Saturday, September 12, 2009

"We must work as a team to win titles"

Entering his third season with Real Madrid, Royston Drenthe sat down with to discuss the team's motivation heading into the new campaign and his own ambitions for the new year.

How have you prepared for the new season?

A new season is under way with many new players and a lot of changes. I have been in Madrid for two years now and I hope to enjoy this one. I want to succeed here. I felt good during the preseason, but now it’s time to think about the league, the Champions League and the Copa del Rey. We have to work hard to win all three, but with this team it is quite possible.

Is the team just as motivated as the fans are?

The team is the same as always. There are many new players, but this squad is a team. We are a family. Of course people want to see guys like Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka play, but we are a team. They can’t do it all themselves. We have to work together to win titles.

There’s the league, the Cup, the Champions League and then the World Cup. There will be plenty of matches and plenty of playing time for everyone.

That is why the coach needs 25 players. We must stay focused and strong for the long season ahead.

What can fans expect in terms of titles this year?

If I was a Real Madrid fan I would want my team to win everything in play. I don’t even want to lose when I play foot-tennis during training or my PlayStation with my brother. I play for Real Madrid and I am young, but I have always wanted to win.

What were the first few days with Pellegrini like?

Very good. He is a very smart coach and very nice. He did a great job at Villarreal. He has earned everyone’s respect. I can learn a lot from him.

Pellegrini has on more than one occasion said that everyone player on the team counts because it is a very long season.

It’s what all coaches should do because no team can win with just two or three players. We are a team. How motivated are you to return to your spot as left back?

I played as a left back at Feyenoord although I can also play as a winger. I don’t mind playing there if that’s what the coach wants because I just want to play. I am young and I want to learn and earn playing time. I know I can do well as a left back. It’s a good position for me because it will give me the chance to advance in attack to put in a cross or contribute with a play.

How did the team react after defeating Deportivo? Was it a big morale boost?

Winning the season opener is important because you get off on the right foot. All the good teams won their matches and so did we. It was the best way to begin.

Fans are asking for a trip to Cibeles this year. What do you ask of fans?

That’s an easy question to answer. Every player will say the same thing. We want to go to Cibeles with them. The first time I went was amazing and I want to return this year. We want to win everything for them.

How has the stoppage for qualifiers affected the team?

It is something we deal with. There are international matches every year. We just have to work a little harder when players return and continue preparing for matches.

On Saturday you face Espanyol, who play their first official match in their new stadium and who want to give their fans their first official win there.

They will be playing for Dani Jarque and his family. They want to win all their matches and to honor their captain with a good victory. The match should be nice to watch.

Do you see yourself starting?

I don’t know. I hope so.
It is still early, but what is it you like most about this new look Real Madrid?

I have liked all my years here. I am having fun and learning from the best club in the world. The city is great and I am comfortable here. I will never forget my time here. It will be a great year with these new players and we are very excited.

What are your biggest dreams?

I have many. I want to win the Champions League in the Bernabeu. Score a goal? Why not. Who wouldn’t like to score a goal in the Santiago Bernabeu in the Champions League final? That is a great dream.

The Netherlands will be in South Africa for the World Cup. Will you?

Perhaps. I have to play well here if I am to be called up. That’s how it works.

The season ends with the Champions League final in the Santiago Bernabeu. Where will you be watching it from?

I would rather be on the pitch playing it, but it is too early to say. Anything can happen.

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