Real Madrid’s 5-1 win over Valencia was significant in many ways. For starters, it was the first time this season that Los Blancos showed their ruthless face and worked as a unit to bundle goals across the opposition for fun.
Moreover, the fact that they got the win without Jude Bellingham serves as a massive confidence booster for several players in the dressing room.
The scorer of Real Madrid’s first goal on the night, Dani Carvajal, spoke to the press after the team’s victory and elaborated on several topics.
To start, he provided a summary of the game that unfolded on Saturday night and the feelings in the dressing room
“The feelings are very good. We wanted to go into the break winning at home. We couldn’t win against Rayo and we’ve taken that thorn off. I am also happy for the goal and for being able to contribute to the team. We’re leaving with our homework done.”
He then went on to summarise the game’s general progression and even praised Valencia for their grit in the first half.
“It’s been a pretty complete match. The team has played wonderfully and it has been one of the great nights here at the Bernabéu. We wanted to do it right in front of our fans.”
“In the first half they have had a couple of occasions in which they have been able to draw, but our start after the break has been fantastic,” he added.
Despite the scoreline depicting an easy win, Carvajal insisted that there was not much that separated the two teams even midway through the game.
“I think that until the 50th minute, when we have scored two goals in a row, the match has been very equal. Hugo Duro has had a couple of chances in the first half and that start after the break has given us life.”
Andriy Lunin started a second consecutive game for Real Madrid on the night after Kepa’s injury ruled him out of action. The Ukrainian star pulled off some phenomenal saves against Valencia, even denying them some 1v1 chances from inside the box.
“We have to congratulate him because he has played a great game again. Not only under sticks, but also with feet. When he has had the opportunity to play, he has shown the great level he has,” Carvajal said about the goalkeeper.
He also praised the two heroes of the night, Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo Goes, saying,
“They are both very good. Two goals for both. It is good for us to return to the path of the goal and to meet again with positive feelings. They are going to give us a lot.”
“We already know the quality they have and we are happy for them. They are going to be very important in the course of the season,” he continued.
Despite being on the squad list, Bellingham was ruled out of action in the last minute after the medical team found his shoulder joint to still be relatively unstable.
“We tried him to play until the last moment, but in the end it was decided not to risk. We have a pretty intense schedule. Looking for him and the team, it was better if he didn’t participate,” Carvajal explained about the youngster’s situation.
The veteran defender then went on to speak about his great run of form, for he has scored two goals and provided as many assists in La Liga this season.
“I’m having one of my best moments. We’ll try to stay at this level for the rest of the season. Like everything in life, there are ups and downs, but in the moments when things don’t go well, we’ll try to compensate with work, and that’s something that’s not negotiable.”
“I feel very well, brimming with confidence. The experience after so many years here really shows on the pitch and I’m really enjoying the moment,” he added.
Carvajal opened the scoring for Los Blancos on the night with a goal that he will remember for years to come. After superbly controlling Kroos’ pass, he took a touch and volleyed it into the back of the net from a distance.
“The control just bounced off me and I didn’t think about it. I hit it very well. I’m happy to score my second goal this year, I hope there will be many more,” he said about his goal.
The defender was then asked about the manager’s tactics for the 2023-24 season which has involved switching to a new formation and dynamic.
“You have to adapt to the players you have. The coach is an expert in that. He knows how to get the most out of each of us and he’s doing it very well. With this new system we are all comfortable and playing very well.”
Finally, Carvajal was asked to comment on Jose Martinez Pirri, who was unanimously voted as Real Madrid’s honorary president earlier this week.
“He is a very important figure. A man who has marked a very important era here at the club. He has always been very close to us. This recognition is more than deserved. I’m sure he’s going to be a fantastic honorary president.”
Source: Real Madrid website
Real Madrid summer signing set to return to training soon – report
Real Madrid’s main goal heading into the summer transfer window was to wrap up the signing of Jude Bellingham amid massive interest from Premier League giants such as Liverpool, Manchester City, and Chelsea.
Pep Guardiola’s City, especially, were ready to match and increase any salary Madrid offered, and were going strongly into the bidding war.
Eventually, Bellingham decided to join Madrid after they reached an agreement with Borussia Dortmund for €3 million.
However, following this, los blancos had to improvise a fair bit as Karim Benzema decided to leave the club to join Al-Ittihad on a free transfer. They were expecting him to continue for another season, at least, and it stumped their plans in the market.
In the next few weeks, Madrid chased forwards, and ended up signing Joselu, Brahim Diaz, and a certain Arda Guler, who was close to Barcelona before eventually ending up at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Unfortunately for Madrid, he is yet to play a single minute for the club after picking up a serious injury in pre-season. Despite being on the bench for a couple of games, Guler suffered a relapse in training, and was sidelined again.
Now, reports from Yagiz Sabuncuoglu say that the Turkish international is close to returning to team training.
Guler has slowly, but surely, been recovering from his injury, and could take to the pitch for his first minutes with the club in the next few weeks as Madrid look for solutions after a month full of injuries.
With Vinicius Jr, Eduardo Camavinga, Aurelien Tchouameni, Eder Militao, and Thibaut Courtois all out until early 2024, Madrid have relied on Castilla for reinforcements, but could do with Guler’s services in their forward line.
That said, Carlo Ancelotti and co. are expected to be extremely cautious when it comes to the Turkish international. The slightest spell of poor man-management here could make or break the youngster’s career.