30 July 2010
Fernando Porrero (Los Angeles) / Translation by Michael J. O'Donnell
Morata, Juanfran, Alex, Nacho and Tebar are the five academy players chosen by Mourinho to join the first team in Los Angeles. The youth teamers shared this extraordinary experience with Realmadrid.com.
The five players have had the help of former academy men Esteban Granero and Antonio Adan. "I tell them to realise where they are and to appreciate the chance they've been given," says Granero, "They have to realise what it means to be with the first team and enjoy the experience because very few players end up at Real Madrid." "I ask them to be humble and to learn the values this shirt embodies," adds Adan.
"This makes me very happy. It's a dream come true. I hope to respond well through my work. A funny anecdote during the preseason so far happened during a practice game in which the losing side had to pay for refreshments. I was so impressed by Cristiano Ronaldo's muscles that I missed the chance to score from an assist Drenthe served me. I was completely lost, still staring at Ronaldo. Everyone shouted my name and I turned around and asked what was up. It was very funny."
"It is strange to be with them here. You go from only watching them on television to being next to them. They are very good team-mates and they help us a lot."
"It's amazing to be with them on a daily basis. I hope to learn as much as I can from them all these days."
"Mourinho is a natural born winner and he also handles his players very well. He is helping us a lot and he always watches out for us. We are very grateful to him for having faith in us."
"Mourinho is a great and very demanding coach, but he also understands players, which boosts our confidence."