After Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo, and Eduardo Camavinga, it was the turn of Federico Valverde to sign his contract renewal with Real Madrid on Thursday.
The Uruguayan star signed a contract with Los Blancos until 2029, thereby committing his long-term future to the institution.
Speaking to the club media after the formalities and announcement of his new deal, Valverde gave an in-depth interview about his career so far and his time at Real Madrid.
He began by expressing his happiness about the new deal and the sheer joy playing for the Merengues gave him.
“It is a tremendous happiness to return to this very special place and share such an important renewal with my family. I’m at the best club in the world. I feel very proud.”
“Real Madrid has given me everything. The maturity and values of being a good person, being a good player, growing up, and being an example for children. It is a tremendous happiness to be able to represent this shield,” he added.
Staying on the topic of Real Madrid, the Uruguayan stressed how it was impossible to reject Real Madrid and how the renewal offer in itself was special.
“It is impossible to reject Real Madrid. It’s the most beautiful thing there is. Let the president tell you that you have the opportunity to renew for this club, you don’t even think twice.”
In his career with the first team, Valverde already has nine titles to his name. Commenting on his accomplishments in terms of silverware, he said,
“All Madrid players are hungry for titles and we can’t live without winning. Winning is everything. When I do it I am the happiest man in the world and when I don’t do it I feel like I lose a lot of things. The day I don’t have that, I won’t belong at Madrid.”
One of the perks of being a Real Madrid player is the opportunity to play week in and week out at one of Spain’s most historic stadiums, the Santiago Bernabeu.
“It’s the most beautiful thing there is. There is nothing more beautiful. The feeling of going out and feeling that pressure that you have to win and that you are playing for Madrid. It’s the most beautiful adrenaline in the world,” the midfielder said about the stadium.
Valverde also ensured to especially thank Florentino Perez for trusting him through thick and thin and for always keeping the players on their toes so as to prevent complacency.
“He has always been there at all times and has been there to help us and give the values that are needed from a Madrid player. It has also put pressure on us to continue winning. He will always have the gratitude of the Valverde family and will be very dear.”
Valverde was then asked about some standout memories of his time in Madrid, to which he said,
“When we won the Champions League and made the road to Cibeles. Seeing all those people who filled an entire city with white t-shirts makes you happy. After living that, it changed my life in this club.”
“Over the years I realized how beautiful it is to share the dressing room in Valdebebas and at the Bernabéu. There is nothing more beautiful than living these moments,” he added.
Los Blancos have made their name known as the comeback kings in recent years for their never-say-die attitude even in the lowest of troughs.
“90 minutes in Madrid are very long at the Bernabéu. The fans and the players always fight until the end, we never give up, and we give the maximum in each ball. Until the referee whistles the end, there will always be an opportunity to win the match,” Valverde said about the team’s mental resilience.
He then elaborated on the dynamics in the Real Madrid dressing room and how the veterans and youngsters stayed in harmony with mutual respect.
“There is a mix of veteran and young players. There is always that healthy competition that helps the team keep improving. The important thing is that we all go to the same side and look for the same goal: to achieve titles to celebrate them all.”
Speaking about his maturation as a football player, Valverde stressed that the years that passed only made him hungrier for titles. Yet, he admitted that he had indeed matured as a player on the field.
“I haven’t changed the desire to continue winning and to continue getting titles. Obviously, I have improved as a footballer and I have learned a lot by fighting for a position and being a substitute.”
“I have learned from my colleagues and I have drawn the greatest possible fruit from living moments of such importance. I have learned a lot from Kroos, Modrić and Casemiro. That has helped me,” he added.
As the interview reached its final stages, the midfield star was quizzed about his ability to play in multiple positions and what his favourite was.
“When I play in my natural position, on the right or in the middle, that’s when I can most demonstrate my qualities. But I am available to the team for whatever they need and if a player is missing I will try to help from anywhere. On the field, give the best of me, and outside try to bring energy and encouragement.”
Finally, Valverde spoke touching words about his parents and the pride they feel over his success at Real Madrid.
“It’s great news for them. They are always there and I will always thank them for all the values and all the codes of life. I have seen them fight day and night for many hours so that I could eat or have a pair of shoes to play football.”
Source: Real Madrid website
Official: Real Madrid starting lineup against Napoli | UCL GW 5
Real Madrid are back in the Champions League following their impressive win against Cadiz on the weekend as they host Napoli at the Santiago Bernabeu for gameweek five.
They have already secured qualification to the round of 16, and even a point today would secure first place in the group.
With several players still injured, Carlo Ancelotti has opted for his best available starting lineup, with Daniel Carvajal taking responsibility of the captain’s armband at right-back. He will be aided by Ferland Mendy, who starts on the other side.
Meanwhile, in between them, David Alaba returns to the fold as the starting centre-back, partnering Antonio Rudiger. This duo has the responsibility of screening Andriy Lunin, who continues in goal in Kepa and Thibaut Courtois’ absence.
With both Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni out, Toni Kroos gets the chance to play as the holding midfielder for two games in a row. Federico Valverde retains his spot, as well, while Dani Ceballos comes in for the injured Luka Modric in central midfield.
Rodrygo will spearhead the team’s frontline as one of the two twin forwards, while Brahim Diaz gets the nod over Joselu. Jude Bellingham is the final, and arguably the most important piece of the puzzle, playing behind the front-two.
Confirmed Madrid XI: Lunin; Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, Mendy; Valverde, Kroos, Ceballos; Bellingham; Diaz, Rodrygo