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Thursday 16. November 2023 - 14:03

Dani Carvajal talks Arda Guler, Zidane, Pique, criticism, injuries, best moments at Real Madrid

Real Madrid defender Dani Carvajal has responded to Gerard Pique’s claims that Los Blancos’ 14th UEFA Champions League triumph will not be remembered, saying that it is only he who does not want to remember this victory.

Speaking in an interview with El Pais (h/t AS), the 31-year-old shed light on several aspects, including injuries, mental health, his diet, and his best moments in the Madrid shirt.

On the other hand, he also shared his thoughts over Pique’s recent comments, saying,

"He won’t want to remember it. But for Real Madrid fans, the three comebacks reflect what our history is, our motto, not giving up until the end. And not just any team has that."

A few days back, we reported that Real Madrid are considering contract renewal for Carvajal, but this will only be offered if he consistently displays the level of performance he is showing right now.

Above all, we also explained how his consultation with a nutritionist was one of the reasons for his upturn and while speaking about his diet, he explained,

"I worked with a coach. It is important to value not getting frustrated, and not demanding too much. I was very demanding of myself."

"I didn’t allow myself to fail, I didn’t allow myself a bad game. You have to face it naturally, knowing the level you can give, and that fills you with confidence. If a player has confidence, things go much better for him," he said.

Carvajal has struggled with injuries over the last couple of seasons. This season, however, he has looked sharp and fitter, and while speaking about his fitness, he added,

"Not having injuries allows you to have a lot of continuity, and to be in good physical shape every day. I feel good physically, fast. I’m putting in miles, and good efforts, knowing that I’m 31 years old and that the coach is also dosing me."

"I handle this well. You have to understand it too. Before it was more difficult for me. When I was younger, they would give me a break and I would say, ‘What about this one?"

"You understand over the years that we are a group, we all have to support, whether you play more or play less."

"The last Nations League, in which I only participated in the extra time minutes and the penalty shootout, made me see the other side a little: now I have to add from the outside and I can also be very important," he said.

Carvajal also revealed how he deals with constant criticism, saying that although it is hard on him and it affects his family, the fact that Real Madrid continue to have faith in him means a lot.

"I’m not going to deceive you and tell you: ‘I avoid it and don’t listen….’ Yes, you listen, and you read, and my father reads the press and tells me: ‘Look what he says here.’ And I tell him: ‘Dad, don’t read this, it doesn’t matter.’ I have had difficult moments at the game level, like in Glasgow."

"Or I remember that first leg in Paris [2022] when I gave Mbappé a penalty… Poof. Many doubts: ‘he is no longer valid’, ‘he is old’, ‘he is no longer able to play for Madrid’, ‘he is slow’, ‘they are looking for a replacement."

"It is hard, but from the first moment the club has shown their confidence to the maximum and I thank them from the bottom of my soul."

Arda Guler is still yet to play a game for Real Madrid despite signing for the club in the summer. The young Turk has had several bad luck with injuries, but he seems on track to recovery now.

Speaking about the youngster Carvajal said, “I approached him to encourage him: to be calm, that this is a process, that sometimes the body has to adapt, and to do everything in his power to come back stronger.

"Speak from experience, tell him: ‘You are not alone, you are not the only one who has had this happen to him."

He also revealed some of the best moments of his Madrid career and he revealed how former manager Zinedine Zidane made it happen.

"He told me: ‘Don’t look at the finisher when you have to put in a cross; choose the area: first post, penalty spot, second post’. And I said: ‘Well, I think if the shot goes to the near post we have finishing options.’ So it was."

"I think the moment in Lisbon [ Ramos’ equalizer in the 93rd minute to force extra time in the 2014 final] and the comeback against City have been the most ecstatic moments. Inexplicable… Inexplicable," he said.

Provided by: Frank Henriksen
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