Federico Valverde spoke this week with ESPN.com.uy and he talked about various aspects of Real Madrid, highlighting what Zinedine Zidane demanded of his players and expressing his anxiety to meet Carlo Ancelotti, his new coach. In turn, the midfielder also told a curious promise that Casemiro assured him for a possible cross between the Uruguayan National Team and Brazil in the Copa América in Brazil.
Here are the best phrases from Fede Valverde’s interview on ESPN:
ZIDANE’S FOOTBALL DEMANDS
The Uruguayan commented that one is assuming greater responsibility over the years and maintained: “That responsibility of taking the ball to the rival field, that responsibility that, if you lose the ball, you have to keep trying and not hide behind your teammates . When you’re young sometimes you have those normal nerves of losing a ball or two and it seems like your world is falling apart. As the years go by, you take everything with much more maturity and you realize that nothing happens, that it is football and that the best is the one who tries, and when you miss, you have to keep trying ”.
“Zidane always told us that (that the best is the one who tries). There are times when we play very sideways and we do not risk so much because of that fear of losing, sometimes the results did not go as one wanted and when things do not go so well, those passes are worth more. So you try to ensure it, you don’t want to risk it, you have that fear of hearing criticism. There Zidane was the first to tell you to take risks, that the best is the one who risks, the one who tries, the one who always fights to the end, is the phrase of Madrid and always play forward without being afraid ”.
BEING SIDE BEFORE LIVERPOOL IN ANFIELD AND ITS IDEAL POSITION
“(When Zidane told me he was going to play right back) it was weird, I expected it but I didn’t expect Zidane to be so direct either. I knew I could play there, but my head kind of wanted to lie to me that I wasn’t going to play winger, that at least I was going to play a little later. But I took on that responsibility. If the coach decides to put me in a position, which is not where I usually play, I will be available for whatever. When he came to tell me that he was going to play as a winger, I said yes, that nothing was happening and that he was going to give everything for the team ”.
“At the beginning when the game against Liverpool started and they threw the ball to my side, I said ‘this is going to be a long Champions League night’, but you have to know how to suffer too. The first minutes I honestly suffered, I had Mané in my sector, who is very good, he was one of the toughest rivals that I had to score, and he was also a constant heads up. I suffered, but I took out that claw that Uruguayans have, that we can fight everyone, and that even though we are the smallest we will always take that chest to give our best ”.
“Playing as a right-hand midfielder in a 4-3-3 is where I can most demonstrate my characteristics. When we defend I feel like I have that defensive power to help the team. I’m not telling you that I can only be a marker, sometimes it is also cutting a play, you don’t always have to go to the ball but by cutting the passing line you can also help the team defensively. When we go on the attack I have speed, a good pass and that helps a lot when we attack ”.
WANTING TO MEET ANCELOTTI AND THE MANAGEMENT OF FAME AT 22 YEARS OLD
Valverde will have a new coach when he returns to Real Madrid after the Copa América in Brazil. The midfielder said that he has not yet spoken with Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti and assured: “I am nervous, very anxious to meet him when he returns and share a talk to see how he is.”
The Uruguayan said regarding the recognition of the Real Madrid public: “It is very nice to go out on the street and for people to recognize you, to come and ask for a photo. Sometimes it is beautiful and sometimes the opposite, you would like to go play a square, being a footballer has that 50 and 50: it has many things that thanks to that I can keep my parents calm, and that is thanks to football. But you also have to know how to live with that. The merit that I can have that humility belongs to my parents, they always gave me those advice, they helped me, they told me never to change, to be me always, and I am that same boy who left La Unión and who thanks to football can have other privileges ”.
THE PROMISE OF CASEMIRO
Valverde commented on the possibility of facing his Real Madrid teammate Casemiro in a Copa América final between Uruguay and Brazil: “Welcome, it’s going to be very nice. I’m sure some kick is going to hit me, because he already promised me. I told him that we were going to win the Cup. That’s nice, it’s being able to cross paths with teammates, being able to have that healthy rivalry. In Madrid I learn a lot from him, but if I play as a rival, I regret it, I will leave everything for my country ”.
THE RECOGNITION OF THE REAL MADRID HINCHAS AND THEIR GROWTH IN SPAIN
“Going out into the street and having people and children admire you fills me with joy. A few years ago I admired some players and I still do. It fills you with pride when they ask for a photo, or have an adult congratulate you on getting a title with the club he loves. These are moments when one does not look for them, one does not seek to kick 116 ‘(as in the 2020 Super Cup) and be a hero, as a child one thinks that if they have to take a red from me, it may be for this or for this another , and it happened. I did not seek to play as a winger against Liverpool either, I did not injure anyone to play there, things just happened and I had to live them, and they are unique moments. I try to enjoy every moment, I try to enjoy it as if it were the last day of my life, and with the responsibility of having the Madrid crest “.
“When the race starts, one fights for a dream that can be thousands, but most of them are not saying ‘I dream of playing with so and so’. And today I can share games with Toni (Kroos), Casemiro, Luka (Modric), Suárez, Godín, Cavani; I just have to enjoy as if I were a child, get the most fruit out of it, get the best advice from each word they give me so that I can improve, not only on but also off the field. It is not only winning trophies, playing with 80,000 people, but it is also coming to train and that Luis comes to tell you how you are, or that Toni, who is German and has different habits, asks you how your son is. They are things that I will not forget and I will always thank them ”.
“From Spanish football I have incorporated its dynamics; Competing in La Liga and in the Champions League I have achieved a lot of dynamics, explosiveness, good ball touch and maturity on the field, having more peace of mind. In Uruguay I would get nervous when I lost a ball, but today I am calmer ”.