Valencia midfielder Pepelu spoke to the Spanish media outlet Marca today in an interview ahead of his side’s visit to Estadio Santiago Bernabeu this weekend. Real Madrid host Valencia on Sunday at 9pm CET, and Pepelu is optimistic about his team’s chances.
“For us it is a privilege that they doubt us,” Pepelu said of his team being the underdog. “That, in the locker room, motivates us, and going undercover is what we have been doing since the season began. People see us as more inexperienced, younger and little by little we have created a recognizable team and we are going to go to the Bernabéu like to all the fields we go to.”
Pepelu, 25, said Valencia have been scouting Real Madrid for some time.
“Since we started the week, we have been analyzing the game,” he explained. “We have to have a game with a lot of personality despite our youth. Be ambitious and strong in duels. If we do it at the Bernabéu it will work. All their midfielders are very good, both with the ball and without the ball, but I am happy because I know that with the team we have we can compete with them and put them in trouble.”
Pepelu was also asked about whether or not his team have spoken about Vinicius Jr since the racist and physical abuse he endured at the Mestalla last season.
“I would tell you that being a young and healthy team we only focus on sports,” Pepelu explained. “We haven’t had a single conversation in the locker room about non-sports topics because that makes a lot of noise. We are focused on preparing for a nice game at the Bernabéu. It would be a special victory. Abstracting from these issues is what allows us to focus. There has not been a single sentence of those extra-sports topics that we know exist.”