Jose Mourinho told reporters on Saturday that none of his players are guaranteed a place in his starting line-up and all must earn their place in the side. Just hours ahead of Real Sociedad's visit to the Bernabéu, the coach was asked once gain why he left Iker Casillas on the subs' bench in Madrid's last league outing against Málaga.
"Every position in the team requires a level of trust and that includes the goalkeeper's position," Mourinho explained, "Normally, trust is related to performance but competitively is equally as important and that is why we always try to find that middle ground between the two. Being comfortable on a permanent basis isn't healthy for the players. My players and my goalkeepers are always the best. When I started out, people back in Portugal would laugh at me when I said that my players were the best. But that has always been the case and is not going to change now".
Quiet-lipped on his starting XI: "Even my goalkeepers don't even know which one of them will play. The only thing I will say is that whoever plays tomorrow won't play on Wednesday (against Celta in the Copa del Rey)".
Casillas' IFFHS award: "Your colleague has already asked me a similar question; I was waiting for a different question as I have already replied to this one".
Winning the league is impossible: "That won't be used as an excuse to make changes to my team. I will be treating the league as though we are the leaders or just a few points off the leaders and without thinking about other competitions. We will be taking it game by game. None of us can afford to rest. Real Madrid is a club which always demands the highest level and we will confront every game with the same ambition - I am someone who cannot work without that level of ambition. It is our responsibility to get better results in the league".
Goals for 2013: "My personal aim is to win every game we play and every game we don't win will be a disappointment and a sign that we need to improve. I don't like living in a comfort zone. I don't like feeling too cosy. I am never comfortable - and much less so when we aren't getting the kind of results we want. This week I will be working to try to mask the limitations my team might have but knowing that it will be difficult as our opponents will be going into our games in a completely different situation. We can review the season when it is all over and we will be here to accept responsibility for the good things and the bad things which we go through".
Real Sociedad: "La Real are not in a dangerous position in the table and that allows them some freedom to play a more natural, care-free style of football. Confidence is very important for every football team and a side that has self-confidence has an advantage over one who doesn't. They have no suspension worries, few injury problems so they are in a good moment psychologically and in terms of their game. We on the other hand have a few setbacks but I have complete faith in those who will play tomorrow".
Monday's FIFA Gala: "I'm not going. I have to work. I have an important game on Wednesday so I cannot go".