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Valverde talks Ancelotti, El Clasico goal, first experience with Real Madrid senior team



Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

Speaking in an interview with DirecTV (h/t MARCA), Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde has revealed that he felt very nervous and inferior on his first day with the senior team.

Valverde, 24, joined Real Madrid from Penarol in the summer of 2016, arriving for a nominal fee of just €5 million. He spent a year with Castilla before going out on loan to Deportivo La Coruna for a season.

Following that, Valverde was integrated into the Real Madrid first-team setup starting from the 2018/19 campaign.

During the interview, the Uruguayan international revealed how he felt when he first stepped out at the Valdebebas to train with the Real Madrid senior side, saying:

“I was very nervous. I felt very inferior, when you look at all the stars, you think what am I doing here? Now, after winning so many things, I believe that I am good enough and it’s very beautiful. I feel part of a team and I have shown that I am up to the task.”

Talking about his early journey in football, Valverde said: “My dream was to be a footballer and enjoy myself. I value every moment and take advantage of all the opportunities that arise in my life, both with my family and in sports.

“Thinking about everything I went through, the good and the bad, it was a very hard road and after having achieved many things it is very nice to see what I am experiencing.”

Valverde has been in red-hot form this season and has emerged as one of Real Madrid’s most important players. Discussing his recent displays, the midfielder added:

“Sometimes I think I’m touched by a wand. It takes a lot of work, but things seem to be going easy for me. Here I feel loved and I have received everyone’s support and that always works in my favour.”

On the support he receives from manager Carlo Ancelotti, Valverde said: “He has always shown unconditional support and in the moments that I was not doing well he let me know.”

Valverde has added goals to his game as well this season, scoring in crucial matches against Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Sevilla, among others. During the interview, he revealed that the goal in the Clasico is the one he cherishes most, saying:

“I dreamt of scoring a goal in the Clásico many times. Ancelotti told me that if I didn’t score ten goals in the season he would retire, he challenged me and it’s a nice pressure.”

Finally, Valverde discussed Uruguay’s prospects at the upcoming FIFA World Cup, saying: “Representing my country is the most beautiful thing there is. It’s a source of pride, there is nothing like it. The more difficult the group, the better. When we get something easy, we underestimate it.

“As Uruguayans, we like challenges and we have the weapons to be protagonists. We believe that we can achieve beautiful things, we may not achieve it, but our goal is to leave a mark. Everything can happen on the pitch and you have to think big.”

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Real Madrid News

Official: Real Madrid starting lineup against Elche



Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

The Santiago Bernabeu is ready for the first time in a fortnight as Real Madrid are set to host relegation-threatened Real Valladolid for gameweek 27 of La Liga. The gap between them and Barcelona was increased to 15 yesternight, and los blancos will be looking to cut it down to 12 to scarce the tiniest bit of hope of defending their league crown.

Carlo Ancelotti has opted to use a highly attacking starting lineup for the clash, with Karim Benzema spearheading the front-three. He is flanked by Marco Asensio on the right while Vinicius Jr retains his place on the left.

Rodrygo also gets the nod to start, probably as an attacking midfielder in what looks like a 4-2-3-1.

Aurelien Tchouameni has been given the nod in midfield, with Toni Kroos forming the double pivot alongside him.

With Antonio Rudiger, Ferland Mendy, and Nacho out injured, Eduardo Camavinga gets the license to start as the left-back, while Lucas Vazquez flanks the defence from the right. The usual suspects — Eder Militao and David Alaba — start in central defence.

Thibaut Courtois was a doubt heading into this game, but has been given the medical greenlight to take his place as the goalkeeper.

Madrid XI: Courtois; Vazquez, Militao, Alaba, Camavinga; Tchouameni, Kroos; Asensio, Rodrygo, Vinicius; Benzema

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