Espanyol manager Diego Martinez spoke to the media today ahead of tomorrow’s clash between Espanyol and Real Madrid. Martinez spoke about his admiration for Carlo Ancelotti, as well as Real Madrid’s quality, among other things.
“It is the eternal contradiction: Playing against Madrid never comes at a good time, they is one of the best in the world, but it is always a good time to play against the best to get the best out of you,” Martinez said. “The calendar is what it is. We will have to focus all the energy to compete in our best version. They are the LaLiga and European champions. Real Madrid have improved physically and tactically, and especially with the confidence that previous results give them. That is the challenge.
“We all have to be motivated, of course. If the team has something, it’s motivation. It’s tremendous what they strive for, what they want to improve, how they demand the most of themselves. In the tactical aspect, we had to vary the planning, we would like to be advanced, but we had to go slower because of the planning. Even so, there were changes in the game, there have always been tactical changes in the games. The essence of the team will be the same, or they will try, but you have to keep in mind that against teams like Real Madrid, we have to have the best day and hope they don’t have theirs. It’s reality and experience tells me it’s like that”.
Martinez was full of praise for Real Madrid’s manager when asked about him.
“A coach who has trained teams of such a high level and has so many titles and that his players speak of him with such respect and affection... that says a lot,” Martinez said about Ancelotti. “In addition, he has had to manage very, very complicated situations, with success. I had the opportunity to greet him in Valdebebas last year and I discovered that kindness, humility, closeness, and that education with a new and young coach like me. I can only hold him in high esteem. He is a person to respect and admire”.