NEWS | 13/04/2017The academy product was the star of the fourth episode of the ‘Campo de Estrellas’ program on Realmadrid TV.
Beginnings at Curtis
“Everything I remember is playing football. The dining room at my uncle's restaurant was a Primera División pitch. My brother and I always used to play one on one, with my cousin Jacobo in goal. We used to break things all the time - we would sweep up the broken lights and put them in a bag, then throw it on to the next-door neighbours' roof. I was the one who caused all the trouble and then my brother always used to take the blame”.
First time at the Bernabéu
“I've been a Real Madrid fan ever since I was young. My dad and my uncle are Madrid and they instilled me with madridista blood. Raúl was the star in those days and he's the absolute idol. I used to watch games at the Bernabéu and say: ‘I hope I can be out there one day’. I came with my parents and my brother to a 4-0 win over Villarreal. Guti scored a hat-trick and it was a wonderful night, I came away in awe”.
Trials with Real Madrid
“It was the start of July and I had just got home from the pool. I went into the house and my dad said: ‘Hey, Míchel has just called and says they want you to go for trials at the Under-17s. What do you say?' I said: ‘Dad, you've got to be kidding’. I couldn't believe it”.
“There were some pretty tough years because as I came through the ranks at Castilla I played 500 or 600 minutes all season and that's not enough. They were difficult times and you start to question whether you're good enough. I could see things weren't going as I wanted and I told myself that I needed to do something. I got a personal trainer and he did a phenomenal job with me from a physical and mental point of view, and that enabled me to make the leap in quality".
First team debut
“It was in Oviedo, in Real Madrid's first pre-season game, under the orders of Mourinho. I scored a goal ten minutes in. We'd been training for a week, 10 of us academy players travelled and he put the majority of us in the starting eleven. To make my first team debut and score a goal was a dream come true”.
Return to the club after a spell at Espanyol
“The call came from Real Madrid 15 days after Espanyol had signed me. I was on holiday in Ibiza with Macarena (his girlfriend). My agent told me: ‘It's 95% certain you'll be back at Real Madrid. Benítez wants you to be part of the squad and the president and José Ángel want you there’. We didn't eat the food we'd ordered until four in the afternoon with all the excitement. It was something I'd worked towards my entire life. I'd dreamed about being part of this squad ever since I started playing as a kid”.
“He helped me out right from the start. He took me to one side and said that he'd be there to help me with whatever I needed. I'm very grateful to him because he made life easy for me from day one. He's a great captain and a great footballer”.
“He spoke to me a lot and told me he had faith in me, that I should be calm because I was going to get opportunities. I never questioned whether I had the quality but I did think, this isn't going to be easy and Real Madrid is full of international superstars, wonderful players. My attitude was to train at 100% every day and give it my all so that when the chance came, I could do a good job and help the team win games. I slowly began to build confidence and show what I'm capable of”.
Penalty in La Undécima
“I felt confident, eager to take a penalty. At the final whistle I went over to David Betoni, Zidane's number two, and I said: ‘I want to take one’. It's a long way from the centre circle to the penalty spot and I had to have something to distract myself, so that just came to me (spinning the ball on his finger). At that moment I wasn't thinking about what we were playing for. I was confident I was going to score. Perhaps that's the reason I took it how I did and put it away”.