Yes, physically I’m in a better shape now than I was before. It was a complicated injury and the doctors said I could continue playing at high level for three more years if the recovery was perfect. It has been a long but successful process and now I’m a new person. I’m happy. I just need to grasp the pace of the game once more by playing matches. I’m training hard and playing a few minutes in games, which is very important for me.
Are you a couple of years younger now?
Yes, I am three years younger. I’ve always cared about my health and now I feel much better than before. The doctors told me I could play three more years and that once I retired I wouldn’t feel any pain. Before the injury I didn’t feel well. I couldn’t give 100%.
Why did you decide to stay at Real Madrid?
I have confidence in myself. I know I can play at the highest level. The reason I worked so many hours during such a long recovery period is to keep playing for Real Madrid. It would have been easier to sign for a minor club, but I’m not going to leave Real Madrid at this point. There are many opportunities for playing. I can start from the bench or be in the initial line-up, always playing minutes. I want to find my place here. If I had left the Club I would have never known what could have happened and I couldn’t have forgiven myself for that. I want to be an important piece of the squad. I’m going to give everything I’ve got. But if it doesn’t turn out well I’ll look elsewhere.
What do you think about the new signings?
Many things have changed. There’s a new team, a new president and a new coach. It’s an exciting new era. The quality of the squad is amazing. We can have two top-level teams at the same time.