublime football. We need to have options for every moment of the game, but without compromising our outlook and playing style”.

A special game
“It’s a special one because we face one of the biggest teams in Russian football in an impressive setting. We’re 100% focused on winning the game”.

Odriozola and Vinicius Jr.
“We’ve got the utmost faith in Odriozola. He was out injured and he got injured again on his return. When it’s his time to play, he’ll play. I fully trust in every member of the squad. Vinicius is a young player, he’s making progress and we’ll use him when we think we need to”.


Varane: “The challenges get bigger each season”

“CSKA are tough opposition and we’ll have to be really up for it and play with good intensity”, stated the Real Madrid defender.

Raphaël Varane took his place alongside Julen Lopetegui in the media room at the Luzhniki Stadium, where Real Madrid and CSKA Moscow are set to meet in Matchday 2 of the Champions League group stage (Tuesday, 9pm): “This stadium will always be a special one for me, after what happened here in the summer. We couldn’t be more motivated ahead of a Champions League game against tough opposition. We’ll need to be at 100% because CSKA will ask questions of us. It’ll be a difficult game and that’s why we’ve prepared properly for it. Our motivation levels are always high and we’ll have to be really up for it and give 100%. The challenges get bigger each season”.

“We know what we’re capable of. We’ve got a great team, a strong all-round squad and we can beat anyone. It’s a long old season and we’ve got many games to play. LaLiga is our bread and butter and the Champions League is another competition. In all of our games, the opposition always prepare well for it, they know what to expect and what we’re capable of. We have to give our all against every opponent, play with real intensity and follow the gaffer’s instructions, so as to perform as best we can. We’ve also got some things to improve on”.

Kick-off time
“I don’t think that it’s ideal. We have to adapt. We have to play at different times and it’s not up to us. We always try to be as well prepared as possible and ready to produce our best. We aren’t the ones who decide, we just have to adapt to the situation”.

“I don’t know who’ll play tomorrow. I’ve made over 60 appearances in the Champions League. Having experience is important because that’s what the opposition demands of you. But we’ve got some quality players here and the fact that they’re in this squad means that they’re capable of coping with the demands of any game. We’re all ready and prepared to face strong opponents in CSKA”.

Eighth season at the club
“There’s no secret to motivating yourself. Pulling on this shirt is a motivator in itself. We’re always looking to rewrite the history books and improve. Playing for this club and fighting for this badge is always a source of motivation. I’m young and I’ve already gained good experience as a member of this team. I want to give my all for everyone: for my teammates, the fans and in view of the challenges that lie ahead, which are what motivates us”.

Changes between the sticks
“I don’t know who’ll play. We’re lucky enough to have some very good goalkeepers here and not just two but four. It’s a very important position in any team. Our playing style means that we always want to be on the ball and it’s always important to trust in your goalkeeper. They’re very good and we trust them. Competition within a team is a good thing and it makes every player perform better”.

Memories with the French national team
“The memories that I’ve got with the French national team and the celebrations bring back happy thoughts. I remember it and that’s the most important thing”.

Hala Madrid!

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