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Real Madrid defender credits Ancelotti and his staff for the team’s success

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Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

In just over 24 hours, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich will lock horns at the Santiago Bernabeu in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinal.

Last week, the European giants settled for a 2-2 draw at Allianz Arena and will thus start from scratch tomorrow. Having the home advantage, however, it is safe to say that Los Blancos are the slight favourites.

Speaking to the media ahead of the team’s semifinal tomorrow, Real Madrid defender Daniel Carvajal commented on a number of topics including the team’s chance of making the final tomorrow.

He began, however, by expressing pride in donning the prestigious crest year after year and the spirit in the dressing room ahead of the game.

“Very proud to play so many games with this shirt. When it’s time to play semifinals with your people, the motivation of the match makes your level of attention maximum.”

“We have a football history ahead of us. To try to beat them and move on to the London final,” he added.

On tomorrow’s game

Elaborating on the feeling in the dressing room and the chance they had of making it past Bayern at the Bernabeu, Carvajal said,

“There is euphoria because we are having a great year. We are very excited about the European Cup.”

“We know it in the locker room. On the street they congratulate us and give us a lot of encouragement to dream about the fifteenth [title],” he added.

Quizzed on how he felt knowing it could be the last UCL game for club legends like Nacho Fernandez, Lucas Vazquez, Toni Kroos and Nacho, the veteran said,

“It is difficult to know what will happen to each one. It will arrive, at the moment I have a contract. You have to enjoy every game.”

“Hopefully not [their final game], but some will have to live their last Champions League match at the Bernabéu. I hope it’s a Madrid victory,” he added.

On the team’s season

Commenting on the importance of Carlo Ancelotti in Los Blancos’ successful campaign so far, the full-back said,

“I think that both the coach and his staff this year are the owners of the successes. We have counteracted for departures like Karim [Benzema], and Marco [Asensio] with very good arrivals, then long-term injuries and look, the numbers say it.”

Carvajal credits Ancelotti and his staff for team’s success. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

“We are two games away from winning the Champions League. He has kept us with our eyes open and we have all added. It’s what counts to achieve the objectives,” he elaborated.

On the subdued league celebrations

Having been crowned champions of La Liga over the weekend, the celebrations in Madrid were subdued keeping tomorrow’s game in mind. Speaking on the same, the veteran reiterated that the focus was on the bigger goal.

“Well, after all, we are dedicated to winning and when they give us the Cup we will celebrate it. We are indifferent.”

“We will wear it when we deem appropriate, it will not tarnish the celebration of the title. You have to think about tomorrow,” he furthered.

He then revealed it was a team decision to postpone celebrations until the Bayern Munich clash had passed and said that there was no dearth of time to celebrate the league win.

“I speak for what it means to be the best club in the world. We all decided not to celebrate it, it didn’t depend on us. It’s the best.”

“We will have time to celebrate La Liga over the weekend. We are very excited about this competition and that is why we have made this decision,” he added.

Carvajal was then asked what advice he would give himself if he could go back 20 years in time.

“I remember with affection everything I’ve been through here. I will tell that Carvajal who entered the quarry and played like a child to loosen up and play with more confidence.”

On his role in the team

Speaking on his role in the current setup, the Spanish international said: “Now I’m one of the veterans and I’m trying to be an example. A partner with whom they can reflect, that they can chat.”

Carvajal is enjoying a good season. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

“I try not to derail young people and push that we all row in the same direction. You can see that the young people are closer,” he added.

When asked what he would advise his younger teammates, he said: “Now the young people come very prepared. I would ask them for patience. Everyone goes through the moment of not being indisputable and it’s an apprenticeship.”

When asked to comment on Real Madrid’s current system and his role in the same, Carvajal added:

“I am contributing quite offensively, but we are all coupling. The system adjusts to who plays and the rival. We all contribute from wherever we start.”

The veteran was then directly asked if he, or anyone in the dressing room, felt nervous about tomorrow’s game.

“The coach is getting more and more anxious. We are a match from a final. I try to enjoy it. That tingling of tomorrow, when you’re doing a rondo. I hope to get rid of everything and not waste energy on my nerves.”

On miscellaneous topics

He then spoke specifically on Vinicius Jr, the Brazilian’s evolution over the years and his role in the team.

“Vini has improved in everything. In the definition, physically, his maturity playing, when attacking space, at the foot, he is proving it.”

“Vini works a lot outside of Valdebebas and everything is making him one of the best in the world. I hope he helps us and gives us the pass,” he then revealed.

Finally, Carvajal spoke on the importance of titles at Real Madrid, revealing the undying hunger for betterment that defined the club.

“The club’s demand makes it that way, that we want more. We have shaped an impressive decade in terms of achievements. I hope we will continue to expand it from tomorrow.”

Source: AS

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Real Madrid News

Toni Kroos opens up on retirement decision – ‘I am sad at the moment’

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Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Real Madrid have the opportunity to make this a historic season by lifting their 15th UEFA Champions League title.

But even in the event Madrid gets their hands on the trophy, the conclusion of the season will leave a bittersweet feeling as Toni Kroos is set to depart the club.

The German midfielder was urged to continue plying his trade in the Spanish Capital for another season since his timeless quality is yet to fade away, but Kroos remained firm on his decision.

Kroos opens up about retirement

Now, reflecting on his imminent departure from the club he has played 464 games with, Kroos has opened up about how the decision came about and his thought process.

“I am sad at the moment. Something that defined me, that gave so much fun and gave me so many positive memories is coming to an end,” Kroos professed on his podcast.

Kroos plays his final home game for Real Madrid tomorrow. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

However, he claims there is a slight silver lining about the news becoming public, as there is no more pressure on him to constantly answer questions about his future and focus solely on finishing his career in the best way possible.

“I am happy that the news is out. It is a relief because a lot of people were speculating and I didn’t feel like answering questions about my future all the time,” Kroos claimed.

The veteran midfielder adds that retiring was never a clear-cut decision as his emotions fluctuated frequently.

“Retiring was never a 100-0 decision. The feelings swing in other directions, in the days at the end it was maybe a 80-20 or 70-30 decision. And that 30% is what makes you feel something,” he said.

Furthermore, Kroos reveals that he shared the news of his retirement to Ancelotti first and foremost, then relayed his decision to his teammates.

“I told Carlo [Ancelotti] first that I’m retiring. Then the club, then Luka [Modric], Fede [Valverde], Lucas [Vazquez]…” he exclaimed.

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