Carvajal: “We treat every game as if it were a final and want to win the group"

NEWS STORY. 02/11/2021

"I'm raring to get back to my best and am working hard to get there", added the wing-back.

Dani Carvajal addressed the media in an online press conference in the build-up to Wednesday’s Champions League group stage Matchday 4 meeting against Shakhtar Donetsk at the Santiago Bernabéu (6:45pm CET). The madridista previewed the encounter in the following terms:"Real Madrid are capable of beating anyone in the world, but if others don't want to label us as favourites, it's their problem and it's better for us as it takes that pressure off. We just treat every game as if it were a cup final and are just focusing on finishing top of the group and putting three points on the board in every LaLiga game and we'll see where that takes us".

“We'll have to see what sort of approach the opposition take. Visiting sides usually sit back, but given their need to pick up points in the group, I don't think they'll be as cautious. I imagine they'll want to get on the front foot. We’lll have to go and get the ball off them and put them under pressure in their half to try and win the game”.

Room for improvement?
"We're at the start of November and we're still a long way off our best because we've got a new coach and new players. We're gradually getting there and are correcting small details and getting things right to ensure the team is as strong as it can be".

Alaba's adaptation
"Since he's come in, I think that David has shown he's a fantastic player and person. We get on well, both on and off the pitch. He's a leader and anyone who watches our games can see that. He's adapted pretty well to LaLiga and the city and he's delivering with some good performances. He makes us stronger at the back".

“I'm raring to get back to my best and am working hard to get there. I'm once again getting a run of games and the coach is doing a very good job of managing my game time. I try to fire on all cylinders with the training sessions and matches and am virtually at that stage now”.

"I'm feeling really, really good and it's true that the gaffer has been easing me back quite a bit over the past fortnight. I'm 100% fit to compete tomorrow, on Saturday and to join up with the national team, which makes me tremendously proud. I have to work hard to be named in Friday's squad and help the national team out in these two cup finals we've got as we try and qualify for the Qatar World Cup".

Reasons for the run of injuries
“I've tried to take a general look at everything: the way I rest, my diet and training regime. I've tried to eliminate all of the possible things that could be causing injury and for all of these areas to come together and do their bit to help me avoid injuries".

Video.Carvajal: “Encaramos cada partido como una final y queremos ser primeros de grupo”

“Your mind is what controls everything and is the most complicated bit. Trying to find the cause of this bad run of injuries has been the biggest thing for me. I'm now firing on all cylinders and raring to go and I'm sure that with a positive mindset everything will work out really well.

Change in diet
“Yes. My diet now contains no gluten, no wheat and I eat solanaceous. It's a bit odd and strict, but anything that's good for me is good news, even if it means having to eat broccoli all day, every day”.

Praise for Vinicius Jr.
“He's performing amazingly well and given the month of December that lies ahead for us as a team, which will be a tough month, he can help us out by resting up and he’ll give us a boost if he doesn't join up with his national team”.

Mendy’s return
“He's a fantastic player and guy. He's improved massively and is one of the most important players within the team. We’ve seen his desire, pace and strength. He brings a great deal to the table”.

“His is not an easy situation. He's a lad who works hard and from what he's told me, he tries different routines to improve. The gaffer is managing him well and using him gradually. As soon as he gets in the groove and up to speed, I think that he’s a top player and there is no doubt that he's amongst the top 10 players in the world”.

Lunin’s progress
“He's amongst the most professional teammates that I've ever come across. He's a fantastic lad and trains very hard and puts in a lot of hours at Valdebebas. His main problem is the fact that he's got the best goalkeeper in the world in front of him and it's always a struggle to get game time when you’ve got Courtois ahead of you”.

Sergio Ramos
“I can relate to the run of bad luck he's going through. I'm sure that he's the first one who can't wait to get back out there and I'm sure that he’ll soon be firing on all cylinders. His recovery will be slower given the succession of injuries he's had. I don't think that anybody can question his professionalism or his fitness. I can't imagine a club like PSG would cancel the contract of a player they've only just signed. I'd welcome him back with open arms, at home or wherever because he's a good friend”.

Dressing-room leadership
“A person of Sergio’s standing is something that you notice in any dressing room just from his presence alone and the number of years he's been playing at the top level. There are 27 players here, including the young boys, and we're all important. That's the message the coach gives us and that we hear from everyone else. We all have to do our bit and that's the only secret to lifting trophies come the end of the season”.