Rueda de prensa de Benítez

Benítez: "We'll have to put pressure on Levante from the first minute"

NEWS | 16/10/2015 | Alberto Navarro | PHOTOGRAPHER: Ángel Martínez

“They are an organised and intense team with a clear game plan”, added the Real Madrid coach.
Rafa Benítez spoke in the Real Madrid City press room on the eve of the La Liga clash against Levante (Saturday, 4pm CEST). The head coach began his press conference by sending his “best wishes to Raúl on his retirement. I wish him the very best and hope the future will bring him a lot of success”. Following that, he looked ahead to the game against the Valencian outfit: “We'll have to put pressure on Levante from the very first minute because they're a well-organised side, they play with intensity and have a clear game plan. The key is to play with speed, precision and patience”.

“Their manager is a strong tactician. In Barcelona they kept things tight during the first half, and made it to the break with the score level at 0-0. Our players need to clearly understand that we have to play with speed and consistency and try to get an early goal to open things up”.

Squad members available to face Levante
“All the players you saw on the training pitch today are the ones we'll be using, as we have no other option with all the injuries. Any of them could play. The development of each player depends on the individual. We're still at the beginning of the season, but we'll have to see how they progress. We have to control their progress, that's all we can do”.

The injured players
“Teams that play one game per week also have lots of injuries to deal with. 57% of our players' muscle injuries occur when they're with their national teams and there's very little we can do about that. There's no way of controlling injuries sustained from knocks either. For the top sides the risk of injury is greater because there are more players and more chances of injuries being picked up. All we can do is try to manage the situation. I've had this experience in various countries and all we can do is control what's in our hands. These things are inevitable”.

“Some of the players are coming off the treatment table. Danilo is better and there are other players who are getting better but they need a bit more time. In the case of Ramos, we need to discuss things and see whether we should take the risk and play him or not. Those coming back from international duty will be tired, but are still able to play”.

His relationship with the medics
“I have an excellent relationship with the whole medical department. They're doing a great job of preventing and treating injuries. They're doing an impeccable job. We all want the players to avoid picking up injuries, but when they do get injured work needs to be done to get them back to fitness. The communication between us is excellent”.

I'm certain this team are going to continue doing well.

“There is a very good atmosphere within the squad. The players are competitive and get on with each other. If Modric gets on well with Kovacic or Varane gets on well with Benzema it's clear why that would be. There is no problem and I can't control what the agents say. The players are intelligent enough to know that we have to be united in order to win. I'm certain this team are going to continue doing well”.

Focused squad
“This team possesses a great squad of players. They work very hard and are competitive. Our aim is to be focused in order to win games. Real Madrid fans want to know what's going on with the team. The idea I want to pursue is that of doing things well and in a professional manner. The supporters want us to be focused and fortunately we are”.

Working with Raúl
“I only have positive words to say about him. Whatever he does in the future is his decision. He's a phenomenon and we'll soon see what path he chooses to take. We have an excellent relationship. I have a coaching staff at present, but who knows what will happen in the future. He's intelligent and has a very sharp analytical mind both on and off the pitch. He'll do well with whatever he chooses to do”.

“Raúl would find a place in any team in the world. He's a legend. Raúl at his best would get into any team and if he was able to become a role model here he could do it anywhere. Without a doubt he is among the top five players in the history of Spanish football”.

Opponents in the Copa del Rey
“Cádiz are an historic and important team. I remember Mágico and they have a great tradition, but there's still plenty of time to think about them, we'll analyse that fixture later. We know things about them, but for the moment we're focused on Levante”.

The scheduling of the Vigo game
“It can't be solved and I need to be focused on what I can solve, which for now is the Levante match and then the PSG game. After that I'll start thinking about Celta”.

The press
“I know what Real Madrid is. The only thing that surprises me is that sensationalism and scrutinizing the team is what matters most for some of you [journalists]. This is a new era, the team are doing well and we're on the right track. It seems that there are people who don't care about us doing well. It surprises me how many things are reported that aren't true and that can mislead the Real Madrid supporters”.