Rafa BenÝtez: Press Conference prior to the game against Roma


Rafa Benítez gave a press conference in the media room. The Real Madrid coach analysed the game against Roma: "Madrid fans must think about winning lots of matches, titles and helping out the side. The team is feeling very good and against Roma we will be aiming to see some of the things that we have been working on. We hope that it will be a great spectacle".

"Improving defence is one of the aims, and we will see if the small things I have been working on are evident tomorrow against a great side that has a great manager. Rudi García is a great friend of mine. Their last two seasons have been great and they have good players".

Ramos and his professionalism

"Ramos is an excellent professional and it is a pleasure to see how he works on a day to day basis. The president has said that he is going to stay on at the club and if that is the case then I am the happiest man in the world. Seeing how motivated he is, I believe that he is going to be a great pillar for the side. I spoke to him over summer and in Madrid. We haven't talked about that subject again because my concern is that he works well and he does. He is a vital player due to his ability and leadership in the dressing room".

Feeling after the first few days of work

"The team is feeling very good. They are a very professional group who do what you ask them, and with intensity. The group is quite good. Ronaldo, Bale, James, Isco, Benzema…everyone is at a very high level and I like the problem of having to choose".

"We have a great side, but we have to improve the squad with a lot of work, dedication and by giving the players what they need so that when they need to play, they play well. My work is similar to that which I would do with another side, but it has much more significance here. I have been at home and everything is positive".

The importance of Cristiano Ronaldo

"He is one of the best players in the world. We tried to sign him when I was at Valencia and he made the difference at Manchester United. There are a lot of players with a really high performance level, he and Bale, Benzema and James are among the best players in the world".

Casillas' departure

"The first player I called was Casillas. Iker Casillas was the player I talked to most. When I sat down with him I found out about his idea of leaving if a good side came forward. He left and I wish him all the best because he is a legend at Real Madrid. I do not like to see Madrid fans divided or continuing to have a debate that is no longer a debate. Madrid fans must think about winning lots of games, titles and helping the team out".

The goalkeeper situation

"I am not worried about that subject. Navas is clear about his situation. He is ahead of Pacheco and Rubén. If another phenomenal goalkeeper arrives then he will work with them. We have good goalkeepers and if we can improve it will be positive, but it is not something that worries me".

Possible team strengthening

"It is not easy to find players that are better the ones we have. When I sit down with my coaching team and we analyse the options, there are not many players that can be bought. There are a lot of sides with lots of money and getting players from other sides is not so easy now. We aim to improve the side but we have to think about what we have".

"The under-19 side reached the final of the under-19 European Championship with two Madrid players. We have a group of very good young players and as a former academy player I know how important it is to give them that opportunity, but I also know that we have to win titles. If we can find a balance in that regard it would be ideal. We have to try to ensure that the reserve players, who really feel what it is to wear the shirt, make it and get the opportunity".

De Gea

"The priority is to get performances out of an excellent group. It is not easy to find better players than the ones we have. De Gea is a player at another team and I should not talk about him. We have excellent goalkeepers and we must work with them so that they can improve everyday if that is possible".

Odegaard's progression

"He has a lot of quality, ability and resistance. He is a great player, but he is still very young. He is training with us and we will see how he progresses. We have to assess what is best for him but it still early to make that decision. He is making a very good impression".

The playing system

"Pre-seasons are about trying things out and getting to know players. We will gradually try out different systems and player positions. I don't like talking about a system, what makes the difference are the players on the pitch".

The fans in Australia

"The facilities and training pitches are very good, although we were hoping that the pitch would be better and we hope that it will be fixed so that people can see a spectacle. The fans really enjoyed today".