INTERVIEW | 13/08/2018"The Super Cup has all the ingredients to be a great game", said the coach in an interview with UEFA's official media.
Julen Lopetegui gave an interview to the official UEFA media ahead of the European Super Cup, which will see Real Madrid take on Atlético de Madrid in Tallinn (Wednesday, 9pm CEST). The coach explained his feelings with the first title of the season at stake: "Winning is the goal we all have and we’ll try to prepare ourselves to do that. It’s what we’ve got our attention fully focused".
What do you expect from the European Super Cup, your first official match, which is also a derby?
My first official game is a final. A match that Real Madrid have earnt the right to play in once again. We’ll try to prepare very well for this match against a very strong opponent who will make it difficult, they’re a team we know well and it’ll be a local derby. It’s all set up to be a great match and a great final. This is how we will treat it and we will prepare for it. We’re delighted that our first match is this final.
What would it mean for you to win a title in your first official match as the Real Madrid coach?
Winning is always the objective for all coaches. But more than thinking about what it would mean, we try to prepare ourselves to be able to win it. It’s what we’re focused on and what’s got our full attention.
Does the fact it’s a derby make it more special?
No. The word pressure is inherent to Real Madrid. This club has the obligation to win everything. There is no more pressure because it’s against Atlético de Madrid or against another team. It’s a final and it’s a title, and that’s what drives and motivates us all.
How do you approach the challenge of competing in the Champions League with a team that has won it for last three years?
The most difficult thing is always to win something again. Doing it also raises awareness of the collective capacity of the team, empowering them and trying to be more and more ambitious. The DNA of Real Madrid is just that. The DNA of a Real Madrid player is that. And the DNA of the Real Madrid coach must also be that.
What does it mean for you to coach Real Madrid and what have been your first impressions?
Very good. The truth is that the club gives facilities to all the professionals so that we can carry out our work in the best way, and in that respect, we’re privileged. We’re happy to take on this responsibility and delighted with the response of the guys so far.
Did you ever imagine you would be the coach of this club?
I was lucky enough to enjoy 18 years of my profession. A lot of those years I enjoyed at Real Madrid. Surely the most important part, which was the formation of the person and the footballer, and that undeniably sets you up in your career. At that time it was not clear to me that I would be a coach. That’s something that you decide later on and you try to develop when your career is ending.
What is your philosophy as a coach and what can we expect from Real Madrid this season?
We will try to be a great team, strengthen the collective aspects and individual quality in order to benefit a collective idea and work towards that. We must have a clear and defined pattern that gets the best out of all the individual qualities that, without a doubt, the Real Madrid players have. In addition, these players have that mental extra which is required of players at the highest level. We’ll also try to take advantage of that.