Real Madrid had a traditional open media day where the players gave interviews to the personnel from the press and conveyed their personal message to all the fans around the world ahead of the UCL Final in Kiev on Saturday against Liverpool.
Published By: Dalipinder Singh Sandhu (Bliss)
The traditional open media day for the press is meant for the final interview session before the squad turns behind closed doors to train for the UEFA Champions League Final. More than 130 news outlets from all over the world had their representatives attending the event.
The team started training at 11 AM CET today and later interacted with the press before they leave for Kiev to play against Liverpool in the UCL Final on 26th May 2018.
Here are the direct quotes of the players as they addressed the media and reached out to their fans.
“I feel great, I’m ready for the final. This is history. Last year we got our second Champions League in a row and now we want more. We know this is no mean feat, we’re up against a determined side.
I think I’m on fine form physically: I have scored over the last few weeks. I came to this great club to win titles and it is going to be a special day. I never imagined playing in so many finals. I have played in three and this could be a fourth win, it has blown any expectations I had out of the water.”
“It would be a historic moment if we win. We are all really looking forward to it. We can make history if we win three Champions League in a row, but we’re not looking at it like that. I am keeping the faith, I feel good about it. These finals are always special occasions. We need to respect Liverpool. They deserve their place in the final. They remind me of the Real Madrid of days gone by, with fast, pacey forwards. I think we are better, but of course, you always have to respect your rivals.
The Champions League is a meaningful competition for both the club and for me as a player. These nights produce iconic matches. You have to do battle against the best teams in the world. We had a spectacular season and I feel content with it. When you’re at this club you cannot take your foot off the gas, least of all in this competition. I love that side of it because it motivates me a lot and I want to be at my best on Saturday to help the team and lift the trophy. It does not matter who scores.”
“We are with our minds set on the final, we are hungry, being there says a lot about us, Liverpool is a great team and has made merits to be in the final. We really want to play this final, we are doing things well, in a final, anything can happen, but we’re hungry, Liverpool have had a great season. We know how important it is, and that’s why we’re hungry, it’s an honor and a pleasure, that’s why we have to play well, I enjoy every training, you have to enjoy every moment.”
“I have a strict diet, I like to take care of myself and be healthy. On Saturday, if we win, I will eat a pizza. The sensations are good, we are calm, with ambition and with desire, even if it’s the third in a row, for us it’s like the first.”
“I’ve been dreaming of winning a Champions League since I was little and I’m facing a special moment, making history with Real Madrid, I’m very happy to be in this club. If we give 100% we will get the title. We are 90 minutes of making history.”
“The team is very good, ready to give everything. It’s my first final, I’m very excited and happy. Since I arrived here I have learned a lot. I have to keep growing and learning from my teammates, who are very good.”
“I felt good against Villarreal and I’m ready to play when you see our squad you realize that we have to be ambitious and aim for more trophies. The key victory was against Paris Saint-Germain because many people were questioning us, it could have been a disastrous season but we won in Paris and it was a blow for the rest of Europe. This match made us realize we aren’t so bad, we let others speak about us away from the pitch, we do our talking on it.
This will be my fourth final and I’m even hungrier than before the first, we have players like Ramos, Cristiano, and Modric who have won everything and are still determined.
Liverpool are a team that dominates the transitional phases, we have to be careful in possession, we can’t lose the ball. We will have to keep control and press up high on the pitch.
It’s been a unique season, with ups and downs, but we’re in the final of the Champions League. All teams would love to be in Kiev, the Champions League is the most valuable trophy of them all. If we don’t win, then it would be unfair to talk about failure, we’ll enter the dressing room with our heads held high, even if that occurs.”
“Having the opportunity to claim another Champions League title is a privilege and a reward for the work, sacrifice and daily effort that perhaps isn’t seen.
Yes, we have made something difficult look easy. It seems like we’re going to play a Champions League final every year but it’s not like that. During the first few years, I was here, we didn’t come close. That has to be considered.
It makes my hair stand on end when I raise a Champions League trophy, those moments will always be with me. They are historic moments for any player and it is impossible to erase them. You sacrifice a lot of time with family and friends and when you win, it remains in the memory.
It is a reward for the work, the effort, the sacrifice, the dedication, day to day; a reward for the hours sacrificed with family and friends. That is what it takes to reach this elite level. There is no reward more gratifying than lifting the Champions League trophy.
Criticism never distracts us from our objective, and neither does flattery. We have nothing to prove and whatever they say, we had to eliminate PSG, Bayern, and Juventus. Whatever they say after is a lie, it’s not football.
It has taken a lot to reach another final, but we will give it our all and hopefully it will be three in a row … Hala Madrid!
Madrid has never stopped believing that winning the Champions League was possible … this is a legendary team and we have to give it that merit.
We know Liverpool very well. They have a great team and they know how to compete very well. They are led by a very good coach, and it will not be easy to be the Champions of Champions again.
I will try to have a clean sheet; that is my priority. If we succeed in that, we have many possibilities.
Being left out of the World Cup is always hard, but the door is always open for a return. (the reference to Morata)
Zizou (Zidane) has a very good command of what he has experienced as a coach, he handles the dressing room very well and then he gives us what we need on the pitch.
I’ve been in Madrid for eight years and in the first few years, I did not have the chance to play in a Champions League final. That is why we must give it the value and importance it deserves. It is very difficult to achieve it and here we are doing it. We want to let people really know that this is a legendary team.
Cristiano Ronaldo is doing very well. The team, in general, is emotionally very well and there is no player injured, so we are all up for Saturday. I really want it to come through for us.
Every year here is like a new world. In my early years, there were many changes of coaches, even the president, there was no stability. When you have stability in all the areas that surround the team, everything is much calmer. Also, this team has shown that in the locker room there are no individual egos, we all row in the same direction, which is one of the keys to success.
It’s not like a normal match day. You have to give it the value it deserves. It is a unique opportunity and it takes too much to reach a Champions League final to not give it that importance. Of course the tingling and restlessness, I think it’s the beauty of living. It’s very rewarding.”
“Playing in one final is difficult; two, even harder; playing in three is crazy. No one has ever achieved it and I do not think it will happen again soon.
In matches like these, we need a little more focus on our opponents, their style of play and their plans. I have played against Klopp several times and I am familiar with how their teams are: Liverpool will have 11 players running like wild animals, they will be driven for the full 90 minutes and they’ll be playing at 100% or more if possible. Their front line is impressive but they have a good defense and a solid midfield. Being favorites does not mean anything.”
“We’re preparing well for the match, we know how challenging it will be. We want to keep on making history. Liverpool are in the final for good reason, they have played a great season. The forwards are their focal point and need to be very focused. We are at the last stage of the season in good form and that is great news for everyone because this competition is a driving force for the team. This season has been a vast improvement for me.”
“We’re raring to go, really excited to be in another final. We know this will not be a walkover. Liverpool have a brilliant dynamic, they’ve had a terrific season but we have to believe in ourselves. In Cardiff, it was a real rush, because it was my first final and scored. This term I had some memorable moments and I got that key goal in Munich, that really helped us in the knockout tie. Thanks to all Madridistas for all your support, and hopefully we can celebrate another title on Saturday.”
“We know the fans believe in us. Their support is so important for us and hopefully, we can celebrate in the Bernabéu on Sunday, having won the title. We are ready and with the fans backing us, we are stronger. In football, you always have to go out and try to play the game. There are no favorites. It is a Champions League final and we must respect Liverpool. We know it will be a tough game, but we want to win.
My role is clear. I have to bring balance to the side, help out my teammates. We know their front three are on fine form, but we have respect for all their players. They are powerful, aggressive at the back and you have to be careful.”
“The team is confident, we want the final to come around. We beat teams along the way who could have been in the final, they were champions of their teams and we are content because we have played the best. We have just Liverpool to beat, they will be the same if not better. These are special games and we have to remain calm. There is always pressure in the final. We have an important challenge ahead in winning it three times. That makes us concentrate and go out there looking to make history. We are ready for these kinds of games.”
“We are doing well, Playing yet another final is truly special. Since arriving at the club, we’ve always been a handful in the Champions League and it seems normal, but it isn’t. I am doing well, I have worked hard to get here and every year I feel better, even though there is a lot to learn. Hopefully, the Madridista fans will be with us as we try for la Decimotercera. Hala Madrid!”
“At the moment, we are not so aware of what is going on around us. As the years go by we will value it much more because now we simply don’t have a second to think. It’s something spectacular. It seems like it’s easy, but it has not been a walk in the park. This week of the final is very intense, people stop us on the streets and talk to us about bringing another Champions League home.”
“From the very first day I had a lot of faith from the coach and for me, this has been a tremendous season. I look up to Carvajal because he sets such a precedent and is the best full-back in the world.”
“First of all, it’s something very nice. We’re going into it relaxed and with a lot of humility, which is a characteristic that has taken us to where we are.
Although we can often be seen as favourites, we always go in to the games with humility, we respect the opponents, we know what we can give of ourselves and we try our best, we try to win the matches and on top of that we’ll look to enjoy this opportunity that we have to make history, I hope we can keep this story going.
We have a changing room in which there are players who have already been in finals and have a lot of experience, it doesn’t mean that people relax or think they’re going to win easily, but it’s not a new situation and they know how to handle it so that when the time the game comes around, everyone turns up in the best shape and gives their best.
It was down to the hard work of the whole group and that’s why he got a good result. Personally, I’m also very satisfied because I was able to contribute. They’re the games that you dream about, you always want to play well and reach a final. Everything came together and it was a great feeling.
It’s normal to be nervous before a game. We all get butterflies in our stomachs and things like that. Some get them in the afternoon, others on the bus, but when you go out to warm up everything disappears because you are focussed and everything flows.
It’ll be very difficult. We know the type of team they are, the speed and their style of play. Individually they also have players who can make a difference, but we’ve taken that in to account and respect it. I always think that I have the best defense in the world, I trust my teammates, that they will do their best and they are the best people to be able to resolve this type of problem.
I’ve always said that when you’re coming to the stadium and you see the fans out of the window, it’s like injecting blood into your veins, it’s something that motivates you a lot. The fans are extremely important for us. In times when we’ve needed them, they’ve always been there. They’re very nice moments and hopefully, we can give joy to all of them.
Seeing that full of people is impressive. You realize that it’s worth all the effort, to be professional and take care of yourself to give happiness to all those people.
A final is a great chance. Reaching this final is very difficult. It is a privilege that we have and we need to make the most of this. It is the third consecutive final and the team’s fourth in five years. It has been a difficult season at times, but the run-in was very good. We are very excited to win a Thirteenth European Cup and we will give it our all. We are confident, looking forward, hoping to enjoy what the weekend brings with the fans.”
“I am happy, Proud to play at the world’s best club. I’ve been at Real Madrid for years and getting into the first team after so many years is great. Everyone is focussed on the final on Saturday, let’s see what happens.”
“It is an honor to play another final in the Champions League with Real Madrid. We want to play well, so the fans enjoy it, we want the cup. Physically I feel alright. I was got a shoulder injury and had to deal with it for three weeks, but I worked well and came back as best I could. This team is historic, there are no limits and I hope we continue to keep bringing joy to the fans.
The key is for us all to be focussed. We know we have a truly talented deep squad, but only eleven can play. The key for us is that we are all ready to go so that the coach can count on the entire squad.”
“We are growing stronger. This is the business end of the season and we are doing things better and that is a good thing for all involved. We must take the chance to make history, because winning three Champions in a row is what we want. Things are turning out well for us lately and if I can help the team win, then I’m thrilled.”
“Getting into the Champions League final, for a squad like ours, really is a dream. I love every day I spend here and I hope we can win on Saturday. If we get it, we can make history. I bounced back this season, I have relished it and I have learned from the best. It has been a learning curve this season. Scoring against Borussia Dortmund was great because it was my first game where I started in the Champions League. I’ll never forget that night.”
“This is a huge challenge for the club and our fans and we have to bear things in mind in Kiev. This has been a stellar year, my first Champions League match was a proud moment for me. I got chills when I heard the anthem, because there is a lot of work behind it. The final will be a great match and we are prepared. We need to be intense, keep our concentration and go all out.”
Real Madrid will play against Liverpool on 26th of May at 7:45 PM CET. The UEFA Champions League Final in Kiev, Ukraine will be telecasted all over the globe via the official broadcasting partners of UEFA.