Campo de Estrellas

Tavares: “Real Madrid live and breathe a winning culture”

NEWS | 25/01/2018

The center was the latest star to appear on the ‘Campo de estrellas’ program on Realmadrid TV.
Walter Tavares was the latest player to star on Realmadrid TV’s Campo de estrellas program. The Cape Verde-born center looked back over his career, including his time in the NBA, and spoke of the challenges he’s excited to experience at Real Madrid: “I’m very proud, and even today I can’t believe I’m playing for Real Madrid. It’s the only team that could have made me shelve my NBA dream because Real Madrid are pretty much the same as an NBA side ".

"I’m very happy at Real Madrid and I want to be here for many years. This team lives and breathes winning, you always have to go out to win, you can’t wait and see what happens. In the dressing room they all call me “mi niño” – my boy – in a Canary Islands accent".

The Euroleague
"Playing in the Euroleague is something I’ve always dreamed of, I want to win everything I can. I’ve always been aware of the Real Madrid name, and I followed the football team. They’ve always been a very demanding team. In Cape Verde, Real Madrid is like God”.

Admiration for Cristiano Ronaldo
"Everyone in Cape Verde follows Cristiano Ronaldo. When he was in England, everybody watched the Premier League and now he’s in Spain, everyone follows LaLiga. He’s the perfect prototype player. He’s an example in how well he trains and how he looks after himself ".

This is the only team that could have made me shelve my NBA dream

"That motivates me and he’s something to aim for as I keep improving as a player. From watching him on TV to sharing a team with him is something incredible and indescribable. I’ve had a photo with him and it’s the first time I ever felt nervous meeting someone".

His beginnings in Gran Canaria
"People thought I was only there because I was tall. I remember what a disaster it was at the start. I lost the ball regularly, couldn’t shoot… that was my motivation: try and improve and hope that one day they’d see me as a player with something to contribute, rather than one who got in the way".

"My best memory at Gran Canaria was when we got to the EuroCup final. We had a great season and it’s a shame we couldn’t win it. I ended up being happy and very proud of what I’d achieved there".

"I went and tempted fate at 22 years old. I thought it was the perfect time to do it, I’ll never forget my presentation at Atlanta. It was very special but they didn’t give me many opportunities to show what I could do as a player. It was all so quick and I had to adapt to how they play there. That made me mentally tougher and made me work even harder".

"The team where I played the most was the Raptors academy side. They treated me very well, really helped me out and they believed in me. We won the D-League but I couldn’t play in the final because I got a call from Cleveland, who wanted to sign me. I couldn’t believe it. To be in the same dressing room as LeBron James, my favourite player, and watching him work, it was wonderful. He was always the first to arrive at training and the last to leave".