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Nacho: “Would I have liked to play more for Real Madrid? Yes, but this is a dream come true”

The defender looked ahead to the Shakhtar Donetsk match.

Real Madrid v Deportivo Alaves - La Liga Santander Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Nacho was the player selected to speak to the media on the eve of Real Madrid’s match against Shakhtar Donetsk, a match the centre-back is likely to play in due to the absence of Sergio Ramos. Nacho was asked about his status in the Real Madrid squad and insisted he feels like a key piece. He said: “I consider myself an important player. I’ve always been considered an important piece by all the coaches, by Zidane too of course. I’ve not only played centre-back, but that’s where I’m playing now because of Sergio Ramos’ injury. As a teammate, as a friend and as a Real Madrid fan, I hope he can sign a new contract. But, that’s not my decision.”

It was brought up to Nacho that he has never been a regular starter at Real Madrid, even if he has been an important squad player for all of the coaches, as he mentioned. Asked if he expected to achieve more in his career, Nacho said that he is happy with what he has accomplished. He replied: “No, seriously. If, as a child, I’d been offered all that I’ve achieved, I would have signed up for this. My dream was to play one match for Real Madrid and I’ve played more than 200. Would I have preferred to play 50 games a season instead of 20 or 30? Of course. But, I’m happy and I’m where I want to be.”

One of Nacho’s achievements came at the same stadium where Tuesday’s match will take place and he was asked if the NSC Olimpiyskiy brings up special memories, given that Real Madrid won the 2018 Champions League final there. He said: “It’s always nice to return to a stadium where you’ve won something. It’s special and I hope it can motivate us to do well tomorrow.”

Analysing Real Madrid’s current situation and their recent defeats, Nacho called for more consistency. He said: “We have an experienced squad and we want to find more consistency. I don’t think it’s about a lack of concentration. We all try to play in the way we have to for this badge. I think it’s just football. Opponents know us better and better and study us more and more, but we go out to try to win each match. We hope to find consistency to earn confidence from this.”

Asked about the current criticism of Zidane, Nacho wanted to remind everyone that Real Madrid have won so much with the Frenchman. The centre-back said: “I’ve been with this coach for a long time and we’ve done good things in each season. Now that we’re not winning so much, people think everything is being done badly and that we’re not working so well. But, it’s not true. We’ve achieved things that nobody else has achieved and we’ll fight to the end for titles this season.”

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