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Ricardo Carvalho – the Real… interview

September 21, 2011
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Without a doubt, the best parts in Ricardo Carvalho’s Real… interview are when he talks about falling in love with his wife, and his children.  You can really see his face light up, the love in his eyes and hear how his voice gets all emotional.  If you don’t have time to watch the entire thing, definitely go watch those parts.

What a beautiful song.  James Blunt’s “You’re Beautiful.”  Ricardo Carvalho’s favorite song to start this interview.  Welcome to RMTV.

Thank you very much.

Why this song?

Because it touches me.  I like it, and the lyrics are beautiful.  It talks about how life is brilliant and love is pure.  What else can you say?  I like it.

It’s very much a song in the Carvalho style.  It’s slow…

It’s true.  I like the song, it’s very calming as well.  I’m a very calm person as well, and the lyrics move me, his songs move me and I enjoy listening to them.

All the players say that in the locker room, you’re the father.

I’m the oldest one as well.  I feel that they respect me a lot and I also respect everyone.  I feel good there.

I suppose that you must be very happy today, because yesterday the team won in the Champions League, and that’s important.  Is today a happy day for Madrid, for el madridismo and for Ricardo Carvalho?

Yes, because when you win, you always feel better.  We and the club are used to winning, and when you don’t win, the feeling is different, and the day isn’t the same as when you win.  It was important to win, to start off by winning an away game was important for us and we achieved it.  We believe we can improve and play better, but the important thing was that we were compact and always together.

It was a tough and difficult game, no?  Some people said it would be a piece of cake for Madrid, but it wasn’t easy at all.

Yes, they really wanted to beat us, like everyone else, and they were a bit rough.  But luckily we achieved our objective.

And it was one more game in which Madrid didn’t have too much luck with the refereeing decisions.

Yes, because Marcelo was sent off and Cristiano received a lot of blows as well.  We felt that the referee wasn’t fair to us.  But like everyone else, he can make mistakes, so that’s why we have to be above this kind of thing.

Cristiano was really upset.  And it was logical, because he had to get three stitches on his ankle.  He has a reason to be upset yesterday.

It’s true.  His ankle was in really bad shape, and he was in a lot of pain.  It’s normal that he was angry, and we all felt bad for him, because he’s very important to us.  And clearly, a great player like him should be protected by everyone, but that doesn’t happen to him.  He’s strong, but there are times when he’s pushed to the limit.

It’s true that he’s not protected very much.  Since he’s so strong physically, it appears that he can take all kinds of tackles, “rough” play, that he doesn’t need this protection.  But he’s one of those players who are good for football, and when they’re injured, it’s a real drama.  With Cristiano, it appears that any type of tackle is allowed, and it shouldn’t be like that.

It’s good for football to have great players, and Cristiano receives many blows and he feels them the next day.  We should protect those players that make a difference.

It’s great to start the Liga and the Champions as leaders.  That gives you all, the coaching staff and the fans confidence and excitement.

To grow, you always have to win games and we want to grow.  It’s good to win games, and even better when you play well, but if you don’t play so well, it’s good to win games to grow like we would like to.

The starting XI of Real Madrid seems to be Ricardo Carvalho and 10 other guys [does the name Iker Casillas ring a bell, Óscar?].  Your presence seems to be guaranteed, even though when you came, people said you were old…

Thank you.  When I arrived, I received a lot of criticism, but I knew that I could do well.  I had two years left on my contract at Chelsea, and I always say the easiest thing would have been for me to stay.  I already had the respect of everyone in the club and outside because I had done well, and here I would have to start from scratch and show that I was a good player and that I could help and play.  I knew that I could do well here, or else I would have stayed in Chelsea, it would have been easy to do that, and there’s less pressure there as well.

You’re 33 years old and you seem to be a boy.  As I tell your teammates, you’re like Benjamin Button, who gets younger with time.

I feel good.  My private life is tranquil, I feel good and I’m also happy with what I do.  I feel good, right now I feel good.

How do you take care of yourself?  We’re talking about your private life, what you do to stay how you are.

I’m very tranquil.  I train, and I go home to be with my family.  I like to spend time with my children and my wife.  I have a normal life.  There’s no other reason.  I am how I am.  I’m tranquil.

And do you watch what you eat?  Are you careful with what you eat?

If I’m hungry, I eat, but I try to watch what I eat.  Before, I didn’t do that, but now I know how to do so.  But it’s normal and basic things, nothing special.

What is your favorite food?

Favorite food?  My favorite food is Portuguese stew.  It consists of cooked potatoes with a lot of meat and vegetables.  It’s a traditional Portuguese dish.

You were born in Amarante, a municipal in the north of Portugal, close to Porto.  What is it like there?

It’s a town about 50 kilometers from Porto that has 300,000 inhabitants.  It’s small.  That’s where I was born, and I have a weekend house there and I like to go there to relax.  My parents live there.  I lived there until I was 15-16 and of course all my childhood memories took place there.

And what do you have memories of there?  What things do you remember?

I remember my friends, of going to school, or playing on the street when I was small.  I began to play in Amarante when I was 10.  I would get out of school and go directly to the field to train.  I was happy.  I would study and then play.

What were you like as a child?  I would say you were shy, quiet, calm, a good student…  What were you like?

I was all that.  I was shyer than I am now.  I didn’t say a lot.  I like to speak with those people that I feel comfortable with.  I am how I am, I haven’t changed very much.

You have an older brother named Antonio, but I’m told that you seemed to be the oldest one, although you’re the youngest one.  How many years apart are you?

Three years.  Since I left home very early, when I was 16, it’s a long time since now I’m 33, that time wasn’t easy and I had to mature.  The first few months were difficult but I knew what they wanted for me.  I left my parents and my brother and I went to Porto and I lived there alone to train with Porto.

What’s the Carvalho family like?  Humble?  United?

Humble and small.  My mother only has one brother and my father is an only child.  I have one brother.  There’s only a few of us but we respect each other and we always talk a lot.  Now I have my own family, my wife and my children, but they come whenever they can.

When you were a child, did your father or your mother give you better advice?

I spoke more with my mother.  My father would come to my training sessions, and my family always came to watch my games with Amarante, but I was always closer to my mother.

What is one lasting memory from your childhood?

Since I lived in a small town, I played with other children my age on the street, and we improvised a lot.  When I grew older, I began to play in Amarante with some friends.  I remember that during one vacation, I would ride like six kilometers on my bike because my parents were working and I had no one to take me to the training session.  We lived about six kilometers from the club and I covered that distance on my bike.

Six kilometers to get there and six kilometers to get back?

No, for the way back, my father would come to pick me up afterward, we would put my bicycle in the car.

Weren’t you tired when you got to the training session?  Six kilometers on the bicycle, and I imagine there were hills…

Those who run for the love of it don’t get tired.  I arrived and I trained, and it was all perfect for me.

What is the favorite gift you received as a kid?  A gift you will never forget?

A gift?  My mother always gave me things that she knew I would like.  Perhaps… since we didn’t have a good ball, since ours were always worn out, perhaps the best presents were those balls that I used to play with my friends.

You improvised football fields on the streets.  What were they like?

One goal was a garage and we marked out the other one with stones.

When you were small, what did you want to be when you grew up?  A footballer or something else?

In the beginning, I wanted to be a policeman.  I liked motorcycles when I was small.  As I grew up and I started liking football, I did everything I could to play and to get there.

If I’m not mistaken, Nuno Gomes also started out in Amarante.  Have any of your other childhood friends made it as footballers?

At this level, no.  They made it to the first division, but weren’t “top” players like Nuno Gomes or me.  Delfín played with me in Amarante and got to Sporting CP and Marseille.  He was another player my age who got far.

What are your friends doing now?

Some work for the local government of Amarante.  My neighbor, who played with me in Amarante, is a policeman, and there are others that I lost touch with.  I live a bit far and I’m not there most of the time, but when I see them, I know that some are working and others aren’t.

Your first serious team was Leça.  Who pushed you to try and become someone in football?  Was it your father, a friend or yourself?

It had more to do with me.  When I went to Porto, I first signed for a year, and later on, since they were happy with me, I signed for four more.  They registered me and I was lucky to be in a good club that in that time played in the first division.  It took me two months to play that first year, but I stayed for the rest of the year, that year was a great year.  At the age of 19, I had already played in the Portuguese league and I returned to Porto.

The age of 19 was also when you meet the woman who is now your wife, Karina.  You did have a good year that year…

Yes, I fell in love and I’m still in love now.  It’s been a long time.  We grew up together, we respect each other and I continue to be in love with her [how adorable and sweet!  Look at his expression!].

I had many doubts about asking you this question, but… I can’t imagine the moment when you met Karina, because knowing you, I would have thought you wouldn’t have said anything, that you would be there, and she would have to come up to you and say, “hey, do you want to be my boyfriend?”  And you would say, “okay” like someone who didn’t really want to.  What was it really like?

Very tranquil.  I waited for her reaction.

Where did it happen?

Where?  I met her when I was playing in Leça.  Since it was close to Porto and there was also a beach, I met up with her and with some other friends to have a coffee, and I liked her.  I waited to see what she thought of me, and with the passing of time, we started talking.

But who took the first step, you or her?

I made it clear that I was interested so that I could be sure whether she liked me, but it was more of her initiative. 

I was told a great secret, which is that you used to take walks with her on the beach in Porto, and look at the houses, not knowing that one day you’d have one of those.

Yes, it’s true.  I really like to walk on the beach with her and have a coffee there.  There were some houses there that were great and we looked at them and talked about how we would like to have something like that one day, it was like a dream to have one of them.

What does the beach mean to you?  You always talk about the beach, the sea…

It’s important.  I like it.  I didn’t live close to the beach and each time I had the opportunity to have a coffee there, I would go.  I liked to be there looking at the ocean and we did that quite often.  Now, I have one of those houses and I don’t need to go out onto the street.  I have a drink with her while watching the ocean.

What were your dreams?

Having that house was one of them.  Another was to form my own family.  I have two children who mean everything to me, and I have my wife, whom I am in love with.  They’re great kids.  When you achieve starting your own family… for me, they’re everything.

Rodrigo and Raquel are six and four years old, respectively.  I notice you getting emotional when you talk about them.

Yes, they’re my children and when I look at them, I know that I can give them everything and that’s an advantage that I have.  I can and I work hard for this.  They’re everything in my life.

What do you want to teach your children so that they’ll live their lives in a certain way, and what advice would you give them when they’re a bit older?

It’s not easy because you want to spoil them, but you know that you shouldn’t and that you can’t.  Right now, I try to control them and set objectives.  They’re at the point where they’re learning to read and write.  I tell them that when they manage to write and read well, which is not easy because their parents speak Portuguese and they’re at an English school, I’ll give them what they want.  And they’ve asked me for some Gormiti or the Playstation or other toys.  I tell them, okay, first do this, and when you’ve done it well, we’ll go buy those things.

Two of the most important days of your life were when your two children were born.

Yes, without a doubt.  I had the privilege of being there.  When you see something so small and so perfect with all the fingers… everything perfect… you get emotional.

A house, forming a family… those were your dreams.  Do you have anything left to aspire to?

I always want more.  I’ve won many trophies but I always want more.  When I don’t win, I go to the training sessions angry.  It’s not easy.  You know it, you ask me what happened.  It’s not that I’m very angry, but I do get angry.

From Leça, you went on to Porto and then to Vitória de Setúbal, then Alverca and then back to Porto.  Was that the moment when you began thinking that you were in the “top,” as the míster says, in Portugal?

When I returned to Porto from Leça, I didn’t end up playing.  I only played two games and I asked to be loaned out because I didn’t like not playing.  I always played and I returned to Porto when I was 23.  For me, it was a goal and a dream to play in Porto and be like the others who had played there: Aloisio, Jorge Costa, Fernando Couto… they were very great and my objective was to be great like them.  When I began playing there, I felt that I wanted more than to be in Porto.

These are phases, stages that you move past… and during those seasons, from 2001 to 2004, Real Madrid knocked on your door. 

Yes, yes.

How come you didn’t join us earlier?

Porto didn’t want to sell me, they asked for a lot of money, a lot.  Madrid didn’t want to pay that much but Chelsea was willing to.  The first one out of everyone to be interested was Real Madrid.  In that time, I was playing in the Eurocopa, we got to the final against Greece and we lost.  There I was, rising in value and the president of Porto didn’t want to let me leave, that’s why it was difficult and Real Madrid was asked to pay too much…

Then came Chelsea and you went to the city you like the most, London.

Yes, because I learned how to like it.  I learned to like it.  In the beginning, it was difficult, but then I learned what I liked… I like the city for many things, it’s very tranquil.  After six years there, I got used to it, I met people, I knew the places to visit and I ended up liking the city.

And your best friend was Thiago, according to what I’ve been told.

Yes, I was with him in Chelsea for a year and we became good friends.

What does a person have to be like to become your friend?  I’m not talking about an acquaintance, but a friend.

The person has to be sincere.  That’s one of the things, for good or for bad, that I value most about friendship.  And after that, you have to be direct, sincere and honest.

And what can’t you stand someone else doing?

I don’t like it when they do one thing in front of you, and another thing behind your back.  I don’t like hypocrisy, I don’t like it, it turns me off completely…

In that sense, you’re very similar to the míster.  He said several months ago, sitting where you are now, that “I can’t stand hypocrisy.”

Yes.  I know him well, very well, he’s very direct.  And that’s why his discourse attracts me, because he’s very direct, for good and for bad as well.  People have to be like that for me as well.

After Chelsea came the dream of playing for Real Madrid.  At last, you were a Real Madrid player.  Another dream come true for you.

Yes, it’s true.  I really wanted to play in Real Madrid.  And it was perfect.  I’m happy I achieved it.  But more important than achieving it was coming here and adapting and being happy here and knowing that I could do well and continue doing well.

Was the day you signed with Madrid one of the happiest in your life?

When I signed that contract, the only thing I wanted was to show that I was good.  I wasn’t living that moment.  You feel it more when you go onto the field, in the Bernabéu… when I came here, I felt that the stadium was magnificent, it’s really enormous.  For me, the important thing was to show that I could help, that I was good.

All the players who come to Real Madrid, no matter what country they’re from, always say one thing: they don’t know why, but when they’re here, they feel that this is the greatest club in the world.  Why?

Yes, it’s true.  It’s what you feel, it’s what you feel, it’s what you feel… it’s a different club, you feel it when you enter the stadium, when you see the people.. inside, you feel that it’s a family and outside, you feel that everything is enormous.

What was the happiest day in your life in terms of football?

When you win titles.  The most recent day was the day that we won the Copa del Rey.  It was important for us, and in addition we were playing against Barcelona.  We knew that we could do it.

Out of all the titles that you’ve won, is the one you remember the most fondly the Copa del Rey with Madrid?

No, but it’s the last one [obviously, Óscar wasn’t expecting this response].  And I felt happier than ever.  I remember what it was like for me to win a league title or the Champions; I was as happy after the game as when I won with Porto.

What do you remember from that night?

After the game, there was a party.  And when we got back, the people were so happy and animated, and it was because we deserved to win for all that we had done during the season.  And I was happy for that.

And out of all the congratulations that you received, which was the one you won’t forget?

Those from people telling me I had played well, that we deserved it, that we were the champions.  All of the congratulatory messages.  Only those who are my friends and who speak with me have my phone number.

So, not many people have your telephone number…

Not many people.  My friends have it and not many more.  Journalists don’t have my number.  Only the people whom I love and who love me have my number, that’s the way I want it.

The day that Real Madrid won the Copa del Rey is one of the happiest days.  Tell me one of the saddest days in your career.  Perhaps when you lost the 2004 Eurocopa against Greece?

I’ve had some of those days, one of which was in 2004.  The final was very tough.  We had the unique opportunity to win a title.  That Eurocopa was great for us, but getting to the final and not winning was tough.  I also remember losing a Champions League after a penalty shootout, and it was very tough, very difficult.  After failing one, we had to make it… and in the end, we lost.  It was very difficult.

Have you cried because of football?

I try to control my emotions in front of people.  If I’m with people who know me, if I’m with my wife, I have no problems in crying, in showing emotion.  But not if I’m with people I don’t know.  If I’m at home, I think about how I lost for this, that it was unjust… yes, I can end up crying.

And what in life makes you cry?

When I suffer, when I think that people are unjust with me, it affects me deeply.  It also depends on how important those people are to me.  I place more importance on those that love me and I forget about the others.  That’s why I don’t suffer as much.

And have you cried out of happiness?

I have as well.  I cried when my children were born, well, some tears came out.

I don’t know if you cry when you enter the stadium, when you’re in a city like Madrid.  I see you very happy in Madrid…

Yes, I’m happy, I’m happy, I like it.  I’m adjusting.  It’s good to get to know different places, to be able to go here and there, on the streets, to get to know people.  But the club is also very important for me, to be good here, to be respected, to be able to help out.

What is a day in your life like in Madrid?  You get up in the morning, you train if the míster schedules the session in the morning, and then what?

The first thing I do is take my children to school.  Out of the five days, I need to rest during one or two of them.  After that, I train.  After the training session, I go home and my wife is there, and we take advantage of being alone to eat something or have a coffee.  After 16h, we have to go pick them up.  And after that we have to do what children like to do.  Right now, they’re learning how to play tennis, so we go to the sports center and we wait for them to finish.  Then we go have another coffee and talk about things.  We eat dinner early at home, usually around 19:30.

At 19:30h?  It’s a very English timetable, no?  Here in Spain, at this hour, we’re usually having a drink, because we don’t eat dinner until 21:30h or 22h.

We do it for the children, because they go to sleep at 20:30h.  If not, they won’t be able to get up the next day, and they have to at 07:40h, 07:30h, so they have to sleep well.

On the field, you appear to be very cold, calculating and fast.  Then, at home, I’ve been told that you’re super-affectionate with the children.  I’ve been told that your son loves playing Play and you play with him, although you don’t really like it.

I do it for him, since I don’t like it very much.  I prefer to be in the garden, and we also have a private street out front.  I prefer to be walking there.  You can see ducks… My daughter doesn’t play Play that much, but my son loves to play Play and that’s how he spends the time in his room.  I prefer to walk outside.  They have bicycles as well and I try to get him to go outside as well.

I’ve been told that you like to swim in the summer, when you can, in the ocean, in the pool.  Karina told me that you can’t sit still, that you always have to be doing things…

No, I can’t stop.  I get up, I have breakfast and I like having something to do.  If we’re not at the beach, I try to swim somewhere else, I try to walk.  I don’t like to sleep very much, I prefer to enjoy the day.

You like the movies.  And if I’m not mistaken, your favorite actor is Mel Gibson.  And one of your favorite movies is “Braveheart.”

I’ve seen that movie three times.  I loved it, I liked it a lot.  It’s from a long time ago.  But I’m old.  I liked it and so I watched it again.  The last movie that I saw and really liked was “The Next Three Days,” which told a great story.

When you were younger, you didn’t like going out very much.  I can’t see you at a disco, moving your hips.  You’re not Marcelo or Pepe…

No, no that much.  We of course have music at home and the children like to jump around and dance, and I do that with them.  With my children and my wife, I have no problems.  I’m reserved, but if I go out, it’s because I don’t want to be sitting around.  I go out very little, but if I do it, I have no problems in being with my wife and enjoying myself with her.

In that sense, you’re like the míster.  When he got to Madrid, he said, “careful with the music” and now it’s turned on at any opportunity.  I can’t imagine you dancing, but once in a while, you do try, no?

Some things could occur.

Let’s be serious now.  Is Mourinho one of the people who has impacted your life the most?

Yes, without a doubt.

Why?

Because he’s direct, he tells you what he has to say for good or for bad.  With us, with the players, he says what he has to say and we know that he’s direct.  We’re never going to take it badly because he says what he thinks and he respects your way of thinking and so we have to respect him as well.

He’s the best coach you’ve ever had, no?

Yes, he’s the best coach without a doubt.  As he’s so direct in his discourse, we know that he wants what’s best for the team.  If you’re not doing well, you’re not going to play, but it’s alright because he wants the team to do the best it can.

The míster kept an eye on everything that happened with Portugal.  Why don’t we resolve this controversy right now?  What do you want to clear up about your departure from the national team?

The Portuguese know what I feel and how proud I am to wear the shirt of the national team.  I love Portugal and I’ve very proud to be from this country.  It’s true that everyone makes mistakes.  Above all else, I am Portuguese, and I’m proud of that.  I spent a lot of time abroad, in England, and my children could have been born in London, but my wife and I wanted them to be born in Portugal.  It was a bad moment.  I’m proud to be Portuguese.

Pepe sat where you are now and said that there’s no problem between the two of you, that you’re friends and teammates and that he respects you very much.

The people who really know me know how I am.  Pepe respects me a lot and I respect him as well.  He knows me and respects my way of being and of thinking about life.  Pepe is “top,” as a player, he’s incredible and in the locker room, everyone gets along with him because he’s a very fun person who is always there for you, and if you need anything, he always helps you.  I had a problem and he was “top” for me, very important for me because he spoke to me about the problems that he could have had, and he helped to raise my spirits.  He’s always been there for me and he’s supported me 100 percent, and I’m grateful to him for being by my side.  I’ve always played with him, both here and on the national team.  For me, it’s a pleasure to play with him, he’s 28 and he’ s very strong.  He’s different from me, a bit different…

He’s not as tranquil.

No, he’s not.  He’s “top.”

What a pair of centerbacks, Pepe and Carvalho, without forgetting about the rest of your teammates: Albiol, Varane…

Yes, Albiol has been with us and Varane just arrived, but the one I’ve played with the most is Pepe and we know each other very well.  Albiol is great as well.

There’s a great atmosphere in the locker room, no?  You said it, this is a family…

It’s true that we are one.  It’s clear that there are people that you have more affinity with.  But everyone jokes around with each other.  Everything is great on the outside looking in, but inside we really are a true family.

What are you feelings about this season?

First, I’d like to win all the games because when you win your games, you grow as a team and you gain confidence.  We have to give it our all always and to win our games.

Are you aware that el madridismo is very excited about this season?

Yes, I know.  Last year, people were also very excited, and it was a great year despite everything.  We won the Copa, we got to the semifinals of the Champions… and this year we want to do even better, and to do that, we have to be serious and win our games.

Do you see yourself at Cibeles  in May?

I don’t want to think about that.  I want to think about winning one game at a time and when we achieve something, we’ll return to Cibeles, and I want to go back, because it’s great to celebrate the titles with the fans.

What is your wish for this year, your personal one, and your one for the team?

It’s all linked.  Playing well, helping my teammates, winning games and titles.  One thing leads to another.  I want to continue working very hard and helping to achieve the objectives of the club.

I’m going to ask you for a favor.  This is the table where we have the interviews, so that the fans can get to know you all better.  Can you sign this table for RMTV, for everyone who is working here?  There are many people who hard so that these interviews turn out well, and many fans who watch it.  It wasn’t too difficult, was it?

(Laughs) I know that my Spanish isn’t that good… as I explained, my children speak English and Portuguese at home, a mixture, so when I came here… I haven’t had classes, so it’s been a bit difficult for me.

You’re not very talkative, you probably prefer to listen before speaking.  But under that shyness, there is a great professional and a great person.

Ricardo also did an (much shorter) interview in English.

Hi Ricardo, welcome to RealmadridTV and the latest in the Real… series. You are probably the most experienced player at Real Madrid, how did you feel when José Mourinho asked you to come to the world’s biggest club?

Thank you. It’s true, I’m the oldest.   When I heard the club was interested in me, I was very excited. It was a big step for me. I spent six years at Chelsea, it was perfect. Then, to come to the biggest club in the world was fantastic. I’m so proud to be here and to play for Madrid.

You have traveled a long journey with José Mourinho, starting at Porto, then in England and now here with Real Madrid. How has he helped you as a player?

He works on every single detail and very well on a daily basis. He wants you to improve every day. It’s only normal that you grow as a player, and also as a man. I’m very proud of working with him for such a long time. It’s special to be next to him.

What is the secret to José Mourinho’s success?

He wants to do well every day. He works hard to improve every day. You can’t afford to make mistakes. He says, “No, you can’t make mistakes. You have to focus on your game at all times and train to be better.” All players that work with him can improve, provided they listen and train well.

You began your career at your local club, Amarante. Later, you enjoyed major European success with Porto. You then followed José Mourinho to Chelsea where you won six titles with him, and plenty of great experiences there…

Yes.  My dream initially was to play for Porto, but it was later crucial that I left my country and try out in a better league. I went to the Premier League and I was so happy at the club, where I played with great players. Most of them are friends of mine still. I won trophies as well… I’m so proud of my career.

You’re now at Real Madrid, one of the youngest clubs in Europe. What advice do you give to the younger players?

Of course, we have younger players here than at Chelsea, and I’m the oldest one. Young players here are very talented. They just have to wait and give it some time because they can end up doing very well.

This is now your second season with Mourinho at Real Madrid, there’s plenty of success coming up [is the interviewer a psychic?], how do you feel, there’s a lot of talk about Real Madrid being successful at the moment, a lot of people are very excited, how does that make you feel?

The club is so big! There’s pressure to win every game and to play better and better the more you play. Every player wants to be at a club like this one. You want to win and to improve as well. The club is so big that you always need to get trophies and win every game, and if possible, to play well.

What’s that feeling of playing at the Bernabéu on the big Champions League nights in comparison to other stadiums in which you’ve played around the world?

It’s different, it’s different… It’s a feeling… It’s difficult to explain, but it is a feeling. When you arrive and you see the stadium, you know… Everyone surrounding you… It’s so big. You feel like this is the biggest club in the world. Once you’re in there you have to do your best, try to do your best, and people enjoy it. They like to enjoy and to see good football.

The madridistas are very happy, because everyone is looking good.  What player in particular has stood out for you in recent months?

Well, I don’t like to say names. Everyone talks more about this one, or that one… But as a team we are compact. You want to grow as a team as well, and in order to do that you have to win matches. That’s what we’re doing. We want to improve and grow as a team, and also to win trophies… This is more important. Of course it’s normal for people sometimes to talk more about Ronaldo, Pipa Higuaín, Benzema… You know, our players up front. Di Maria, Marcelo… But what’s more important is to grow as a team and to win our games. We must try to do our best and play well.

It seems the team really wants to go one step further in the Champions League this year and reach the final…

We want to do our best, and in order to have a chance to win the title we’ll have to reach the final and try to win it. After the present stage we’ll play two games in each ensuing round, and you have to play very well in both. You can’t afford to do well in one and then so-so or badly in the other. And you also need to have a little bit of luck as well. The Champions League is different. We want to do our best to ensure we qualify in a good position. We’ll have to play well once there are two games. We want to go through. We reached the semifinals last season, which means we did well, but we want to do better this year. We’ll need to be in the final if we want the trophy.

Finally, what a great start to La Liga the team’s had, scoring 10 goals in two games. Is this a good sign for the future?

We have to carry on. Barcelona plays to win la Liga, so we must carry on winning every match. We have to be ready and fit to win our games. Everyone knows it’s so important for us to win La Liga, and in order to do so we must be prepared for every game.

Well, thanks very much for joining us here at RealmadridTV and best of luck for the season.

My pleasure. Thank you.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Sarah, Madrid permalink
    September 21, 2011 16:53

    Una your are the best! I can’t believe you spend time translating interviews 😀

    I love real interviews, It brings us closer to players, no? Whoever is behind this idea is amazing!!..make harder for you to get angry with player on the pitch though 😀

  2. September 21, 2011 18:56

    I’m laughing at why the interviewer would think a Champions League winner who isn’t even Spanish would hold the Copa Del Rey in higher regard than other trophies. Maybe he was tossing him a PR softball since his reputation has suffered in recent weeks, but that was just a super awkward question!

  3. Sunny permalink
    September 22, 2011 00:48

    He’s adorable.

  4. September 22, 2011 13:36

    WOW. that’s one long interview, thanks UnaMadridista for translating it, I really appreciate this, thanks!!!!!!!

    And Ricardo seems like a really nice guy. I did not expect him to be so emotional about his family though, so it positively surprised me, how sweet!

  5. Ros permalink
    September 22, 2011 14:27

    Aww…. what a great interview. I love the way he seems so honest and says what he thinks, but in such gentle way.

    And when he talks about his family… how sweet!

    Thanks for the translation!

  6. amy2 permalink
    September 23, 2011 03:14

    Great translation as always, Una. The RM website always leaves out the best bits.
    I want to second your recommendation to watch the parts where he talks about his family, even for the non-Spanish speakers. His voice gets so soft, and his green, green eyes light up with his shy smile. (I now have a bit of a crush). So for people trying to skip through: 15:30, about his childhood friends; 16:25 he says he got where he is on his own rather than anyone’s influence (very softly, and the image of this shy, determined kid kills me); from 17 min on, about his wife (Oscar laughing at the idea of Riccy making the first move); and 20:15 about having his own family.
    I think all madridistas know how important he is on the field and the news today of his concussion from the Santander match had me worried. I hope he’s back soon!

  7. September 25, 2011 18:43

    Thank you very much for taking the trouble to translate this interview. I loved this interview. It seems to be a lot more in-depth than the others so far. 🙂

    I feel that a lot of people underestimate just how important Carvalho is for us. He’s a low key person, who isn’t all that glamorous as the rest of our team, so he gets overlooked a lot, but to me, he’s one the best that we have. And we’re usually screwed when we don’t have him around as well.

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