The international portuguese player joined AS Monaco FC for the next saison 2013-2014. Free of contract after 3 seasons in Real Madrid, Ricardo Carvalho signed this tuesday for one season with one year in option. After FC Porto, Chelsea and Real Madrid, the defender, 35 years old, will play in a new “exciting league. I’m very happy to join AS Monaco FC and to be part of the new adventure. This is a new challenge for me”.
AS: Do you talk to Mourinho? NS: Yes, we speak on the phone often. We chat about football and life. The Mister feels well. I think the match against Manchester United is very important to Madrid. Now they are in a perfect position. You hear more about Çakir’s decision than about Madrid’s performance, but Madrid’s performance was very good. They’re doing a great job. It isn’t easy beating Barcelona twice. The truth is that Madrid is one of the big favorites to win the Champions League.
AS: Might your time as a blanco been very different if it wasn’t for your injuries? NS: Before arriving to Madrid I had already recovered, but then I had a new injury on the first day of training. If I hadn’t had that, I’m sure that everything would’ve gone much differently for me. But these things happen in football. I don’t want to dwell on the past. I’m on a team that is one of the best in the world. I never hung my head, and I believe I’ll have a lot of success. My transfer to Real Madrid was a dream, and I achieved it. In fact, I had other offers that were better financially. I fulfilled my dream but wasn’t able to show my real ability. If you get an injury at the start of the season with Madrid, it makes it very hard for you to become a starter.
AS: Do you keep in contact with your ex-Real Madrid teammates? NS: Yes, I always talk to Kaká, Carvalho and Khedira.
AS: How was it sharing a locker room with Cristiano? NS: It was a great opportunity being able to play with him. He is an incomparable professional, incredible. In one year I learned so much from Cristiano. He is very humble and friendly. Perhaps there are people who don’t think so, but he is kind and humble.
Casillas: “I’m feeling positive. The doctor gave me the worst case when I was diagnosed with the injury; he said it could take three months. But when the splint was removed I was told I had four weeks left. Now I’m doing active exercise, to get mobility back in the finger and get stronger.”
Alonso: “I’m in the recovery stage. I’m trying to get better as soon as possible, to get rid of the discomfort and return in top form. A lot of people ask when I’ll be ready, but I don’t have an answer right now.”
Kaká: “I feel better physically. For me it’s better to make the news for what I do on the pitch, not for other reasons. I’m happy to be able to bring positive things to squad. Being able to play quickly is a characteristic of the squad that helps me. These upcoming days are very important and crucial.”
Benzema: “I hope that I score more goals than I have so far, but the important thing is the squad and to win the upcoming matches. We have to work together to win. We have a great team and we’re all in good form.”
Carvalho: “We have experience in decisive matches. You have to win game by game. We’ve improved a lot since the start of the year and we have to keep it up.”
Adán: “He was my coach when he was in the 3rd Division and I was in the lower ranks. We shared a dressing room during Capello’s time. He’s a great guy, a great teammate and we’re happy that he’s here.”
Karanka: “I think we can see the team’s improvement. In the first half we had chances that least year went in but this year it’s been a bit more difficult, but when we score the first goal we have the defensive solidity from last year and in attack we are regaining the confidence that allows you to win games as we have just done.” [video - 1 | 2]
Ronaldo: “[Wednesday’s clásico] is a really important game, a complicated game. We’re going to play against one of the most difficult sides in the world, so it will be a great night. We’re playing at home, which is a great opportunity to have a success match. We’ll be missing a number of players, key players, who are very important for this squad, but that’s not an excuse, we have to play well because Barça is an amazing team. I hope that it’s a great night for us and we’re ready for the big match.” [videos - 1 | 2]
Ramos: “I feel like a veteran because of the time I’ve been at the club. The level of responsibility is getting bigger. With regard to Casillas, who is the captain, we want him to return soon and those who have been here longest need to drag the team with us.” [video]
Adán: ”It is amazing for those of us around Cristiano Ronaldo to see him play. He shows that he is the best in every match. It is indisputable and he is on a superb run of form, we need to help him to keep it going. Ozil also played well.” [video]
Carvalho: ”The play that gave us the [first] goal happened very fast. I jumped and I honestly do not know whether I touched the goalkeeper or not. It is important to play well and win matches like this. In the league we have to be strong and consistent.”
Yellow card alert: Mesut Özil is suspended for the Granada match. Álvaro Arbeloa has 4 yellows.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s perfect hat trick was his 3rd with Real Madrid. It was also the fastest of his career (9 minutes).
Adán’s sending off: ”I haven’t seen it again on the television but from my memory Varane left Adán in a complicated situation, he made a pass he didn’t have to make and Adán should have cleared the ball in the danger zone rather than try to build an attack. He lost the ball and it was a penalty. It should have been a penalty but I thought we had one or two players between Adán and the goal-line. We have been penalised a lot this season due to wrong or dubious decisions. I could be wrong, but I get the feeling that if it had been another team and in another stadium, it would have been a yellow card.”
the crowd’s reaction to Adán: ”I told Adán before this game and before the game against Málaga that if he got booed, it was because of me and not him. The fans have no problem with Adán and neither do the press, they have a problem with my decision and he is suffering the consequences. This is a problem in Spain but it’s not a problem anywhere else. My personal belief is that there’s been a lack of respect shown towards Adán. He’s been at this club for 16 years and he grew up here, he is a boyhood Real Madrid fan, he is a homegrown player, and why shouldn’t he have the right to be happy? You [the journalists] have turned a problem with Mourinho into showing a lack of respect towards Adán.”
Carvalho’s effort: ”He had a great game. I don’t like to single players out, everyone played well, but Carvalho played especially well. He’s in a strange situation this year. We’ve decided that this will be the last year in his contract, and we decided that Pepe and Ramos would be first choice, and then Albiol or Varane, but Carvalho’s experience helped us today.”
Gonzalo Higuaín - [video] ”I am happy because we won a tough match and because I am back playing. I’ve been waiting a long time and it been a lot of days of hard work, but I have come back in good shape and I felt good. I went on with one less player on the field and there was a higher demand on me.”
Antonio Adán - ”It was an unfortunate bit of play where the referee blew for a penalty and the sending-off seems unfair to me. These things happen and you have to accept it and push forward. This can happen, you can come away having played a perfect match and having made big saves or you can come away having been sent off. The important thing is what has led me to being in goal for Real Madrid has been my hard work.”
Ricardo Carvalho - ”We knew this match was important and that we could not draw and we went out to win. We started well, then things got tougher for us, but because we were together the match got easier. We could not give up, we had to come from behind and in the end we won.”
Yellow card alert: Cristiano Ronaldo will miss the match against Osasuna due to accumulation. Antonio Adán will also miss the next match because of a direct red card.
Monday’s Ballon d’Or gala starts at 6:30 PM CET | 12:30 PM ET.
9 players are up for the FIFA/FIFPro World XI: Alonso, Benzema, Casillas, Marcelo, Modrić, Özil, Pepe, Ramos and Ronaldo.
José Mourinho was interviewed by The Sun and talked about pressure, Arsene Wenger, and the Premier League.
Cristiano Ronaldo has reached 171 goals with Real Madrid, matching Butragueño. He can tie Pirri (172) in his next match.
Since 09/10, Cristiano has scored his 11th goal from a direct kick. He leads La Liga in that regard and is 5 goals ahead of 2nd-place Beñat.
Training resumes Monday at 11 AM CET | 5 AM ET. The next match is Wednesday against Celta de Vigo.