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Fede Valverde: “I don’t want to lose my place in the line-up again”

The Uruguayan spoke in the pre-match press conference ahead of the Manchester City game.

Real Madrid Training and Press Conference - Etihad Stadium Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images

Ahead of Real Madrid’s Champions League first leg against Manchester City, Fede Valverde was the player chosen from the pre-match press conference and he started by analysing the semi-final tie and Los Blancos’ run to this point. He pointed out that the PSG and Chelsea ties were very different and stated that he wants the team to play two good legs in a row this time.

Previewing the clash with the English side, Valverde started: “We need to play with our heads, to be calm and focused, and also with our hearts, to have the effort for the 90 minutes. We’re prepared for everything. Against PSG and Chelsea they were completely different ties, as we suffered in the first leg in Paris and then fought back, whereas against Chelsea we had a good first leg which set us up to still go through despite suffering in the second leg. We want to have more consistency this time. We want to start off with a good first leg and then secure our objective in the second leg.”

Discussing the opponent, the 23-year-old added: “They play really well and are well-organised. They’ve had many years together with most of the members of that squad. They’re always fighting for everything. We’re also prepared. We just try to win every game.”

He also spoke about Real Madrid’s history in the competition and how this helps the players feel prepared for these big occasions, saying: “If we’re at Real Madrid then it’s because we’re prepared to face all situations. Now, we need to show what we can do, including us younger players. We lean on the experience of the veterans and we younger players try to keep improving. When you wear this shirt, you want to fight in every game as if it were the last. That’s part of Real Madrid’s history.”

Fede Valverde on his recent run of form

It’s only in the past few weeks that Valverde has returned to the starting XI and he was asked about how he worked to convince the coaching staff. He stated: “You always learn, especially with teammates like the ones I have. You improve as a player and personally too. I lost my spot in the line-up and had a slump, with an injury too and you suffer at that time, but I really worked a lot to regain my place in the line-up. Now, I try to enjoy that and not lose my place again.”

Fede Valverde on his preferred position

Valverde has been used in multiple positions, not just this year but in other seasons too. Asked where he prefers to play, he responded: “I always try to adapt to the team and play where I can give my most. I always feel more comfortable as a midfielder than as a defender. But, I’m always willing to play wherever and give my 100 percent.”

Fede Valverde on Martin Ødegaard

Some questions in English were permitted and one was quite off topic, asking Valverde for his opinion on former teammate Martin Ødegaard, who is doing well in England. He replied: “He’s a great player and a great person too. I was with him in Castilla and the first team, so I know he can succeed anywhere. I wish him all the best.”