Tension bubbling in the capital
Atlético captain Gabi, who is also an ambassador for the charity organization La Rueda de la Felicidad (The Wheel of Happiness), and spoke at an event today* about how the team is shaping up ahead of Saturday's much-anticipated derby against Real Madrid.
I knew someone would ask me this question - yes, I've spoken to him. He's got a nasty knock, and he's got work to do to be able to make it. We are hioing he can withstand the pain and help us on Saturday.
Unpredictable after international breaks
How do you see the game going?
It's a very important game for us, we have managed to be able to compete with Madrid and if we can beat them on Saturday, then we'll put ourselves into the race. Matches immediately after international breaks are usually a bit strange, some players come back with injury problems and I think that will be a key factor this time; I hope everyone goes into the game in the best shape possible. It's difficult to match a team like Madrid - only a few years ago it was unthinkable. There are no favourites, let's hope we can give our people some joy.
We battered Madrid
What is you best memory of the derby at the Calderón?
The 4-0 - that game wasn't just about the result, that day we were superior to Madrid, not just equal to them as we have been on other days. What a magic game that was to experience...
Madrid have a few injury concerns. Kroos won't make it, Modric is only just back and Ramos hasn't played in a month…
That Madrid are making a massive effort to recover their top players speaks a lot about what we are doing anf how they view us. With Modric, they have recovered their best player - he's the one who makes them play and gives the team balance. We'll try to counter his playmaking skills.
Calderón's last stand
The last Madrid derby (in the league) to be played at the Calderón…
There's no need to explain what the derby means for Atlético de Madrid, for Real Madrid, for the city and even for the country. And that it will be the last one at the Calderón means it's going to be even more special.
*Gabi is ambassador for La Rueda de la Felicidad which has raised 5,000 euros to buy toys for underprivileged children in the region this Christmas.
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