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Carvajal: “For me, a full-back is a defender first and then an attacker”

The right-back spoke in the UEFA player press conference on Tuesday.


Dani Carvajal was the man chosen for the player press conference ahead of Real Madrid’s duel with Shakhtar Donetsk this midweek. Previewing this Champions League game, Carvajal spoke how this is a challenging opponent and he lamented the difficult conditions the Ukrainian side have to deal with. He told the press room: “It’ll be a very difficult game against the second-placed team in the group, but we know winning tomorrow would be significant in terms of winning the group. It’s a shame that their situation can happen in 2022, that a team can’t play in their country. It’s a shame that this club suffered an exodus of players. For Shakhtar to have four points already in this Champions League season is impressive. Football can hopefully give them and their fans something nice to think about.”

Carvajal on Real Madrid not being considered the Champions League favourite

Asked about last year’s success and the chances of winning this term, Carvajal spoke about how no bookmakers have Real Madrid as outright favourites. He said: “I don’t know how they calculate the odds, but Real Madrid should be among the favourites. We know how to win the competition and nobody will want to face us. Football is about results and the winner is the team that scores more and concedes less. Last year, we had ups and downs in the Champions League, but we took our chances when we had them last year. It’s funny to me, because there’s always this debate when Real Madrid win a Champions League about whether it was deserved or not. That doesn’t happen when other teams win.”

Carvajal on his personal form

The Spaniard has started 2022/23 and has managed to stay fit, which is important. Asked about this and if the busy schedule scares him, especially with the World Cup coming up, he replied: “I feel very good and have played many minutes to start this season. We have matches every three days and then a World Cup in a few weeks. It’s a demanding schedule, especially in this unusual year. I hope there won’t be more injuries, because these will be a demanding few weeks for the players. I don’t think players are worried about suffering injuries that could rule them out of the World Cup right now, but maybe there will be nerves, even subconsciously, when it gets closer.”

Carvajal on the role of full-backs in modern football

During the press conference, he had his say on the debate about modern full-backs and how much they should be involved in the attacking phase. Carvajal responded: “In modern football, full-backs do have more of a role in attack. But, full-backs still form part of the defensive line. For me, a full-back is a defender first and then an attacker. I don’t feel the need to score more goals or provide more assists. I just try to take the right decisions. It’s about finding a balance.”

Carvajal on Real Madrid’s youngsters

Asked about the young players who are emerging at the club, Carvajal stated: “There is a generational change, which is normal as this happens at all clubs. In the future, they’ll become the veterans. The good thing is that we have harmony right now between the older and younger players. This means we have a competitive squad.”

Carvajal on the criticism of Benzema

Karim Benzema has been harshly criticised after one poor game against Osasuna and Carvajal was asked about this. He said: “That’s how the football world is. You can have two bad matches and go from hero to villain. I’m sure Benzema wasn’t happy after the Osasuna draw, but he’ll be motivated for the next game tomorrow and I hope he can score two or three goals.”

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