Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has confirmed that Alvaro Morata, Pepe and James Rodriguez will stay with the Spanish giants.
The Frenchman said he is hopeful that Los Blancos will kick off their 2017 La Liga campaign with a victory against Sevilla in Wednesday’s Copa del Rey round-of-16 tie.
Cristiano Ronaldo was omitted from the selection that’ll feature against Sevilla, who are third in the La Liga table with 33 points, one less from Barcelona.
Madrid celebrated the New Year with a Club World Cup victory, but are currently battling rumors of multiple transfers which have made James Rodriguez a hot topic.
During a pregame news briefing on Tuesday, Zizou discussed the future of his players – Pepe, Alvaro Morata and James Rodriguez – who reports say are on their way out of Bernabeu.
A Chinese Super League club, Hebei China Fortune, has reportedly offered a huge sum of money for Pepe whose contract with Madrid expires next summer. The 33-year-old is likely to leave Los Blancos, but Zidane thinks otherwise.
“Pepe is our player, he is important for us,” the 44-year-old coach told a group of journalists.
“He has been here many years, has made history with this club and I hope he stays. I am not interested in speculation, just in what he can do for us from now until the end.”
The tabloid said Morata, who spent two years with Juventus (2014-2016), may be heading back to the Serie A giants.
“I do not believe this information is correct,”Zidane said.
“[Morata] looks happy to me to be here. He is at home here. He is working well, very focused on the project here, and nothing else. You could ask him.”
Meanwhile, a report from Marca quotes James’ father as saying that his son will surely remain at Real Madrid no matter how bleak his future looks.
The 25-year-old made comments in Japan which sparked speculations that he will be leaving Bernabeu this January, but his father dispersed the rumors a day before Zidane also clarified that James is going nowhere.
“He has a commitment to Real Madrid and he has a contract,”Wilson Rodriguez told reporters after taking part in a football competition ‘Dia del Futbol Santandereano’ alongside Radamel Falcao’s father.
“He is going to remain there.
“He’ll win back his place at Real Madrid because he is humble and because he deserves it.”
“[Talking about his closeness to James] Our relationship has always been good, but people like to talk and to say things that aren’t true.
“We shared these holidays together and played football almost every day.
“He was happy and then he left to get back to work with Real Madrid.”
Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo has been described by die-hard fans as a goal-getter, workaholic, and a role model. However, critics always see him as arrogant and selfish but never “evil”.
Teammate Alvaro Morata, who scored Madrid’s 83rd minute goal against Athletic Bilbao, has revealed why CR7 feels unhappy when other players score goals.
Missing so many chances in a game where one goal could make a huge difference, is frustrating. But the case if different for the famous No. 7 who hates to celebrate with others even when the team is 4, 5, or 6 goals ahead.
They take away the honor and glory meant for a “commander” so why should he celebrate for “field soldiers”?
Alvaro Arbeloa said earlier: “I’ve seen [Ronaldo’s reaction] and I don’t mind, and if it doesn’t bother me then it shouldn’t bother anyone.
“I understand his ambition to score goals, he wants to win the game and score because he wants to win the Pichichi which he’s battling Messi for. We want to help him, his ambition is what makes him number one and we are delighted to do so.”
Image shows Portuguese and Real Madrid player Cristiano Ronaldo.
“When you’re used to scoring almost 70 goals a season, it’s almost like an addiction for goals,”Alvaro Morata told Real Madrid’s official website.
“For us he is the most important player in the team and I hope that he scores lots of goals, but he is not a machine.
“He is a human being, even if he comes from another planet and is different, he also has the right to miss.”
While we thoughtfully give C. Ronaldo the benefit of doubt for being human, there are speculations in the media that the Portuguese proved himself “evil” in the match against Athletic Bilbao.
According to a report from Metro, the former Manchester United winger looked like he was appealing to the referee to consider Morata’s 83rd minute goal as offside. He wanted to take the glory of earning Madrid’s important three points from the La Liga game.
However, as luck handed Morata a chance to put Madrid ahead in the tensed home game, some bizarre pictures showed Ronaldo slapping his leg as the goal was awarded.
Why would CR7 be so selfish to the point of wanting his team to fail if he’s not the one scoring their winning goal?
Image shows Cristiano Ronaldo appealing for offside.
Alvaro Morata has revealed in a latest interview that Chelsea offered him a €70million worth summer transfer deal that would have made him the most expensive Spanish player ever.
Image: Alvaro Morata
The 23-year-old was approached by former Juventus coach Antonio Conte, who’s now Chelsea manager but he chose a return to the Spanish capital. Morata spent two years on loan at Juventus before Madrid activated his buy-back clause.
Reports confirm Los Blancos sold Morata to The Old Lady for €22million but bought him back with €30million.
The striker spoke with Bild: “Chelsea showed the most interest in signing me.”
According to 101GreatGoals, Atletico Madrid reportedly offered €70million to secure the player’s services–the same amout from Chelsea.
However, Real Madrid told Atleti that they will not sell their player to a rival club.
Morata continues: “Antonio Conte had already signed me for Juventus and it would have been a very good offer this time – I would have been the most expensive Spanish player ever.
“They [Chelsea] offered roughly €70m, but Real Madrid said they had me in their plans and that was always my dream.”
Coach Zinedine Zidane made it known to interested buyers earlier this years that Morata has a great future at Madrid. In his words: “He’s a Madrid player, we’re delighted with him.
“We are delighted to have him back, back to his original home. He will remain a Madrid player.”
Alvaro Morata, the former Juventus star who scored Real Madrid‘s last night winner against Sporting CP, says the Spanish giants had belief that they would triumph over their visitors. The 23-year-old added, “I came back here for nights like this”.
Image shows Alvaro Moratta celebrating with teammates after scoring the last minute against Sporting CP.
Morata came into the game as a second half substitute, after Benzema was rested at the 67th minute. The Spaniard went ahead to grab a last minute winner for Los Blancos.
The striker told UEFA’s official website after the match which ended 2-1 in favor of Madrid: “We didn’t start the game well but Real Madrid are famous for comebacks like these and we leave here very happy.
“We always believed in ourselves and we proved that you can always win a game until the referee blows the final whistle.
“Football is not always fair but it was fundamental to win and that’s what we’ve done. We have to try and finish top of the group.
“Of course I came back here for nights like this, I want to succeed here, that’s my dream. I’m working hard to do that and I want to help out with goals.”
Alvaro Morata left Real Madrid on a loan spell with Juventus in 2014 and returned 2 years later, fully ready for the great task at Los Blancos. The young player who suddenly transformed into a man, got a chance to represent Spain at the European Champions and performed awesomely well.
Image: Alvaro Morata (Source: Marca).
While competing at Euros 2016, coaches from big clubs contacted him for signatures but surprisingly, he turned them down for Madrid after Zinedine Zidane realized he’s a rare gem.
So far, so good, Morata hasn’t disappointed at Madrid. Here’s a transcript of his latest interview with Marca:
You wore a T-shirt on Monday which said ‘I have a dream’ – what dreams are they?
“I have many. To be here and win something with the national side is one of them, because I’ve been fortunate to win many things. But to do it with Spain is the most beautiful thing that can happen as a player. I know it’s very difficult, all those of us here know that, but I think we have the players and quality to achieve it.”
You’ve won the Champions League, titles in Italy, at Under-21 level and represented Spain at Euro 2016 – all by the age of 23. Do you reflect on it much?
“It all happens very quickly and you have to stop to think, to enjoy occasionally, because it goes very fast. It can be hard to reflect, you get caught up in matches, trips – it is a very fast-paced life. You have to [sometimes] slow down and enjoy.
“If you had told me 10 years ago that I would be here, I probably would not believed you. There are many factors; luck, work, injuries. In the end, things happen so you have to stop, enjoy it and think because it is very difficult.”
How are you with Julen Lopetegui?
“Very good, very good. I’ve known Julen for a long time now and I think it is very important that he became the new coach. A coach that did not have the same ambition as him would not have taken charge of this national side.
“It demonstrates the ambition you have, your personality. He is on the same page as the players, which is a very difficult situation for people coming from outside. We came to a team that was world champions and won the European Championship twice, and we face pressure that will be difficult when things start to go badly. But it’s like I’ve said many times, I believe in this team and these players. It’s true that they are legends of our game but others come through.
“The biggest example is Thiago. He has been injured, he deserved to be in the squad and is now here. He is a player who shares the same style of those who are no longer with us. I think that is a reason to remain confident.”
It was strange being here and not seeing Iker Casillas?
“It is very strange, yes, but in training I do not think. You notice it more during meals and free time. We all miss him a lot. I think the whole of Spain will find it strange because for many years we were used to seeing Iker.”
I imagine that you only have words of thanks for Del Bosque.
“Yes, of course. He trusted me when things were not going so well. He followed my development. He gave me every possible opportunity and I played the European Championship. I am grateful and so are all Spaniards, because he is the coach that made us world champions.”
Was Euro 2016 one to be enjoyed or endured?
“Generally it was one to enjoy but there were moments of tension such as when we had not scored many in the opening game, which we won narrowly. When I scored my first goal [against Turkey], it took the pressure off. Being in a good squad like Spain’s you can always enjoy yourself – but I still feel we could have achieved much more in the European Championship.”
There was plenty of talk about your future, even during the Euros – does it already feel quieter after a summer of uncertainty?
“Yes, it has been a crazy summer in that respect. It was hard for me to be in a European Championship and have five or six calls on the phone from different places every day. I was quite focused and quite professional for the situation in which I found myself.”
When you say different places, do you mean different teams?
“Yes, teams, coaches, people. Never would I have expected to go through this. When I completed the buy-back to Real Madrid and I returned to the club that I belong, there were still teams that remained determined to sign me. I’m still freaking out because I have not scored 20 goals in any year. I think I have much more to achieve.”
Are you happy now?
“Yes, of course I am. If I’m not happy playing a starring role for Madrid and being in the national side… I’d best not do the lottery (laughs). I can not be any more [happy]. Things happen, everyone has their time but I will have to work hard to continue in Madrid and in the national side and I’m willing to do that.”
Why did you decide to stay in Madrid?
“Because, in the end, I know that Madrid is the team most likely to win titles in both Spain and Europe. Also because deep down I think if I had not had this year in Madrid, I would have regretted it all my life.”
Do you feel it is the chance of a lifetime?
“Yes, of course. At one point, if I could go through the idea of no longer being at Madrid, it would have been because the club did not trust me. If I had left, I don’t think I would forgive myself.”
How do you respond to hearing that the BBC is immovable?
“You’re talking about three of the best strikers in the world and I think you can also fight [for a place]. In a team, all players are important and in the end they do not always play in many games, due to injuries, suspensions, etc. We must be prepared because you can get your time in any game, at any minute. it’s what happens.”
From the outside it feels there’s additional pressure to score. Did the Celta Vigo goal lift some of that burden?
“No, you cannot listen the feeling from outside because any striker who doesn’t score won’t leave the f*****g house. I think I had a good game in San Sebastian and I could have had two goals against Celta, but football can be cruel. I had a much better game in the Anoeta than against Celta but I went with a goal at home in the latter. Nobody remembers how it was [scored], but that you got it. This is what counts. But I’m very quiet, I know that I can contribute much more than goals. There are more players than the BBC who can score.”
What does Zinedine Zidane say to you?
“He speaks a lot with me, I’m incredibly happy because we talk a lot. Almost every day he is speaking to me and giving me advice before every game for 10-15 minutes, telling me what he wants from me. We communicate a lot and It makes me feel very important, which is what you need to perform.
“That’s why I say that every time I care less about people’s criticism. There will always be one. If you criticise Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, then they will criticise me. In the end, you have to listen to as little as possible, whether good or bad, and try to work. If the coach is pleased with me and the club also, that is all that counts.
Is there more pressure at Real Madrid than Juventus?
“Yes, of course. Here, every time you miscontrol or something happens that people don’t like, it is noticed. They notice that you have not done well and smell a rat, which cannot happen again. But it was never like that when I left Madrid. I’ve played in big games; European Championships, a Champions League final. It may seem like there’s a lot of pressure on me but there isn’t. Very few people know that I have to play with my foot almost asleep. That makes you less happy. From the outside everything may look different but I’m happy. It’s true that I have to start smiling more on the pitch and look like I’m less…”
“Yes. Less stressed. Many people have told me that it is how I looked when I had left the Madrid but it has nothing to do with that. I’ve had fitness problems, but had to play because it was my time.”
What changed in Italy?
“Everything. In football, physically, tactically, doing things with a purpose. But I still have much to learn.”
What did you learn from the likes of Buffon, Chiellini and Pirlo that you would not have learned in Madrid?
“What caught my attention is how they treated people with people. I had never in my life seen the Juve goalkeeper, a captain of his country, stay behind to sign autographs until everyone had gone home.
“Pirlo had the ability to be heard in front of everyone, without attracting attention. He was a super quiet guy but when he started talking he was a real leader. And for a guy who appears like a beast on the pitch, Chiellini will offer you a piece of bread off it and help you in everything. It was an unforgettable experience. I am sad I did not return but I went to fulfill my dream [back to Madrid]. I left many colleagues and friends and people that loved me a lot there.”
Alvaro Morata spent last two seasons on loan at Juventus after Real Madrid sold him on loan in 2014 but he was lucky to get a chance to return and prove himself again at the Spanish capital.
The 23-year-old who represented Spain at Euros 2016 as well as played a few successful games for Madrid since his return, has shown he has nothing else to prove on his abilities.
Image: Alvaro Morata
Morata claims he’s having the best time of his life at Los Blancos. Earlier in mid-August when he arrived Madrid, the player said: “It is a day of great joy for me. I’m back at home. It has been two long years and a long wait to return.
“I thank those who have trusted me. Sometimes you have to mature,” said the youngster at his unveiling.
“I have come to give my life, as I have always done.”
Morata did exactly what he promised, adding this time that he’ll “never regret the decision he made to re-join the Spanish giants”. The forward admits playing for Los Blancos is a chance he will cherish forever.
“It was difficult for me to be at the Euros and have five or six calls a day from different places,”Morata explained how he felt as big clubs struggled for his signatures while the European Championships lasted.
“I was focused and professional enough to cope with the situation I was in. I spoke to a lot of Coaches, but I told them that Real Madrid was my dream.
“I would have regretted it for the rest of my life if I hadn’t gone back to Real Madrid. Zidane called me and told me he wanted me in his team and that he had a lot of faith in me.
“I couldn’t be happier. I am living all my dreams and I just hope it lasts.”
Morata believes his teammate Gareth Bale will soon be the world’s best player, arguing also that Madrid play more entertaining football than arch-rivals Barcelona.
“In a few years, Bale will be the best player in the world without a doubt.
“The current European champions are Real Madrid and I would love to play badly and win the Champions League again.
“I like Madrid’s football more than Barca’s because it is more direct.”
“[Talking about what attractions the new Spain Coach Julen Lopetegui brings as La Roja prepare for matches against Belgium and Liechtenstein] Lopetegui is just what the Seleccion needed. Yesterday he told us that he had the same ambition as us. There are reasons for confidence.
“He makes all his players feel important.”
In his mid-August statement, Madrid president Florentino Perez said of Morata: “We are going to be able to count on one of the best strikers in the world, who we know and who has known the club since childhood.
“He has become one of the best. He has returned home, earning it with talent and the ability to sacrifice.”
Alvaro Morata is one lucky lad who’s hoping for a memorable outing with Los Blancos this 2016/2017 La Liga season. The talented youngster who played for Spain at Euro 2016, admits it’s a dream come true for him to have made it back to his youth club Real Madrid.
Image: Alvaro Morata
The 23-year-old moved to Juventus for €20 million in 2014, winning the domestic double of Serie A and Coppa Italia in both of his seasons before being bought back for €30 million.
Morata says it ‘amazing’ to be back with Madrid after having a stint with The Old Lady for two years.
The Spain international is currently enjoying a pre-season tour with his teammates in Canada where he spoke with Madrid’s official website, AS reports:
“It’s amazing to be here again and I’m looking forward to starting. It’s a dream and I’m looking forward to working with all the enthusiasm in the world.
“I had two amazing years at Juventus. I learned a lot and I can only thank them because if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here.”
Image: Real Madrid players training in Montreal Canada.
Zinedine Zidane loves Paul Pogba and would like to add him to Real Madrid’s ocean of talents but has only one regret.
Image: Zinedine Zidane
The Real Madrid coach admits it’s nearly impossible to bring in an addition to a star-studded team like Los Blancos at the moment. The price tag placed on Pogba by Juventus may be on a high side but that’s never a problem for the club.
The Madrid legend admits, ‘We just won the Champions League…’ so the reason is clear.
Madrid began their pre-season tour in Montreal but Zizou had time to speak with AS. The former Madrid player and current coach said: “I’m happy with the squad I have. It’s hard to improve. I like Paul, he is very good, but I’m not the only one. All teams want good players. At the moment he is Juve’s.
“At the moment what I’m thinking of is that I’m missing the players to work, but that’s the Euros. The goal is to prepare well for the European Super Cup against Sevilla on August 9. That’s very, very important to us.
“The most important thing is to work. We have 10 days to work and they’re the most important. We’ll have 10 days and three games after and that’s what’s most important to me. Then, gradually, we’ll decide what we’re going to do. And you don’t know what will happen until August 31. We’re happy with the squad we have, and we’ve just won the Champions League…”
Image: Alvaro Morata
Zizou spoke about his excitement at Alvaro Morata’s return. He remains the only signing by Madrid so far.
Morata, 23, is a graduate from Madrid’s football academy though he played for the club before going to Juve on loan.
Zidane said: “He’s a player of this team. He’s back and I’m happy. This is his home, he knows Madrid and, the truth is, we’re really happy Alvaro is with us and me most of us,” Zidane added.
“After that, we’ll see. We have a very big squad and everyone is going to be important. Alvaro is another player.”
Morata began his career at Real Madrid, making his debut with the senior team in late 2010 and going on to appear in 52 official games. He scored a total of 11 goals in the campaign, notably winning the 2014 Champions League.
He moved to Juventus for €20 million in 2014, winning the domestic double of Serie A and Coppa Italia in both of his seasons before being bought back for €30 million.
Morata gained 34 caps for Spain at youth level, helping the country win the 2013 Under-21 Championship. He made his senior debut in 2014, and also represented the nation at Euro 2016.
Image: Alvaro Morata in action for Spain at Euro 2016.
Alvaro Morata insists he has nothing to prove to anyone especially Zinedine Zidane, following his buy-out clause re-activation from Juventus. The Spaniard made it clear that he must feel valued at Real Madrid or his return would have been for nothing.
Giorgio Chiellinihas unequivocally said his former Juventus teammate Alvaro Morata is capable of winning his place as Real Madrid’s striker, and keeping the No. 9 position in the years to come.
He added that it’s not impossible for the striker who has been linked to Manchester United recently, to play as a top striker for Los Blancos in the next “10 years”. Both Chiellini and Morata spent last season together at Juventus.
Earlier this week, Madrid officially announced that they had redeemed their buyback clause for Morata.
Following the buy back transaction between Juve and Real Madrid, the excited defender admitted he would be disappointed to see such an incredible talent [Morata] not given a chance in the squad that already boasts of Bale, Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Alvaro Morata made headlines with his rumored transfer from Juventus to Manchester United and other clubs but he’s not worried about where he’ll be playing after Euro 2016 – at least, not for now. The Spaniard says he’s happy just to represent Spain at the tournament.
Image: Alvaro Morata celebrates after scoring for Spain.
The 23-year-old striker believes Spain started the competition with confidence and committment which has brought amazing results.
La Roja edged past the Czech Republic in their opening game then disgraced Turkey in the second round of Group D fixtures to qualify for the Round of 16 with a game to spare.