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Nacho: “I and others are speaking with Vinícius so he stays calm and focuses on playing”

The captain spoke in Tuesday’s player press conference.

Real Madrid V Rayo Vallecano - La Liga Ea Sports Photo By Oscar J. Barroso/Europa Press via Getty Images

Ahead of Real Madrid’s Champions League match against Braga, there was a player press conference and club captain Nacho was the one who spoke to the media. Previewing the match, he said: “We’re excited, as we always are for such games. Winning tomorrow’s game would be a big step. Braga are a dynamic team with good players, especially in attack. I think the level of the Portuguese league is increasing. We suffered at the end of the first game against Braga, so we’ll have to be prepared and try to keep a clean sheet.”

Nacho on his first season as captain

Discussing his role, in terms of minutes and as captain of the club, he stated: “I feel good. It’s the second year with a contract that expires at the end of the season, but I’m viewing this differently to last year, when it was something that worried me. I don’t want that to happen again. I feel happy and being the first captain of Real Madrid is extra motivation, although it’s the same responsibility as before. I have always managed to play a lot of matches at this club, which was my goal this season just like any other. Until now, I’ve started every Champions League match, and this is an important competition for me.”

Nacho on Arda Güler

On Arda Güler, who could soon make his debut, Nacho said: “He is young but has incredible talent. I think he has the perfect characteristics to play for Real Madrid and I think he has recovered from the injury issues he has suffered.”

Nacho on Bellingham

On a summer signing who has already made an impact, Jude Bellingham, the captain said: “He has Real Madrid DNA. He is a fighter. He wants to win all the time, in training and in matches, and that’s what you need to do at Real Madrid. He helps us a lot, in attack and in defence. He may be one of the signings who has made the greatest impact at Real Madrid in recent years.”

Nacho on interest in Gonçalo Inácio

On the club’s rumoured interest in Gonçalo Inácio, the defender said: “With Real Madrid, there are always news stories about the club being interested in players. I prefer to just focus on what I’m doing.”

Nacho on Vinícius’ attitude

There were a couple of questions about Vinícius’ attitude and on whether the club captains have spoken to the Brazilian about this. Nacho replied: “We have always spoken with Vinícius since he arrived at Real Madrid. He might be the type of player who suffers more provocations than any other, because of his way of playing and because he’s always winning and this frustrates the opponents. Maybe he is calmer in the Champions League, I don’t know why, if it’s the atmosphere or the stadiums. The best would be if it was all like in the Champions League. Of course, I as a captain and others speak with him, so he stays calm and focuses on playing, which is the most important thing for him and the team. I think little by little he is changing. He is well looked after here.”

Nacho on the team’s lack of goals

Discussing the team’s lack of goals this season, he said: “We’ve changed our way of playing and have a different system this season. We’ve lost Benzema, who was a goalscorer, but I think Rodrygo and Vinícius are also good goalscorers. I’m sure they’ll score many goals, while they also create a lot. Overall, I think we’re playing well, even if we didn’t get the result we wanted against Rayo Vallecano.”

Nacho on the pathway from the academy to the first team

Discussing the fact that so few academy players make the first team, Nacho explained: “As an academy graduate, I like seeing the youngsters training with us. It’s true that coming up from the academy to the Real Madrid first team is difficult, maybe more so than anywhere else. To achieve that kind of promotion at Real Madrid, or even elsewhere, there have to be absences in certain positions. That hasn’t been the case recently. But, I think Real Madrid has a great academy.”

Nacho on Ancelotti’s future

Finally, he was asked about Carlo Ancelotti’s future and said: “The coach is perfect for this club, because he makes the players feel so calm. He has a lot of credit in the bank for all he’s done here and elsewhere. But, it’s better to ask him about his future.”

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