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Valverde talks Kroos, Guler, comparisons with Lampard, Gerrard, Real Madrid captaincy

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Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Despite not being able to play a competitive match for Real Madrid yet, new signing Arda Guler has made quite an impact in the team so much so that Federico Valverde recently said that the 18-year-old Turk is going to help the team a lot next season.

In an extensive interview with Madrista Real, 25-year-old Valverde spoke on various subjects, including his personal goal with Real, preferred position and his desire to captain the Whites one day in his professional career. 

It must be noted that Valverde joined Real Madrid in the summer of 2016 after just one professional season with Penarol in Uruguay. While reminiscing his early days, the midfielder said,

“Since I was a child I wanted to play football. And I did it all the time. When you are a child you can dream that I am going to dedicate myself professionally to football but I never imagined that he could play for the best club in the world. 

“There are still days that I can’t believe it’s reality. And I am thankful for being able to come and train with Madrid and with these incredible teammates. I play with the best in the world; isn’t it amazing?”

Over the years, Valverde has become a crucial piece of Carlo Ancelotti’s blueprint and the player believes that it is the hunger that drives him to continuous improvement.

“[I wish to face my sixth season at Madrid] With the same enthusiasm as always, that is the maximum. And above all with a very high responsibility,” he said.

“I’m sure all my peers feel this way; I am very excited and with the hunger and seriousness that this shield demands.

Known for his versatility, the 25-year-old has been used across various positions and the midfielder has always repaid the faith. However, upon asking about his favourable position, he said:

“Scoring goals is always nice, but I can’t imagine that I will go down in history as a great scorer. I like to contribute everything from the bottom up. Build, steal, press, assist, define. Every day I try to be as complete as possible.”

Valverde sees Toni Kroos as his idol. (Photo by Florencia Tan Jun/Getty Images)

Valverde has been compared with English legends Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard in some circles, but the midfielder has always maintained that his idol is club teammate Toni Kroos.

Talking about the said comparisons and his feelings about Kroos, he said: “I don’t consider myself special or different. I am a player who kills himself to help, to be useful. It is true that I hit him hard, but I do not like comparisons. Regarding Toni, his career defines him as a world star.”

Back when Real Madrid first showed interest in Valverde in 2016, the player had other offers on the table as well. The midfielder, however, decided to join Los Blancos because,

“This is not even a question. The answer is the simplest in the world. Being able to go with the best, why go with another?”

On Arda Guler, he said, “He is very talented and has a magnificent left foot. I’m sure it can give us a lot. She is very young and everything should not be demanded of her from day one.”

When asked which player he feels most connected with, the midfielder said, “It’s hard to choose and in fact, I don’t choose. I think that outside of football people have many acquaintances and some true friends. I have many friends here, they are people I trust the most. This is great.”

On whether he has experienced any racism like his teammate, Vinicius Jr., Valverde said: “Football should be a place to have fun, to live, to excite and to enjoy. There is no place for insults in football.”

Lastly, when asked what kind of captain he would like to be, especially since he has played under Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, and Karim Benzema, Valverde said,

“Being captain of Real Madrid is the consequence of time and a job well done. It is not a gift. Pride, experience, responsibility, judgment, balance.”

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid face Premier League, Saudi Arabia competition for free transfer target

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid are set to welcome two new stars this summer, Kylian Mbappe and Endrick, but the Merengues are keen on further bolstering their squad.

Owing to the embarrassment of riches Real Madrid possess in midfield, replacing Toni Kroos with a new signing in midfield is not seen as an immediate priority.

Nonetheless, interesting opportunities will invariably be evaluated closely and it appears the name of Adrien Rabiot has entered the club’s crosshairs.

Real Madrid not the only ones interested

But, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, Real Madrid face stiff competition from Premier League clubs and Saudi Arabian teams in their pursuit of midfielder Adrien Rabiot.

The French midfielder is set to become a free agent if he chooses not to renew his contract with Juventus, a decision that seems increasingly likely.

Rabiot set to become a free agent this summer. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Known for his technical prowess and versatility, Rabiot excels at playing multiple roles in midfield and notably thriving as a goal threat with late runs inside the opposition box that tend to catch opponents off guard.

While Real Madrid have no shortage of quality in midfield, Dani Ceballos’ exit could pave the way for the 29-year-old to secure a signing for Los Blancos.

However, Real Madrid would have to outmanoeuvre both the financial prowess of Saudi Arabian teams and the competitive allure of Premier League clubs to secure Rabiot’s signature.

On top of that, Juventus are also not giving up on their efforts to try and renew the contract of the French international.

In any case, Rabiot is unlikely to be a priority target for the club but they will be sure to keep a close eye on how his situation develops.

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