Real Madrid defender Dani Carvajal fobbed off compliments about his game when he faced the press this afternoon to preview tomorrow's Champions League semi-final but praised team mate, Isco: "With the ball at his feet he's pure fantasy..."
Local lad Carvajal relishing all-Madrid affair
What does the derby mean for a born-and-bred 'Madrileño' like yourself? "I've had the opportunity to play in 15 derbies and all of them are special. It's the big rivalry in our city. Tomorrow's game, more than being a derby, is also the Champions League semi-final. I think that alone is sufficient motivation to go all out to beat our neighbours".
Recent performances in the Champions League: "If it's going to weigh on anyone, it'll be Atleti. We are not thinking about what happened in previous years. Our objective is to win in Cardiff and win the league".
Details will decide semi-final, says Madrid full-back
How do you envisage the tie going? "It's going to be very even, with few chances, and as always it will be decided by small details. We will need to be completely focused for the full 90 minutes and we will need to win the game. Winning at home is the key to go to the Calderón for the return. Any positive result without conceding at our ground will be good for us".
What details precisely could decide this semi-final? "Set-pieces, pacing the game... If I knew what things would decide the tie, I'd keep it to myself so that we could win the game".
Carvajal shrugs off praise
Praise: "I don't consider myself to be the best right-back in the world. Nor do I compare myself to anyone else. I only try to do my job as best as I can and help the team. I'm in a good moment, physically and in terms of my game. Things have been truning out well for me".
Isco: "He's a very different player. With the ball at his feet he's pure fantasy. He brings us so many things with his game. We have 24 fantastic players, that's why they are at Real Madrid. The difficult part for the boss is deciding who plays".
Friends before and after, but not during
Friendship with Saúl and Koke: "I'm lucky to have a lot of good friends - not just at Atlético, but as soon as the ref blows his whistle and the game starts, I'll leave those friendlships to one side for a while. And when the ref blows for full-time, we'll be back as friends again".
Atlético keen to get their own back: "No. I think they will play the tie in their own way and use the weapons they have to try to make the final. The past is forgotten about - it's a new season and a new edition of the Champions League".
Carvajal's well wishes for Griezmann
What does Griezmann need to reach Cristiano's level: "That's quite a difficult question to answer. They are two different players, two world superstars. I don't know. Griezmenn is a brilliant player. I really he has a career full of successes. I wish him the best, apart from in this tie".
Pre-match sensations: "We're in one of our best moments, we're really up for this semi-final, we're happy and hopeful. Just seeing the stars on the Champions League ball makes you realize that everything is different in this competition. We know that this is the club's select tournament and the one which is special for all madridistas".
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