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Federico Valverde talks Vinicius, World Cup, favourite position ahead of Al Ahly clash

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Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will lock horns with Egyptian giants Al Ahly in the semi-finals of the FIFA Club World Cup in Rabat, Morocco on Wednesday.

Los Blancos go into the game on the back of a disappointing 1-0 defeat to RCD Mallorca in La Liga, which has derailed their hopes of defending the title.

With pressure mounting on the manager and the team, the FIFA Club World Cup becomes a crucial tournament for Real Madrid.

On the eve of the match, midfielder Federico Valverde interacted with the media and opened up on several topics including the controversies surrounding Real Madrid teammate Vinicius Jr as well as his personal decline in form after the World Cup break.

On the FIFA Club World Cup: “The Club World Cup was my first title and it was very special. It meant a lot in my career. The path to get here is also nice. I try to enjoy every moment at Real Madrid.”

On the Vinicius Jr controversies: “Vinicius seems to me to be an incredible person, with a lot of values. On the pitch, he tries to enjoy himself in his own way, like all Brazilians, with joy. It’s part of football. They have to respect him more. People must have problems at home and they take it out on him.”

On the fixture calendar: “It’s part of modern football, playing every two or three days. You play more and more and you rest less and less. There is more and more travelling. I always try to take the positives out of it. You have to get used to living with that.”

On Uruguay’s disappointing World Cup run: ” Returning from the World Cup with Uruguay affected me because when you are going for a goal, you have so much hope and you want to go as far as possible, it hurts that it didn’t work out that way.

“But it helps you improve in all aspects. Good things don’t always happen in football. Before the World Cup, I was in a very good moment and now it’s not the same. I have to keep working.”

On playing in Morocco: “Before the trip, I usually talk to my brother about football. And we talked about the fans here. It’s spectacular. The stadium is also incredible. It’s beautiful how they live football. It’s a nice place to come and play. In Uruguay, we don’t have this level of stadiums.”

On facing Al Ahly: ” Al Ahly have a very good fan base. We know what this team is in this part of the world. We know what they generate on the pitch and the history they have. But we will bring out our weapons, always with respect.”

On his recent form: “When you go on the pitch you try to escape, to enjoy yourself. My family supports me, which is what I need, and of course, when you don’t get the results you have to give your best. It generates frustration and anger.

“Against Atlético I was sad because I was substituted. I like to finish games and I like to win. And neither of these two things happened. And the same thing happened in Mallorca. I have to keep learning and improving. You have to be prepared for the bumps.”

On his favoured position: “I like playing as an interior, it’s where I feel most comfortable, but when I played as a winger I was happier and I performed better. When you play in several positions you have more options to play. I have to be ready for anything.”

Source: Mundo Deportivo

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Real Madrid News

National team manager reveals plans for Real Madrid wonderkid at the Euros

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Photo by WOJTEK RADWANSKI/AFP via Getty Images

Following a solid end to his debut campaign at Real Madrid, Arda Guler is all set to play a key part for Turkey at the UEFA Euro 2024.

The 19-year-old wonderkid struggled with injuries during the first half of the last season at Real Madrid but eventually made the most of his chances towards the final phase of the campaign.

All in all, Guler finished the 2023/24 season with a tally of six goals from 12 matches, winning La Liga, Spanish Super Cup, and the UEFA Champions League.

Vincenzo Montella’s plans for Guler with Turkey

A special talent like Guler, who is attracting a lot of interest heading into the summer, has what it takes to be a differential player for the Turkish national team.

Turkey manager Vincenzo Montella. (Photo by OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images)

Ahead of their Euro opener against Georgia next week, Turkey manager Vincenzo Montella gave an insight into how he plans to use the Real Madrid youngster – whether as a starter or from the bench, and his position.

“Arda generally played on the right wing in both Fenerbahçe and Real Madrid. If he played alone, he could be number ten, but for now, he seems to be closer to playing on the right wing,” said Montella (h/t Sporx).

On whether Guler is ready to start in the major European tournament, he added: “The most important thing is to be able to establish balance well. He played well in the last match, and we have the desire to start with him. However, I am still in the decision stage.”

So far, Guler has made seven appearances for the Turkish national team, in which he has netted one goal. And, he will be looking forward to adding to that tally at the Euros, whether he starts as a right-winger or a No. 10.

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