The Real Madrid manager gives out a stern message as he sets his eyes on every silverware trophy to be added in the club’s cabinet this season.
Published By: Dalipinder Singh Sandhu (Bliss)
Julen Lopetegui addressed the issues concerning his side before facing Girona at Estadi Montilivi on Sunday in the second La Liga match. The Real Madrid boss remembers that last year under Zinedine Zidane the club suffered a humiliating defeat at home against Girona which was the start of downfall in La Liga disaster.
“We know what happened last year against Girona and we have to be well prepared. Every league game is important, every 3 points are vital. Every game is a final.”
Real Madrid recently signed a Brazillian teenage sensation, Vinicius Jr and the 18-year-old who was expected to start regularly for the first game has been registered as a youth player in Real Madrid’s junior team, Castilla. Julen Lopetegui claims the decision has been made to make it an easy transition for the player and introduce him to the first team gradually to reduce the pressure on him. Many of the fans also believe that it was done to keep one of the 3 non-European Union players spot vacant in the team; for a potential new signing before the transfer window closes by the end of this month.
“Vinicius Jr. is part of our squad. When he joins up with us he will have chances to play, and when he doesn’t he will play for Castilla. Vinicius is a very young lad who has only just arrived, he’s going to do well but he needs time. We’ll be monitoring his development and he’ll feature when we feel he’s ready.”
La Liga recently announced that they plan on playing one game of every season in the USA for the promotion of the league. The deal is yet to be finalized but is already criticized by the players and officials. Julen Lopetegui also came out against such actions which are considered anti-football by many. Spanish Footballer Association recently held a meeting and decided to protest against any such decision.
“Playing a match in the USA? I’m with the players. They have their reasons for thinking what they think. I can’t see it, but that’s just my opinion.”
Julen Lopetegui also discussed the issue of having 2 quality goalkeepers in the squad. Keylor Navas who has been defending the goal for the club since the departure of Iker Casillas; now faces competition from Thibaut Courtois who came in this summer from Chelsea.
“I’m not going to say who will play in goal or which competition they will play in. They have all hit their stride and it’s our job to decide. After the international break, it will be slightly different because we’ll be playing Wednesdays and Sundays.”
As usual, the coach was asked about how his side is expected to cover the void left by the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo who guaranteed 50 goals a season.
“I’m focused on getting a magnificent squad to shine and to make sure they are decisive in every game. I’ll talk about the great players that are here. We hope that, as a team, we can score those 50 goals that Cristiano got, and without the responsibility falling on just one player. We have to go beyond those numbers with more players scoring and by conceding fewer goals.”
There has been a discussion about having too much possession in the new outlook of Madrid under Lopetegui. In the last match, Real Madrid recorded the highest percentage of possession since 2009: 78% against Getafe. Julen Lopetegui claimed that having more of the ball is just a mean to win the games and not an obsession.
“Style? The most important thing is the players. These are great and they interpret very well what we ask them. We don’t want to have the ball. It can be a mean, but what we want is to win the matches. “
Finally, the coach addressed that the youth player Reguilón will be playing for the first team as a backup option, whereas Luca Zidane will be sent back to the academy where he will play regularly.
“Reguilón is going to be a first squad player and he will stay with us, he’s worked well. Luca Zidane stays in Castilla and will play with them every weekend.”
Julen Loptegui will now prepare his side to extend the good start to LaLiga by winning against Girona on Sunday at 22:15 PM CET on Sunday at Estadi Montilivi.