Real Madrid are set to restart their campaign this weekend as they play hosts to Real Sociedad at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Heading into the game, one of Real Sociedad’s star players Brais Mendez sat down with Diario AS for an exclusive interview, where he spoke about the Real Madrid challenge, among other things.
Brais Mendez on playing at Santiago Bernabeu
With Real Sociedad set to make their debut in the Champions League next midweek, Mendez said the test against Real Madrid is quite significant.
“We see it as a historic and enormous match against Inter, but we know that first, we have another great one at the Bernabéu, against the most in-form team there is in the League right now without a doubt,” Mendez said.
“We have to focus on that and then we will think about Wednesday’s game,” he added. “I remember the first time I played there, which really impressed me.”
“But if I’m honest, right now, the game I remember is from last year, the 0-0, in which we made a great effort because we had just competed at Camp Nou in the Cup,” Mendez further added.
Formerly of Celta, Brais Mendez has made a name for himself at Real Sociedad. The playmaker is one of the club’s most important sources of creativity, having notably racked up two assists so far this season.
Continuing on Santiago Bernaneu, Mendez stated, “It is true that the first times you play there, it does amaze you and gives you a lot of respect, but now we are used to playing on such big stages.”
When asked about the formula to play at Bernabeu, Mendez replied, “Well, competing as if each ball were the last, suffering and trying to take advantage of the opportunities you have. You can’t concede almost any chances, because they are going to score at the slightest chance.”
“You really have to take advantage of the chances you have. In those games against teams with such potential you have to be effective,” he added.
Mendez on Bellingham, Benzema & Vinicius
Mendez also talked about the Real Madrid team, highlighting the loss of Karim Benzema and how it may impact the squad.
“Real Madrid are still one of the best teams in the world. The squad they have is spectacular, although they have left a very important player like Benzema. But in the end, they have signed very well,” he said.
“And they continue Vinicius, Rodrygo, Modric, Kross, Camavinga, Valverde… Whoever plays, it is an incredible squad,” he added.
Mendez also spoke at length about Jude Bellingham’s exceptional start to life in La Liga, particularly his scoring touch.
“Well, it didn’t surprise me, to be honest, because as a footballer I expected what I saw. But what I didn’t expect was for him to be scoring goals like that,” he said.
Mendez said Bellingham’s current form is merely a streak, adding, “But they are streaks, perhaps in the second round it will cost more. Right now the truth is that he can be seen connecting with everything that comes his way.”
The Real Sociedad playmaker suggested that Bellingham’s form reminds him of his own form last season.
“A little yes, because of what I did. It’s just that they are streaks or moments, you have to take advantage of them and in the end, you don’t know when that streak is going to end, but if it continues at this level, then it’s going to be difficult to break it, eh,” he said.
Finally, Brais Mendez talked about the absence of Vinicius Junior and how it could be a blow for Real Madrid.
“Man, I always like to face the best, but it is true that it is a very sensitive loss for them,” he said.
French midfielder admits considering PSG move before Real Madrid called him
Aurelien Tchouameni has had an exciting start to his career at Real Madrid. Since joining the club for almost €80 million last summer, the young Frenchman has now become a pivotal figure in Real Madrid’s midfield unit.
However, prior to his move to Santiago Bernabeu, the midfielder was closely linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain.
In a recent interview, Tchouameni opened up on his links to PSG but revealed his decision to join Real Madrid.
Aurelien Tchouameni on PSG links
Talking about speculations linking him to PSG, Tchouameni said (h/t Madrid Zone), “PSG? Frankly, I thought about it. It’s a very big European club, we want the French clubs to succeed.”
“But honestly, when Real Madrid calls you, it’s very complicated to say no,” Tchouameni added.
The midfielder was linked with a move to PSG during his time at AS Monaco. Les Parisiens wanted to sign the youngster as part of their plans to reinforce the midfield unit.
Tchouameni, though, ended up opting for a move to Real Madrid, which turned out to be a prudent decision from the midfielder’s end.
Tchouameni’s career at Real Madrid
Aurelien Tchouameni made a total of 50 competitive appearances during his maiden season at Real Madrid.
Although the Frenchman was not entirely a first-team regular in Carlo Ancelotti’s setup, his stature in the team is expected to grow in the coming years.
Especially as Toni Kroos and Luka Modric move on at the end of the season, there is scope for Tchouameni to become a first-team regular in the Real Madrid midfield in the years to come.
The former AS Monaco starlet has already played a crucial role in the starting eleven so far this season and it is only going to continue as the season progresses.