NEWS | 24/05/2018The midfielder was the latest star on Realmadrid TV's 'Campo de estrellas' program.
"We had a great team with Castilla: Lucas Vázquez, Nacho, Morata, Jesé, Álex… Zidane is my greatest idol, I don't have the words to explain how I feel about him. He used to stay behind and work with me after training sessions, he told me I'd get my chance and I had to be ready”.
“I'm grateful to my mother every single day for having fought for us. My house had one bedroom, a living room, a kitchen and a bathroom. We used to have to put a stone in the bath where the water drained out because the rats used to get in. It was a difficult home. My first memory of playing football is at school with Moreira, that's where it all began. Moreira was my first coach and he really helped me, he was the most important person in my footballing world. I learned from him how to value things”.
Mourinho and Ancelotti
“Mourinho gave me real confidence from day one. When I was away with the national team, he called me and told me I was a good player, that he'd seen me play for Brazil and Castilla and that I was tough, played easily and with good long passing. I didn't get so many minutes under Ancelotti, didn't play so much, but the guys I was playing with had so much quality and I had to learn from them”.
“I know what my job is: to win the ball back, that's what I have to do and that's why people say I'm a tough player. My most beautiful goal came against Napoli, but the most significant was in the Champions League final. When you play for this club, you learn about its history and the importance of the number 14, first for Guti's magic, then Xabi Alonso. I played with him and it was incredible what I learned”.
Porto and his return
“I hadn't chosen Porto originally but Lopetegui called me and convinced me to go, he showed faith in me. I came back to Real Madrid under Benítez and it was different to when I'd left, I was coming back with more experience. When Zidane arrived, the first thing I thought was how I'd spent a year with him and he'd always trusted me. I didn't play in the first five games though".
"I went to speak to him and he simply told me to keep working in the same manner and that I'd get my chance. He then put me in the starting line-up against Levante and I've been there ever since".
“You can't explain it, you have to live it from the inside. You can tell that Champions League week is something different. You have to be Madrid, a fan or a player, to understand what we experience. This club is the Champions League. I hope we can win another European Cup this year”.