Nacho: “If Madrid tell me they no longer need me, what do I do?”
Nacho Fernández makes his return to the Spain squad under Luis de la Fuente: “I’m excited as a kid to be here”.
Nacho Fernández makes his return to international football. Spain coach Luis De La Fuente has recalled the Real Madrid defender, who faced the media in Las Rozas this afternoon. Nacho’s last appearance for Spain was in the 2-3 Nations League defeat to England at the Benito Villamarín in October 2018. Understandably he is excited to be back and hopes to be able to add to his 22 caps when La Roja take on Norway on Saturday at La Rosaleda or in next Tuesday’s meeting with Scotland at Hampden Park.
Spain recall: “I’ve come here with the same excitement as I did the first time I was called up and I want to make the most of the opportunity”
Did you think you might never get called by Spain again? “It was a difficult situation. I have always worked towards being here with the national team. I’m in one of the best seasons of my career. But coming here isn’t easy because there are so many very good players. With Luis Enrique, I was given a chance but I stopped due to other reasons. It’s no big deal, it’s football. It’s a question of different tastes. Now I am back and as excited as a little kid.”
Gavi and Pedri: “They’re looking good. They have managed to lock down a place at Barcelona, which is very difficult to do. They can help us a lot”.
New national team coach: “Luis is very approachable. He’s close and affectionate with everyone. I didn’t know him until I met him for the first time on Monday. Others had told me about him and they were right. He’s very like the profile of coach we have at Real Madrid. He gives you confidence and love and that’s very important”.
A new-look Spain: “It feels a bit strange for me to be surrounded by younger players. It’s good, because it means that there is a bright future ahead. Here with the national team we are all united and fighting for the same thing”.
Contract renewal with Real Madrid: “As I’ve said many times when I’ve been asked after games - I try to live in the present. Like I say, I’m in the best moment of my career. The season didn’t start well for me. I went through a tough moment because I didn’t really feel I was important to the team. But that all changed. It’s as though the situation has swung completely around. My contract with Madrid won;t change anything. Every summer, I speak to the club, to the coach and discuss it with my family and we make a decision. Just having a contract doesn’t make my life any less stressful. But now I’m certainly happy here and at my club”.
Doubts: “If Madrid turn around and tell me they no longer count on me, what do I do? Right now, at this moment, I’m happy. Having or not having a contract isn’t going to make any difference. I’ll talk to the club when the time comes and we will both make a decision. If things continue as they have been up until now, it will be very easy”.
Best position: “At centr-back is where I contribute the most. At the end of every season, I usually end up playing in different positions depending on the circumstances. The main thing is getting to play, but if I had to choose, I prefer playing in central defence”.
Do you think you deserve to be recalled as it’s been years since you last played for Spain: “Well... what a question. Of course, during the last two or three years I felt capable of being with the national team. It’s not easy, there are a lot of great players and every coach has their own likes and dislikes. For certain circumstances, I stopped coming here. Occasionally I have thought that I would have liked to have been in more games, but football’s like that”.
Reasons why you stopped being called: “From what I know, it was for sporting motives. I never spoke to Luis Enrique apart from when I’ve been here. I would imagine it was sport-related. I never had any problems with Luis Enrique nor with any coach. I don’t want to cause any problems. I don’t think it was for any other reason”.
How would you react if another club presents you with an offer too good to refuse? “It’s difficult for me. I don’t know what it’s like to play for another club. All I know is that I have everything I need here and I am completely sure that I won’t be better off anywhere else. It’s not about Madrid giving me more years or more money. It’s about being important. At the start of the season, the coach didn’t have faith in me. I was fine in myself but I didn’t feel I belonged. I haven’t made a decision yet. It’s a situation that I go through every year. It’s true that I always managed to turn things around. It’s difficult but I’m relaxed about it. I won’t do anything without talking it through with the club”.
A one-year extension, the fans chanting “Nacho, stay!” “That’s special. That the Bernabéu sing your name is something you don’t even dream about. It’s incredible. With Madrid I’m not going to have any problem with the duration, I don’t care if I sign for one year or four... I’ll be in the same situation at the end of it. I know that I am not going to be better off somewhere else. I’m calm about it”.
Haaland: “Would I like to play in the same team as Haaland? Of course. Defensively, for me it would be much better if we were on the same side or not playing if we’re not. If I don’t get to play against him this time, maybe we will cross paths in the Champions League if we both make it to the next round. Haaland is a beast when he is running in behind you. Even so, Norway have strikers who play in our league and who are doing well and are good in the air. We’ll need to put in a good game”.
Ramos’ absence, would you like to coincide with him again? “Sergio, apart from being a team mates, is a friend. For me, he’s been the best defender that Spain has produced. I’ve only got good things to say about him”.
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