Dani Carvajal has granted an interview to The spar, from Cadena SER, in which he reviews the news of the National Team, before the important matches of Spain against Greece (Thursday) and Sweden (Sunday) in which there is a direct pass to the World Cup in Qatar next summer. He has also referred to Luis Enrique and the absence of Madridistas in the last lists, their status, the situation of Real Madrid, the departure of Messi, the arrival of Xavi, Sergio Ramos, Benzema and the Ballon d’Or, Mbappé or Haaland …
- Real Madrid
- Midfield player
First of all, how are you?
The truth is that very well, very well physically, mentally … The truth is that when I saw my teammates again, the staff, everything that the Federation includes here, it seemed that it was coming for the first time.
Due to injuries, he has missed some appointments, but Luis Enrique remembered the other day and made it clear to everyone that whenever he has been well, he is a fixture for him …
Thank you for the words. That it comes from you is very important to me. It is a great emotional boost in order to be in the National Team. Now, to show him that confidence with good performances.
He also hinted that you have changed your diet plan, your preparation … I imagine that you are looking to not relapse. What exactly has changed?
In the end, when you relapse from injuries and spend a season a bit in the shadows, you try to find all kinds of causes from food, rest, way of working, dosages when entering games with the team … A little practically everything.
And what have you eliminated from the diet?
I’m not eating gluten, no wheat, and no cow’s milk. Everything is vegetable milk. No red meat. Some things that would not be easy for some people to eat, but what our sports diet is is not very influential either. In the end, I can eat vegetables, fruit, fish and chicken.
Everything is for being in the National Team and in that World Cup event. By the way, in this group there is finally someone from Madrid, there were many who said that Luis Enrique was not taking anyone from Madrid. Carvajal has returned and there is already someone from Madrid …
Yes, well, it has been a bit the subject of debate. I don’t think the coach will notice the shirt worn by each selected player to be here. In the end, he has shown that his philosophy is that a player who is at full capacity and a player who is fit is the one who comes to the National Team, the one who can help the team. In recent months there has not been or has not been considered that any player from our team should be here and it has been.
Surely you will think that someone else has made merit to be there, right? Lucas Vaquez, Nacho …
In the end that is all very subjective. When it comes to giving the list, we are all selectors and each one of us would make our own nuances. The complicated thing is to be there and make the decisions, but that is what they pay for, who is the coach and is the one who has to make them.
Does it catch your attention that in such a bad moment for Barça there are so many Barça players, or for you, as a footballer, it doesn’t have to do that there is a bad moment for a team for Eric García, Gavi, Ansu Fati, Jordi to appear Alba, Busquets?
He hadn’t even noticed. The coach is the one who considers that Eric is among the four best centers in Spain to be selected. Same as Ansu on the ends and Gavi on the inside. He with his staff will have a long and wide list of players and according to the characteristics and the games that come, they are the ones that can do the best in his consideration.
Is there conscience in the group? Does the group notice what is at stake in these two games?
Yes. Everyone is aware of what we are at stake. We have two endings. Everything happens to win on Thursday, it is going to be a very intense battle in Greece. An opponent who has a chance to qualify. They will do everything in their power to do so. It is going to cost us to win there. We have to be aware that we cannot think of Sweden without doing our homework in Athens.
I don’t know if he remembers the last time Spain missed a World Cup. You were not born: it was in 1974.
No, the truth is no.
It was the one in Germany. Then Argentina arrived and we fell into the first phase. I see him full. I’ve talked to him about yesterday’s training: jumping under pressure, how active Luis Enrique is … I like that about Luis Enrique: he gives the players the idea of jumping under pressure. I saw him very well against Rayo and Shakhtar. I don’t know if you too …
Yes, by sensations, by spark. I felt much better. In Champions I was more timid and against Rayo I said: ‘We’re going to loosen our hair.’ You are gaining confidence and you are taking away the means.
How is the change of chip with Luis Enrique with respect to Ancelotti?
They are different ways of working. My way of seeing football is very similar to that of Luis Enrique: an intense player, jumping under pressure, having the ball most of the time, stealing it as high as possible from the rival … These are concepts that I like a lot and Luis Enrique he is also in favor of it.
Luis Enrique has said that his future is not discussed until the World Cup is over. He prefers it to be that way. The normal thing is that a selector when he achieves the classification is automatically renewed. What do you think? Do you think Luis Enrique is the ideal coach to coach Spain?
From what you are demonstrating, yes. There are no ideal coaches, neither the best nor the worst. Football is based on results and the coach is doing it. It has been questioned a lot. Especially the lists, for taking very young players. And there we saw that in the Eurocup he was about to put the team in the final and in the Nations League we lost the final because of that goal a little strange in that rule. For results and performance he is doing very well and deserves to continue.
Did you get pissed off seeing Mbappé’s goal decision against Spain?
Yes, I do not understand it, it is something that is not football. Eric changes the trajectory of the ball and if Mbappé is not behind, he does not fall to the ground … whoever has played football knows that it is offside.
You can be in favor of the VAR, but you see decisions like this and you say: this is something else …
It’s complicated. I put for example the European Championship, I liked the VAR there, and except for Sterling’s action with Denmark, the rest were impeccable. They entered, in the doubtful ones they allowed themselves to play … you did not see everything by finger or in super slow motion, because that is not the reality of football.
On Xavi Hernandez: is it good news for Real Madrid that it has arrived?
Let’s see … (laughs). It’s good that Xavi comes to LaLiga. He has been a very important player in Barcelona, in LaLiga … and he gives him a point in favor of our League. I wish him all the luck in the world, even if he is our competition, he is a partner, we must not wish evil on anyone. Let’s see if he can do his best, but we will try to increase the distance with Barça.
About Ramos: does the machine force a lot? Do you talk to him, how do you see him? Will we see Ramos de España and Madrid again?
I spoke to him recently, he told me he was fine, in the final stretch of recovery. His numbers guarantee him, he is a banner of Madrid and the National Team. I think that Sergio will be seen again at his highest level, in his player who takes care of himself like the most, trains and plays like an animal. I think he is going to have a good season with PSG and possibly can come back here.
Have you played with fear of relapse?
Yes, and it is the worst. I remember against Chelsea at home. I didn’t have a good feeling, but I took a chance. They are decisions that are made with the team in mind, and playing with the handbrake on is the worst for the head, because you are thinking about your physical condition.
You have two teammates who know better than you, unfortunately, what that is: Bale and Hazard. Now in this break they face each other. Two stars who are playing very little due to many relapses.
The two have gone through tough stages in that regard. Let’s see if the two of them recover their form, they start to take minutes, because being well, they can give us a lot of points.
Mbappé or Haaland, or both?
It is difficult to compare a pure 9 with an extreme. They are both top players, players who make a difference. If I had to sign, I would sign those two, Neymar, Messi, the best. I would sign the 10 who are nominated for the Ballon d’Or (laughs). At the time of signing, each club has to see the conditions of each one, what the team needs and the contractual situation of each one.
Speaking of this, when he saw that Messi was leaving, I don’t know if he was happy or preferred that he continue at Barça …
(Laughs) Man, a bit of both, huh? You are not entirely happy because LaLiga loses in the end that Messi leaves LaLiga, but really being Real Madrid you know that Barça loses a lot without Messi and that you have more options to win the League and the Cup.
Although for you the best couple is Benzema and Vinicius, right?
Well today I could say that if it is not the best it is among the two or three best. They are at an incredible level and it is being seen. Every day they understand each other better and I hope they continue like this.
Benzema, Ballon d’Or?
He is one of the candidates. He has done a terrific 2021, practically perfect. It will be among the top three without a doubt.
Dani Carvajal, we are very happy to have had you in ‘El Larguero’.