Ricardo Carvalho was one of the unsung heroes of the Jose Mourinho era. The veteran center back formed a strong duo with Pepe in the heart of the defense during the 2010-2011 season. In an exclusive interview for FourFourTwo, the former Chelsea and Real Madrid defender explained why he found it challenging to adapt to Spain and the Madrid dressing room.
“It was more difficult to adapt to the lifestyle of Madrid than to London,” Carvalho revealed. ”There was one thing I missed a lot about London: eating early. In Spain we often had lunch and dinner at home because if you arrived at a restaurant in Madrid at 1:30 pm, you had to wait until 2:00 pm to enter! It was too late for me,” he commented while laughing.
Aside from the late meal times, Carvalho also noted the magnifying glass that was over the Real Madrid dressing room: “It was the most difficult dressing room I have ever been in: you see something small happens and the next day it appears on the front page of all the newspapers as if it was a big problem.”
Carvalho recognizes that at Madrid, there is a maximum demand of a player, a demand that must be met every single day. “When you don’t win trophies in giant teams like Real Madrid, things get even more complicated. Real Madrid is possibly the biggest club in the world, so they have this pressure to always be winning titles. And when that does not happen, people talk more”.
Fortunately for Carvalho, he did end up winning trophies while at Real Madrid including the Copa Del Rey, La Liga, and the Spanish Super Cup.