Tuesday, September 8, 2009

GraneroGranero: "I want to be important"

I depend on my work and my drive"

Esteban Granero told Cadena SER that he wants to become an important player at Real Madrid.
Will you be a starter against Espanyol?
You shouldn’t ask me that, but I would like it. I always think I will play in the game that follows, but the coach ultimately decides. My duty is to work hard.
How’s your day been like?
I’m taking exams now. I have a couple next week of modules I failed last year. I will study a bit this afternoon if I’m not too tired.
Will you watch Spain’s game on Wednesday?
I always do. It’s always interesting and fun. The match against Belgium dispelled all doubts. People forgot about what happened before.
Do you think you’ll ever be called-up?
It isn’t my goal, but every player wants to play for his country. The most important thing to me right now is Real Madrid. That other thing will happen as a consequence of becoming important on my team and playing many games.
The goal must be to play regularly in order to prove your worth...
I can’t complain. I played several minutes in the preseason, both as a starter or as a benched player. With the competition underway, we’ll be able to tell who’s important. I have to prove I want to be an important player and that I want to stay here for many years. We must meet Real Madrid’s demands.
What did the Club say to you when you came back?
Valdano told me what I wanted to hear; that I was just another player and that I was here to stay. The rest is up to me. As long as everything depends on me I won’t try to blame anyone else. I depend on my work and my efforts. I’m calm because I know that I will earn whatever happensHave you spoken to Manuel Pellegrini?
I spoke to him after I signed for the team and he said the same as Valdano. He said he had faith in me and told me to work hard. I am grateful to him for always being straightforward with me. He always tells me what he believes I should improve on and not what I want to hear.
What do you have to improve on?
I luckily have to improve on many things and I have time in which to do so.
Is it hard to be just another player at Real Madrid?
I wouldn’t like to leave next year without having become an important player on the team. Players that have been signed by the team are of unquestionable quality, but I used to have a coach who always said that we are all the same on the pitch, that we all have two feet, one heart and one mind. We are all the same. It’s our efforts, our confidence and our drive that tell us apart.
We’ll have to see if Pellegrini gives youngsters a chance, just like Guardiola did at Barcelona...
When things work out a change here and there goes unnoticed. That’s what happened at Barcelona, making it an ideal environment for young and academy players. Many things have changed at Real Madrid and we must get used to this new style. Once we do, we youth teamers will be able to prove our worth at Real Madrid. The demands at the Club sometimes make it tough for us, but I feel the coach has already shown his confidence in us. I can use that. I’m happy and that’s what I wanted.
The team must assimilate the new style...
We can’t expect to all be in the same wave length in our first game. We learned a lot in the preseason and we’ve improved a lot since our first game, but we can’t expect everything to be perfect at this stage. We’ll gradually get better.
Where would you like to play?
I’m a constructive midfielder who can combine with forwards. I cover a lot of ground at the front and at the back and I can also score. The coach is asking me to do all thisYou received a standing ovation against Al Ittihad at the Bernabeu and you had barely played. How did that feel?
The fans have given me a great welcoming both on and off the pitch. People value the fact that I’ve been wearing this shirt since I was 8 years old. It doesn’t mean I feel more deeply for these colours, but it does give me something special. The Real Madrid academy teaches you to work harder and that winning is always a must. It’s ingrained in our minds.
How is the team coping with the pressure of having to win everything this year?
People are using their right to make such a demand. Real Madrid fans like to win. I guess other fans celebrate titles less effusively. We demand the same of ourselves, but we know it’s complicated and that we must focus on each game at a time. We are aware that we must make the fans happy too. We have a quality team, strong enough to fight hard in the three championships, but we shouldn’t start thinking about our games against Barcelona or future finals. That would be wrong. Players who want to be demanded less should play somewhere else.

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