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Fede Valverde: “I’ve always wanted to and still want to become Real Madrid captain”

The Uruguayan spoke in a player press conference.

FIFA Club World Cup Morocco 2022 - Rabat Photo by David Ramos - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Ahead of Real Madrid’s Club World Cup semi-final against Al Ahly, the club held a player press conference in Morocco and Fede Valverde was the player chosen to speak. Discussing the importance of this competition and the match against Al Ahly on Wednesday, he said: “The journey here has been very nice, winning last season’s Champions League in the way we did. I hope to finish this journey with another title. The 2018 Club World Cup was my first title at Real Madrid, which was really nice. I enjoyed playing this competition last time. We’ve been watching matches of Al Ahly and we know how they play, and we know all they’ve won in their history. We know they’ll have a lot of fans here. But, while having respect for the opponent, we just need to focus on playing our way.”

Valverde on the busy schedule

The schedule is non-stop for Real Madrid and, discussing this, the Uruguayan said: “It’s part of modern football, with more games and less rest. This has been a tough season, but I try to find the positive in everything. I’m trying to get better physically to get used to all these games and to avoid injuries. It’s about adapting to this new football, where you play every three days.”

Valverde on his post-World Cup form

Valverde hasn’t been at the same level since coming back from the World Cup and he was asked why he thinks that is. He responded: “The World Cup elimination affected me a lot. When you’re so keen to try for an objective and when you have so much optimism, but then you get knocked out, it hurts you and makes you sad. You feel that all you fought for was for nothing. Hopefully it can help me to keep getting better, physically and how I see things. In football, it won’t always be good things. Before the World Cup I was in really good form and now it’s not the same, but having good and bad periods of form is also part of football. The key players are able to manage that well. I need to just keep the same attitude that I had before the World Cup. This will help me become an important player for this club again. I’ve always wanted and I still want to become a captain here. I’m convinced that I can get back to my good form before long.”

Valverde on his best position

Given that he has been used as both an inside right midfielder and a right wide forward, Valverde was asked which he prefers. He explained: “I used to say I was most comfortable as an inside midfielder, but when I played at wide forward it was when I was happiest playing football. I was scoring more goals and providing more assists. I just try to enjoy and learn in each position. I like to be able to play in multiple positions, to give the coach options. I need to be careful what I say because he’s waiting just over there!”

Valverde on Vinícius

Discussing Vinícius and all the drama that has been surrounding the Brazilian in recent weeks, Valverde stated: “I think he is an incredible person with great values. He tries to enjoy football in his way, as many Brazilians do. We have to respect his way of enjoying the game. When a team fouls a certain player a lot of times, that’s also part of football and it’s up to his teammates to defend him. The racism against him is something else. He’s just 22 years of age and these fans need to consider that it could be their son. They must have problems at home and they try to let it out against a young footballer who is enjoying the game in his way. He deserves respect.”

Valverde on playing in Morocco

Discussing the host nation of this Club World Cup, the Uruguayan said: “I always speak with my brothers and one of them told me about how amazing the Moroccan fans are. We’re now seeing the stadium and it’s incredible. The people have welcomed us well. The way they live for football is similar to in Uruguay.”

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