Ahead of the Champions League final this weekend, Sport-locker.net caught a few words with Real Madrid’s Angel Di Maria, Alvaro Morata and Asier Illarramendi to get their thoughts on the big match…
(It was at the launch of the Battle Pack football boots so we asked them about those too)
How excited are you about the Champions League final?
Angel Di Maria: The truth is that to be in the Champions League final is a dream come true. There have been a lot of seasons where I have only reached the semi-finals, and missing the opportunity of reaching the final. It’s a real joy to be part of this final.
Alvaro Morata: For me, and I think for all the team, it means reaching a one year target for this club. For me, like every child, I think it’s a lifelong dream. At club level, I think it’s the biggest competition in Europe, and I think it’s every child’s dream to play a Champions League final, listen to the anthem, and well if we could win it, it would be amazing.
Asier Illarramendi: We’ve been waiting a few years for this final, and tried everything and during the last few years we have never reached the final. Now that we are here, we are motivated, very excited about this final and the possibility of winning it.
Are you at all surprised that it’s an all Madrid final?
ADM: No. I think that a Spanish final shows how much Spanish football has changed, and its power during the last few years. It will be a final against Atlético Madrid, it will be tough but we will try to do our best.
AM: I think it’s a tremendous joy for Spanish football and for the city of Madrid. I’m very proud. I was born here in Madrid and the truth is that this is something really great. It will be a hotly disputed final, two teams which have had a very good season, especially with this trophy. The best team will win. And we hope to win.
And how about your new boots – are you fans of the adidas Battle Pack?
AM: Yes. Everytime you know that you are going to wear a new exclusive product for the Champions League final, which will be shown there everybody is going to be even more focused and on our feet. It’s a responsibility and you are proud and you feel really good.
ADM: It’s already eight years that I’ve been playing in the top league using adidas. I used Predator for the comfort. I feel really comfortable with them. They fitted me from the start. The shape of the shoes changed but they’re still very comfortable.
Will you wear the boots in training first or have a new pair for the final? Are you superstitious?
AM: No. Concerning the shoes I’m not superstitious. I have a lot of other obsessions. I don’t mind using them for the first time. I think it’s a little bit risky. There are football players who always want to use the same shoes, or use them before, but me I would play with them without wearing them beforehand.
ADM: In this respect, we receive the shoes a lot in advance and we are able to train with them before using them in the final. We try to get used to them. When we receive the shoes we try to use them as much as we can with the intention of arriving at the final feeling as comfortable as possible.
What is the atmosphere like within the team?
AI: We are fine. I think that during the season we have been up and down and now we are fine. We have the desire, the hope and above all the commitment to win it. Athletic will be a really difficult rival. This year they had an incredible season. But we are excited, motivated and we must win.
ADM: When I arrived here, for a few years the team was not even reaching the semifinal. Since I arrived we started reaching the semifinal, which is already a great joy, but we haven’t been able to go beyond. This year we succeeded and it’s an enormous joy for everybody.
What is it like to play for coach Ancelotti?
AI: He is a man that generates confidence. He is a quiet man and all the football players feel comfortable with him. He is helpful and the coaching staff in general is very good.
AM: The coach brought maturity most importantly he was a football player. He knows the players’ way of thinking, their behaviour and that’s important. If a player is not ok or needs help from the coaching staff, the coach knows it: he has been in the same situation as a football player.
Take a closer look at the adidas Battle Pack here.