NEWS | 10/06/2014“Winning the Champions League is one of the best moments of my life”, he said at a press event.
The Real Madrid player was recognised for his continued work with UNICEF to help the most vulnerable of children since 2007. He has visited programs set up to help children survive in Senegal, led and played in the 'Champions for Africa' and 'Champions for Life' charity games, has lent his support to video campaigns and on social media, and has also sold personal belongings to raise funds. He was presented with a photograph of his visit to Senegal and then had a kick-about with the children who attended the event.
His goal in the final of the Champions League
“It was an important moment for me, for the team and will go down in history. It was a long-awaited title, which we went a long time without winning. It is one of the best moments of my life. Being able to be part of that goal which brought the game to extra time is a clear sign that when you are confident and keep fighting until the end you will get your reward. Real Madrid and the fans deserved it after such a long wait”.
“It is a huge honour that an organisation like Unicef has proclaimed me an ambassador. It is a magical day and a source of immense pride after having experienced so many great moments and having collaborated together on so many occasions. There are athletes who, for their international profile, can help, and any help is welcomed. Above all else, you have to be human being and charitable”.
“I have had some amazing experiences. You experience things that make your hairs stand on end. You see that they have almost nothing and it makes you value what you have a lot more. I am signed up with Unicef for life. The time to help always has to be the present. We have to make the most of football's global appeal. This is a huge commitment that has seen UNICEF's reach spread all around the world”.
A message of support for the children
“I hope that every child achieves their dreams inspite of the conditions they may live in; that they don't lose faith and shine in whatever path they want to take. Hard work often has its rewards. There are many children who were brought up in difficult conditions but have managed to find a better world. Making the most of the huge appeal football, the Spanish national team and Real Madrid - a club recognised all over the world - have, I will try to help.
The challenge of the World Cup
“First we have to get through the Group Stage. If anything has helped us win, it is our humility. I am really motivated to take on every challenge. The preparation is going great and we're all up for the game against Holland because it is a repeat of the last World Cup match we played in. I think we have to focus on our playing philosophy and not fear any rival, whoever it might be”.
The Real Madrid player's current great form
“It requires a lot of commitment. I have won a lot of titles with the national side and with my club team but with football you can't live in the past. You have to keep on working and performing day-to-day. That people are saying that I'm a great defender and that they are expecting a lot from me is a lot of pressure and an added bonus for me, as it acts as another incentive to continue improving on a daily basis. That is the challenge I place on myself, to continue improving on a daily basis”.