INTERVIEW | 13/02/2017“These fans and this badge demand a lot and that demand is what makes the club win so many titles”, he explained.
Nacho gave an interview to the official UEFA media in which he spoke of the requirements of playing for Real Madrid, of Zidane and of his experience in the top continental competition: "I feel that I am fulfilling a dream; winning the Champions League as we did the last one, when my son was born on the morning of the final, it was spectacular. It is one of the most beautiful things that has happened to me in football".
You made your Champions League debut in a victory over Ajax (4-1). What do you remember about it?
It was very special. When you stand with the children and hear to the Champions League hymn for the first time you get goose bumps, it's a very beautiful moment. There is a lot of sacrifice to get to the top.
You have won the Champions League twice, what do those two titles mean to you?
If it is a dream to play in the Champions League, winning it is spectacular. I have been lucky enough to win two Champions Leagues. It is one of the most beautiful things that have happened to me in football and we will continue to work to see if we can win more.
In which of the two did you have to suffer more?
I think that we suffered more in the first one, although each one has its own story. The first, because of the dramatic goal we scored at the end, and the second because a penalty shootout is not easy for either team.
What impact did Zidane have on the team?
We were lucky that the coach arrived and we won a Champions League, but behind that there’s a lot of hard work. It created a very good atmosphere, with a very good dynamic. He’s doing a very good job and this year we’re seeing the results: the team is doing very well.
How would you define his style?
I like him because he’s a bit like me, a quiet person that does not get bothered when a problem comes along. He is close and that is vital for a coach and the team. Thanks to him we have achieved important things and I hope it continues this way.
What does he transmit tactically to the team?
More than tactics or technique, what is more important is the good atmosphere around this team. The unity between all the players every day in training can be seen out on the field. It is true that we work on a lot of things tactically. There are times when we play with a back three or a back four, we are still taking on new concepts but the team has a very clear idea of how we want to play.
How do you handle the pressure of playing for Real Madrid?
At Real Madrid you cannot even lose a friendly. The pressure is very high but at the same time it makes you 100% alert in every game. Every time you wear this shirt there is a very big responsibility and you have to try to do your best.
And how do you cope with that pressure?
Maybe I have it easier because I've been here since I was 10 years old. Since childhood, that pressure exists and you know that when you wear this shirt you have that responsibility. You are playing for the best team in the world and from a young age you are learning things that the club teaches you. When you reach the first team, the dimensions are much greater and people look at you through a magnifying glass.
Do you like that maximum demand?
I like it because I'm used to it. In every game they demand the best from you, no matter what you are playing in: Champions League, League, Cup, a friendly...The fans and the badge demand a lot and that demand is what makes the club win so many titles.
What dreams do you still have to fulfil?
To keep winning titles. I feel that I am fulfilling a dream that I have always had and winning the Champions League, like the last one, which was special because that morning my son was born, was spectacular. I remember that I came home and I couldn’t believe it.