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REAL MADRID

Cristiano: “If I was in charge, maybe I’d do things differently”

The Madrid forward spoke about his team’s defeat in Anoeta: “We paid a high price, we conceded four goals and we were incompetent”.

Manu Sainz

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo took part in a promotional event organized by TAG Heuer at the Circuito del Jarama race course on Monday. The player, who sat out Sunday’s 4-2 defeat to Real Sociedad, was driven around the course by Jenson Button.

Being taken around the course sat next to an F1 driver must be a new sensation for you?

It’s different. The adrenaline rush is incredible on the curves but the rush you get when you score a goal is different. I enjoy all good things and I’ve had a great time with Button.

How are you feeling?

I’m fine, recovering. I have been undertaking treatment every day and I started running again yesterday. I’m fine and I’m really happy. I’m on the right road to recovery.

Why have you decided to take a rest?

It’s not a question of stopping. I wasn’t able to have the pre-season I would have liked. Maybe these minor problems are a result of not being able to complete a full pre-season. These things happen. I was fine when I started the Sevilla game but since then I have had a few problems – nothing serious. In a week’s time I’ll be back at 100 per cent.

What do you think of the new signing, Chicharito?

He’s another player who can help the team. I wish him a good and quick adaptation, he can help us a lot and I hope it all turns out the best possible for him. We are all very happy with him.

Were you surprised by Sunday’s defeat?

Of course I was, it was a strange game. We were winning and the team was cruising at 2-0 after 15 minutes. After that, it all changed. It’s a lesson for us that you cannot take anything for granted – even when you are leading 2-0. We have to battle right up until the final whistle and we didn’t do that. We paid a high price, we conceded four goals and we were incompetent. I hope that we can learn from it.

Di María and Xabi Alonso have left and Kroos and James have come in... does that mean a change in style for Madrid?

It will change. They are different players and it can change for the better or for worse. I hope it changes for the better. Both are top level players and I expect they will quickly adapt and help the team to win. Obviously Di María and Xabi were also very important players for us but now we have others and we have to be content with those we have on board. I’m sure that everything will turn out well and the team will be at a high level.

You have spent several years at Madrid now and you are practically one of the captains. Would you have changed the squad after winning La Décima?

I have my own opinion but I have to be careful because I cannot always say what I think because it will only end up on all of the front covers of tomorrow’s newspapers whether I want it to or not. If I was in charge, maybe I wouldn’t have done things the way they have been done. We are all free to have our own opinions and say what we think. If the President thinks that it’s better for the team to bring in new players and let others leave then we have to respect that and support his decision.

The season’s only just started...

Of course, we are only two season’s into the campaign and there’s no need to start worrying unnecessarily. We have three or four new players on board. The World Cup will have an effect on our fitness. The players arrived back to work later than normal and many of us weren’t able to take part in the whole of the pre-season. Maybe we’re finding it harder than usual but I am confident that we can put in a good season.

How does Ancelotti manage these situations?

He has a lot of experience; he knows what the team needs and what it doesn’t need. Whether we lose or not we have to remain calm. We have to leave the coach in peace, the season has only just begun and we have to keep our heads high and keep working hard. The Champions League is about to start as well but obviously we have to improve.

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