INTERVIEW | 24/07/2020“This motivates me to keep working hard and helping the team in any way I can”, the captain told Realmadrid TV.
The story of Real Madrid's basketball team in recent times could not be told without a leading role for Felipe Reyes. The captain's contract renewal to 2021 is another milestone in the career of a player who continues to be honoured and grateful to play for his team: "I feel very happy to be spending another year at this amazing club. When I stop and think about how long I've been playing, and to still be at a club as demanding and great as Real Madrid at 40 years old, I'm incredibly honoured. This is what motivates me to keep working hard and helping the team in any way I can".
You've renewed your Real Madrid contract. How do you feel?
I feel very happy to be spending another year at this amazing club. I feel at home and I've been playing for Real Madrid half my life. I'm very happy that I can keep defending these colours.
Neither in football, nor basketball, nobody has ever played for Real Madrid at your age. Are you aware of your achievements?
When I stop and think about how long I've been playing, and to still be at a club as demanding and great as Real Madrid at 40 years old, I'm incredibly honoured. That motivates me to keep working hard and fighting to help the team in any way I can. Surpassing wonderful players like Luyk and Brabender, who have been so important, drives me to keep competing at the top level.
What's the secret to continuing at the elite level?
The secret is loving basketball. Ever since I started playing at 10 years old, it's been my passion and continues to be so. I'm very happy and motivated to keep giving it my all in every training session and every game.
Of all the records you hold, which one are you most proud of?
I've been fortunate enough to break a lot of records. When you've been playing for so many years, you're bound to break some eventually. Perhaps the one that makes me most proud is having made more than 1,000 appearances in a Real Madrid jersey. It's an incredible number and playing so many games for the best club in the world is my most cherished memory.
What will you bring to Real Madrid next season?
Above all, experience and the role of captain. I've been at the club many years now and I have to bring that experience and leadership. As captain I have to help my teammates, particularly the younger ones, and make sure the new guys who have come in this year adapt well. That's easy in this team because we've got players with immense human qualities.
How are you tackling the upcoming season?
It looks as though it will be a strange one, like the end of this campaign. We're very excited and motivated to have a great season and continue building success for Real Madrid. I hope we can get back to normal soon and feel the warmth and encouragement of our fans at the Palacio because they're our sixth man.
What can Alocén and Abalde bring?
They'll bring a freshness to the team. They're very talented players, national athletes who will help us out enormously. They come in full of hunger and desire and they'll want to show they can do a good job from the off. The rest of us have to help them because playing at Real Madrid is not easy for young lads coming in. That's where those of us who are more experienced have to be around to help. The important thing is that they do their bit, which comes with giving your best in every training session and in every game. Things will go well for them because they've arrived with real motivation and have shown what they can do at their previous teams.
Message for the fans
Madridistas, we're really hungry and can't wait to have a great year. We've just finished a complicated season and the next one will surely be special too. We hope we can count on your help and support at every game again soon. You know you're hugely important to us and we'll give 100% to keep bringing you joy and secure further success for this great club.