Fede Valverde gave a lengthy interview with MARCA when away on international duty with Uruguay. Amongst the highlights in the interview was the difference in role at Real Madrid vs Uruguay as well as the influence Juni Calafat has had on his life and career:
Q: In a recent interview, your coach told me: ‘the game must go through Valverde’. What do you think of this, taking into account that in Madrid you often play on the right wing?
Valverde: “In Madrid I have an important role but sometimes the game does not only revolve around me. I feel important with Ancelotti but the game also revolves around other teammates. I can help in many facets and technically I feel qualified to do so. On the other hand, in Uruguay I have a different position, I have more freedom when it comes to playing, I am more loose and that carries a responsibility that perhaps at Madrid I still do not face as much.”
Q: Real Madrid has shown you support: the player with the longest contract (2027).
Valverde: “The club always gave me tremendous confidence and I value that and it motivates me to take advantage of my opportunity here. When Juni Calafat scouted me, I didn’t believe it. Juni Calafat changed my life and not only in the football aspect, but in the help that he always gives me and my family since I arrived in Spain. I arrived alone and Juni was always there. Today I am not a star but I am something more important than when I arrived, and when I was nobody, Juni was the first to listen to me. I will always be grateful to him.”