Carvalho to Realmadrid.com
New Real Madrid signing, Ricardo Carvalho sat down for his first official interview with Realmadrid.com on Thursday and discussed his career to date and expectations as a Madridista.
You now officially play for Real Madrid. What were the first few hours like?
Everything happened so fast and, honestly, I was very excited to come. I cannot wait to start training and getting into a daily routine in order to help me adjust.
You should adapt quite easily being that you know several of your new teammates already.
I hope that is the case. I do know some players such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe, as well as coach Mourinho. But every one of them has their own life, so we simply need to be tight-knit on the pitch. That said, the fact that I already know them makes me more confident and facilitates my adjustment.
Spanish football is quite similar to your style of Portuguese football.
Portuguese football is similar to Spanish football because we both like to touch and keep possession of the ball. I think that because of my characteristics, adjusting to English football was more difficult than what adjusting to Spanish football will be.
You have played a lot of football in your lifetime. What has you career been like?
Until I began playing for Porto I played on loan for first division clubs. Then I began playing for Porto, which was a dream come true for me. It was hard for me to play with Luis and Jorge Costa there; two players who had been there a long time. I think the moment I will cherish was in 2004 because it was a good year for the club and for the national team, both of whom I was starting for. That was another dream come true. Then I was transferred to Chelsea, where I played for six years until coming here to continue my career.
Because you have already coincided with Mourinho in the past, what is he like and how does he convert every team he coaches into a winner?
Mourinho is very detail oriented and a perfectionist. He doesn’t take player mistakes well, but we do make them because we are human. He is very demanding and he pays attention to every detail in order to win. We have won a lot of trophies together and I hope to do the same here.
There will be many times when you will play with Pepe by your side. You already know him well and he has proven that he is a great center-back. Having him play by your side must make you feel more confident?
I am very happy to be playing with him. He is a very good player who everyone likes and he has managed to make a name for himself here, which isn’t easy to do. We all know how much he means, but I have to do my share playing next to him. We are a pair, but we each have to do our part. He cannot play for me and vice versa.
And you will have Cristiano Ronaldo in attack. What kind of personality does he have other than always wanting to win?
Cristiano is always disappointed, upset and depressed when we do not win or when things aren’t going well. He works hard to accomplish his goals on both an individual and team level. He is a fantastic player, but we all know that already.
You have seen Real Madrid play this year. Do you see yourself playing with this team?
I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t. I still had another two years left on my contract with Chelsea and we reached an agreement for me to leave this year because they didn’t let me last year. I wanted to try playing in other leagues outside England because I had spent six years there and I needed a change of scenery. Staying there would have been the comfortable thing to do because I was settled there, I had shown what I was capable of and everyone respected me. I will have to prove myself even more here because it is my first year and people have to see that I am good.
So this is a new challenge for you.
Yes, because I feel good. If not I would have stayed at Chelsea where I had another two years left on my contract. I want to prove that I can continue playing and I think I am able to do see because I am fit.
You decided to come to Madrid, a city you are going to love, but you must think that the Santiago Bernabeu is quite spectacular.
I already played here against Real Madrid and there is a lot of pressure, but players focus once the game begins and they don’t notice the fans. It is especially true when playing as visitors. At home it is always nice to have the crowd’s support, but as visitors you don’t think about the 90,000 people looking at you; only about playing the best you can.
This must be a big change for your family, who has to move here and start all over.
I have two kids. The first couple of months are always the most difficult because we have to get used to a new house, look for a school for the kids and adjust to the city. But everything is much easier once I find a house and get into the routine of training and playing.
You must be looking forward to training this evening.
I only think about training and I am looking forward to getting to know the training grounds. All the rest is of no concern to me.
You are aware that Mourinho’s philosophy is very similar to that of Real Madrid. They both need to win. You have played for some important clubs, but here winning is crucial.
This club is much greater and it needs to win titles. All great clubs do. There is a lot of pressure, but playing for a club of this caliber is marvelous. We all want to win and to contribute to this team’s success.
Please keep smiling because the season is about to begin. Thank you very much and good luck.
Thank you. I hope everything goes well and I hope to do my very best.