NEWS | 27/04/2014“In the match against Munich we'll see who the best team is and who makes the fewest mistakes”, stated Real Madrid's defender.
“Bayern is one of the best in the world and perhaps one of the most competitive teams. Having good players is not enough. When you meet great opponents you have to fight hard too. I think Bayern has done very well in recent years”.
The last semi-final with Bayern
“It was hard but you have to put it behind you, look forward and leave bad memories behind you. There are also positive sides to sport. These moments define your professional career. We hope everything goes well and that I can finally play in a Champions League final”.
The importance of winning this title
“It's a dream. I feel very fortunate to have won nearly every title at professional level but I am missing the Champions League. It's never been an obsession or a love affair, but when there is something missing on your CV it stands out. It's not a constant obsession, but it would be a dream come true”.
The pressure of playing for Real Madrid
“When you sign for one of the biggest clubs in the world you know what comes with it. Whenever you go out on the pitch you know what is required of you. We are lucky to play for Real Madrid. You could say that it implicates a lot of pressure, but at the end of the day it makes you stronger and sets you apart from other players. You have to know how to deal with it".
“He's a great person, very affectionate, unassuming and humble. His generous nature is contagious and he is close to us. He is more than just a coach and we have the utmost respect for him. He is sensitive and he allows us to have a relationship with him that is more than just professional. Carlo is a very laid back person. He is friendly and likes a joke. He could be a friend outside of work”.
“He understands our job. He knows what it is to be a footballer because he used to be a player. He knows what it's like to win titles and when there is a problem with a player. We're very happy with his philosophy and the way he works. He has the support of the whole squad. We're confident and we have complete confidence in his working methods”.
The objective for a centre-back
“Throughout our lives we are taught that defending should not be complicated. You have to be robust, quick, well-positioned and always be cautious. There is added danger in being near the goal where any error could mean the ball ends up in the net”.
"I've played as a full-back and a centre-back and they are very different. I've been happy in both. I am lucky enough to have been a European and World Cup winner playing on the right and I have also won titles in the centre. I'd say at the moment that I prefer the centre”.
His influences in the game
“I have been lucky enough to have the privilege of working with the best in the world. In the dressing room: Ronaldo, Zidane, Raúl, maybe... Roberto Carlos. I've played with all these stars. But, perhaps through admiration or rivalry, I've looked up more to Paolo Maldini and Fernando Hierro. I've really modelled myself on them because of their position on the pitch”.