Is Modric the kind of player that is capable of getting the Bernabéu crowd out of their seats?
That’s why we’ve brought him here. If he’s the only signing we thought about, and made, then it’s because that’s what I wanted. I’m positive he’ll fit in with the squad and the Madrid fans will love him; he’s talented and tactically disciplined in equal measure. He’s also a team player that links up well with the other players. But it’s that touch magic, that touch of class that the Madrid fans will fall in love with. We’ve signed Modric so we can be entertained and win.
Do you not think that Kaká, like so many other great players, has reached the stage when his reputation comes before his performances?
What has happened to Kaká has happened before with many, many great players. Legends that for some reason or another have not been able to perform to the same level at other clubs, to do the amazing things they were doing before. Football is clearly not mathematics, players aren’t robots. Kaká had some injury issues when he arrived and in his first season here, that’s why he played every now and again. Then in his second season he had to have an operation and was out for many months; when he came back he had to take it very easy. Last season, when he was back to full-fitness, he played really well at certain points; for instance, when Di María was out injured he was there to cover and did a good job on the wing. I said before the transfer window closed that Kaká continuing at Madrid wouldn’t be a problem and he knows that because I’ve told him. It’s a tricky situation because we have other options, but he’s taken on the challenge and is training well. When I think we can use him we’ll try to get the best out of him; it won’t be easy but I’m sure kaká will get his chance, and when it does come around I’m sure he’ll take it.
Is Essien not just trying to get into your good books calling you ‘Dad’?
Nooooooo. It’s a joke, a sign of affection. Özil also calls me that… it’s nothing. As long as he runs on the pitch as if I really was his dad then that’s enough for me.