REAL MADRID | BIG INTERVIEW
Real Madrid: Kubo on his loan, future, coronavirus confinement
The Japanese was supposed to be playing for Mallorca against Real Madrid on Sunday but the coronavirus ended the dream of playing at the Bernabéu.
If it wasn't for the coronavirus, Take Kubo (18) would be playing for Mallorca at the Bernabéu on Easter Sunday, a date he had marked in red on the caldnder. The Japanese teenager has spoken to AS about life in confinement, his loan move to Mallorca and much more.
Today you could have been playing for Mallorca against Madrid, it would have been your first hame at the Bernabéu. Was it a day you were looking forward to?
The truth is I was so excited to play. All of the games are important for me but that was special.
What kind of feelings does the Bernabéu give you?
I haven't played there yet but I am really excited. To go on and warm up and look up at 85,000 people must be really motivating. You can't play poorly there. It's impossible.
When you do get back to play, no?
Right now I am just thinking about getting back to normal as quick as possible. The health is the most important thing there is.
How is confinement going for you?
Not great because, like all of the footballers, I live for football. It's our great passion. Obviously, because of that, it's hard. But the club has given us working that we can do at home and it keep us in shape and training.
What does a normal day look like for you now?
I wake up at 08:30 and I do a three-minute heart rate test given to us by the club. After, I have breakfast at 10:00. Then we have some preventative exercise work. At 10, we start team exercises in group of four or five and the technical staff are on the video call. At 12:15, we finish but I do a bit of individual work. I shower and at 13:30, I eat. From 15:30 to 16:00, it's my free time and I want a series or read. After that, I work again with the ball mostly. At 18:00, I shower, have dinner and by 23:00, I'm in bed.
Going back a year, how did you know Madrid were serious about signing you?
We know that there was different interest from club but from my family, my agents and I didn't want to know anything until I was the correct age because of the sanction. When I turned 18 on 4 July, Madrid said they wanted to come to Japan. They visited me and that was a really nice touch.
What factors tipped the scales in Madrid's favour?
First, the sporting plan for the future they had designed for me. It was really exciting, really nice. After, coming to Japan to show me and explain it to me face to face. And also, it said a lot that a club this big could have interest in me.
How did you feel meeting Florentino Pérez?
Very impressed but I noticed that in Madrid they treat you as if you were another member of the family and this stood out for me.
When you were young, you played with Barcelona. Now do you feel like a Madridista?
First, I have to say I am very grateful to Barcelona and also FC Tokyo who took me in after the sanction, to Yokohoma Marinos, who loaned me for half a season and now Mallorca. Also, all of the players managers and the people who helped me grow and helped me to be who I am. When I reached the right age, I had a massive chance to pick a team and I picked Real Madrid because of their interest in me. I am very grateful. And now I am very Madridista.
Messi was your example. Did you get to know him?
I didn't know him in person but he is a reference for many young players who want to be footballers and also young players who are footballers. When I was young, I watched his videos. He is a great footballer. He is a reference point for me and for many left-footed players who aren't very tell and who main characteristics are dribbling and the way they control the ball. Messi is the peak of that.
How do you remember the preseason with Madrid?
At the start I was a bit nervous to have world famous players beside me, the top level of football. But I adapted little by little and every helped me and I learned a lot from them.
What did your teammates say to you after your fine performances on the tour?
Many people helped me and I adapted and could do the best I could very fast. All of my teammates treated me well. The technical staff too, and above all, Zidane. Not just me, he is a manager attentive to the finer details. He asked me lots of questions.
Do you have contact with any Real Madrid players?
Lunin most of all. We got on very well during preseason and now we are on loan. He is at Oviedo and I see videos when I can. We speak a lot on social media.
Do you think you have a place at Madrid?
Everything depends on me and I will have a place at Madrid. Right now, I am at Mallorca to do the best I can and to show that I can be there and I can compete.
Do you see yourself prepared for that moment?
It's obvious that a club like Madrid is not like the rest. All of the players are at the top level and it's difficult to earn a place there. But I will keep working and I'll wait for the chance. When I get it, I will take advantage of it.
Why did you go to Mallorca instead of Castilla or another club?
During the preseason, I played with players at the top level and against others at the top and that's where I grew the most. This made me think I could play in the Primera. Mallorca showed a lot of interest and believed in me. At Castilla, Reúl treated me very well and he was very nice but an offer arrived and I couldn't not take advantage.
What are you learning?
A lot. Above all in the game which is where I learn most. In attack and in defense. It's helping me to grow a lot and I hope to keep doing it.
What position do you like most?
Depending on how the team plays but at Mallorca, I am almost always on the right and I feel comfortable there although my ideal position is the number 10. To recieve the ball between the lines and to dribble the ball from there, pass, shoot and these things. My main assets are recieving between the lines and starting things and doing things from there. That is the ideal but also on the right I feel very comfortable.
Have you decided what you will do next year?
No, not yet. Nothing. I don't know when this will restart with 11 games to play, months to decide. My preference is clear. Play at the Bernabéu in the Madrid jersey. But I'm learning now.
What is your dream?
To be a great footballer and to do great things with Madrid and also with Japan.
What message do you send to Madrid fans?
First, I sent a message of hope to all of the families affected by the coronavirus in these very sad times. And to Madrid fans, I would say that I was hoping to get to my first game there although my dream is to do it in with. I will push myself to the maximum to achieve it.