Realmadrid.com / Translation by Michael J. O'Donnell
Felipe Reyes is preparing for the Olympic Games with the Spanish national team and sat down with us to talk about the return of Rudy Fernandez, Real Madrid and Spain's chances in the Olympics.
What do you think about Rudy Fernandez’s return to Real Madrid?
We’re very happy to have such a quality player with us next year. He can do much for us both in offence and defence. We hope to enjoy having him all the years he’ll be with us.
Rudy said he felt very comfortable in the Real Madrid dressing room. How did you see him?
It’s easy to feel at ease in our dressing room because there are great people on the roster. This helps newcomers adapt quickly.
You had a brilliant season. What did Pablo Laso bring to the team?
He changed our mentality. We play a more joyful and dynamic game now, covering much more ground. We played five-on-five much more often during practice sessions, which is always fun for players. This made us feel more comfortable on the court.
How do you personally feel after such a great season?
I’m very happy with the team’s results in particular despite failing to win the league title we all wanted. Personally, I was in good form, gave good performances and helped the team.
What can we expect of Real Madrid next season?
I think we will be very much the same, covering a lot of ground and looking to grab most rebounds. We’ll see a team that enjoys itself in every game. Let’s see if good results come from that; I think they will because we are a young and quality team.
How do you value the fact that Real Madrid is the most represented side on the Spanish national team?
We worked hard and well this season. We’ve earned being with Spain in the Olympic Games due to the great efforts we made all year.
Sergio Rodriguez is the new face on the team…
He will bring much joy and speed to our game, so we’re all happy he’s here.
You won the World Championship, the Eurobasket with the main team and the Under-20s, as well as a Silver Medal in Beijing. Is the Gold in London next?
I wish! That’s what everybody wants, especially us. We know it won’t be easy and everyone is talking about a hypothetical final between Spain and the USA and some believe it is disrespectful towards other teams, but it isn’t. There are other great teams in the Olympics that will make things very hard for us.
China, Australia, Great Britain and Brazil are all in your group…
There’s only on other European team in the group and sides from Europe are usually the strongest. Brazil have grown in recent years and have NBA players, so they will be dangerous.
What do the Olympic Games mean to a sportsman?
They top everything else and participating in them is something you remember for the rest of your life, especially if things work out and you win a medal. I hope we can at least achieve what we did in Beijing. People think it’s easy, but it is far from it.
What’s Spain’s 2012 team like?
It is a very similar team to last year’s. Sergio replacing Ricky is the only change, and they are both imaginative and fast players. You only need to see our games from last year to get an idea of what we’re like.
Spain’s football team just won the Euro a second straight time. Do you see yourselves celebrating a title as well in the near future?
I hope we can celebrate in Madrid with all the supporters, but it will be hard. I wish to congratulate our Real Madrid colleagues for winning the Euro with Spain, as well as the rest of the Spanish players.