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Chicharito talks Bellingham, Ancelotti, Real Madrid stint: “The most beautiful thing about being there is that pressure”

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Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Javier Hernández, fondly called Chicharito, was one of football’s best strikers during his prime. He played for clubs including Manchester United, Bayer Leverkusen, Sevilla, and West Ham during his glorious career, but his one-year loan stint at Real Madrid was memorable for several reasons.

He is best remembered for scoring the winning goal against Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Champions League in April 2015 that sent the team to the semifinal. 

Speaking to AS in a detailed interview earlier this week, the former Real Madrid star elaborated on a number of topics related to the club’s current situation. He began by commenting on Jude Bellingham’s stunning start to life in Madrid.

“What surprises me the most is that he’s scoring so many goals. No one expected him to play such a complete attacking midfield role.”

“The most beautiful thing about being at Madrid is that pressure; if you use it as an opportunity, it makes you a better player,” he added to the youngster.

As a former player of the club, Chicharito stressed the pressure on the shoulders of players and the difficulty in shining under the same.

“At Real Madrid, you have to prove you’re one of the best players on the planet. In Madrid, you lack nothing. If you don’t have the personality to view pressure positively, it can suffocate you.”

“In Madrid, you don’t have to stand out; you just can’t be out of place. And then, you must prove you can shine. Many people get lost there due to fear,” he added.

Combining the two topics addressed prior, the legend lauded Bellingham for making easy work of the pressure.

“Everything at Madrid is designed for you to shine. Bellingham is like that. He didn’t expect to score so many goals, but Madrid gives you an opportunity for growth you didn’t know existed because that pressure doesn’t exist in any other club.”

Bellingham has been brilliant for Real Madrid. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

Chicharito then delved into the topic of what Real Madrid stood for from a club and a player’s standpoint.

“Besides that sense of dignity and what Madrid represents, it’s delivering results. Real Madrid encompasses so much that it’s very difficult to exactly understand how they win.”

“All players know they have to win. Real Madrid is about dignity, respect, commitment, and struggle,” he continued.

Reminiscing his days at the club, the Mexican veteran highlighted his role in the white colours.

“At Real Madrid, I knew the role I was going into. However, due to circumstances, I was given a significant role for two, three, or four months, and I did it with honours.”

“We all know who Benzema is, but it was even said that Madrid needed Chicharito to be the number one. In Madrid, they know that I gave my all,” he added, comparing his impact to that of Karim Benzema.

Finally, Chicharito gave his two cents on Carlo Ancelotti’s management of the current team and called him one of the best in history.

“Ancelotti is one of the best coaches ever, he knows how to manage the group very well and he knows how to get the most out of his players.”

“And technically it has always been backed by people who know and who can get performance,” he added.

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Real Madrid News

Official: Real Madrid announce starting lineup to face Real Betis

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Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Real Madrid will sign off on their successful La Liga campaign today with a fixture against Real Betis at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The game, being seen as a final preparation for the UEFA Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund, sees manager Carlo Ancelotti field his strongest possible lineup.

All eyes will obviously be on the retiring Toni Kroos, who bids goodbye to the Bernabeu in what will be his final home game as a Real Madrid player.

The German international starts in the centre of the park alongside Federico Valverde, while Eduardo Camavinga slots in as the No. 6.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid captain, Nacho Fernandez, also starts in what could be his last game at the Bernabeu as well.

Nacho pairs up with Antonio Rudiger in defence, flanked by the full-back pairing of Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy. Thibaut Courtois starts in goal ahead of Andriy Lunin and Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Up front, Vinicius Jr. starts in attack, partnering up with Rodrygo Goes. Top scorer Jude Bellingham occupies the attacking midfield role for Real Madrid.

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