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Dani Ceballos: “I came to understand Zidane as time passed. I was competing with Modric and Kroos”

Soon to be out of contract, Dani Ceballos was thoughtful and reflective on his career thus far in a new interview with Jorge Valdano.

Real Madrid CF v Atletico de Madrid - LaLiga Santander Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Dani Ceballos was open and honest in a new interview with former Real Madrid player, manager, and sporting director - Jorge Valdano, on the program Universo Valdano for Movistar Plus+. The 26-year-old showed he has matured exponentially in the five year since he signed for Real Madrid and is both humble and reflective in his responses. The Andalusian revealed he is yet to have an offer from Real Madrid on a contract renewal, but will continue to work hard and put his head down to earn an offer from his preferred destination, which is his current club.

Earning a renewal

“I want to play football and be judged by my level on the pitch. I do not want to renew with Real Madrid if I don’t deserve it. I don’t want to go to another club if I don’t deserve it. I want to enjoy my football, what do I have, three months left? Well, I want to play those three months and give everything. And then, at the end of the season, talk to whoever I have to talk to, meet with my family members and value what is best (for their future)”

Street Football in Utrera

“There are many players who have marked an era in Utrera. It is the cradle of football in Andalusia. It gives you that necessary street point. That mischief and that wisdom... you learn things that training does not give you. This is dying to play in the street.”

Arrival to the first team at Real Betis

My arrival at Betis was the best thing that has happened to me in my career as a footballer. Playing for Villamarín was something magical. For me, playing for Betis was the greatest. It was a very beautiful experience. I had a great dressing room. Adán was practically my godfather. I had a time when I didn’t want to go up to train with the first team because they gave me kicks”

Sacrificing and working hard

“If you want to make real money, you have to have sacrifice. It is not worth making four dribbles and putting a goal center. You have to work from midfield to the back. That is where a player becomes important. Pepe Mel told me that and it stuck with me.”

Signing for Real Madrid at 21-years-old

“When you arrive at Madrid so young it’s different. You quickly realize the club you arrive at and how demanding it is to play here. I discovered the perfect age a short time ago. Currently, I am at the time when I feel best in my sporting career.”

Florentino Perez words of encouragement and his first training sessions at Madrid

“Florentino told me that I was the future of Real Madrid’s midfield. It was he who convinced me to come. The rhythm of the ball when I got to the first training sessions... I thought I was a good player. Possessions were flying. It was hard for me to get up to speed. I realized that I had to think a lot before receiving the ball. It was hard for me, but I saw that there is a very big step from being a professional player to being an elite player”.

Understanding Zidane’s decisions

“I came to understand Zidane with the passage of time. I had players like Luka (Modric) or Toni (Kroos) ahead. I made mistakes because I was in a moment of frustration. I always tried to give one hundred percent, but it’s difficult when you don’t have participation.”

Running for the likes of Vinicius and Benzema

“I love running for Vinicius or for Benzema. They are players who make the difference in matches. You have to understand that they are the ones who win games and you have to help them”.

Winning over the Madrid fans

“The most important thing is to be recognized by your own fans. Winning over Madridistas does not happen overnight. Having the confidence of your teammates, the coaching staff, and the fans makes you dare to do more things be the player you have always been.”


“Arteta has everything to be top 3 in the world. I learned new things with him. I anticipated what happened in the matches. What I lived with him, I will hardly live with another coach. He knows what the player needs. For me, he will be one of the best in the world.”

Luis de la Fuente

“Luis de la Fuente deserves to be a coach. Now you have a chance to make things right. I am sure that we will win trophies with Spain together one hundred percent. Meet all the young players in Spain. You can combine experience with talent and can be a turning point for future challenges.”

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