Odriozola: I have Zidane's trust and my time at Real Madrid will come



Posted Tuesday, April 07, 2020 by Marca.com

Odriozola: I have Zidane's trust and my time at Real Madrid will come

Alvaro Odriozola left Real Madrid in January to join Bayern Munich on a six-month loan, yet the right-back still believes that Zinedine Zidane has confidence in him.

The 24-year-old has been in strict compliance with the quarantine measures implemented in Germany, whilst also keeping up with the news back in Spain, yet Odriozola returned to training with his Bayern teammates on Monday.

Odriozola explained to MARCA why he left in January, what his relationship with Zidane is like, and where he sees his future, amongst other things.

Question: First of all, how do you deal with this whole health crisis that has the world on edge?

Answer: Dismayed, of course. This is an unprecedented situation that has affected everyone and we can only solve it [by being] together. I am an optimist by nature and a crisis like this brings out the best in people. Therefore, I want to transmit my most sincere applause to health workers, police, military and emergency corps from all over the world, who are the true heroes of this whole story.

What worries you personally about this difficult situation you are experiencing?

I worry about absolutely everything. A virus has arrived and paralysed the whole world. At first nobody knew how to see or prevent what was happening to us, and we've had to learn to adapt to a situation that is very delicate and was unimaginable a few months ago.

And as a footballer?

Football right now is in second, third or fourth place, or further away perhaps. Every day we have to listen to the number of deaths being updated. Many of them have not been able to spend the last days of their lives with their loved ones and have not even been able to say goodbye. It is very sad. We must win the battle against coronavirus.

Apart from the standstill of football around the world, what is the situation at Bayern?

In Germany, society has also become aware of the need for containment measures. We at the club are following precise instructions on how to act at all times with regard to hygiene, when to go out to supermarkets, pharmacies... it is essential that we comply strictly with government and health regulations at this time.

Are you one of those who thinks that football behind closed doors is pointless?

The magic of football is the people, the fans, the atmosphere in the stands at stadiums, and I also understand that the TV companies pay the clubs a lot for broadcasting the leagues. What is clear is that clubs, players, fans, federations and the media would be interested in full stadiums, but always with the security of public health. That comes before everything else.

Have you heard anything from the club about a planned restart of the Bundesliga?

At the moment, we can only adhere to the official information from the Bundesliga, which is suspended until at least April 30. To make any other predictions would be absurd.

Have Real Madrid contacted you about your situation?

Yes, apart from contacting players by message, they have also taken an interest in my club [Bayern]'s employees. And I have to say that during this loan Real Madrid have been constantly looking after me.

Why did you decide to go out on loan during the January transfer window?

I thought it was time to look for a new opportunity. And when the option of a club as legendary as Bayern Munich presented itself, I thought about it calmly and finally made a decision. A footballer has to play and I had no doubts [about joining Bayern].

You came to Bayern in search of minutes and haven't got them. What happened?

Any move needs adaptation time, and moves in January, we all know, are not easy. At Bayern, like at Real Madrid, the competition is tough. Until December the team couldn't find its rhythm and just when I arrived, Bayern won two games by an aggregate score of eight to one against respectable opponents. Since then, the team has won every game, except a draw against [RB] Leipzig, who are second in the Bundesliga. Entering the starting line-up is a challenge. I've only been in Munich for two months and, at the expense of what has happened globally in the face of this health crisis, if the season resumes I'll take it as a challenge.

I imagine that you expected another option than Bayern when your intention was to have the minutes you were denied at Madrid.

I am very calm and I have 100 per cent confidence in myself. There's no time for regrets because football continually gives you more challenges. The last and decisive third of the season is still to come with nine matches in the Bundesliga, Champions League and German Cup. I know what the secret is and it's nothing more than work and perseverance. I insist, as long as the world situation gets back to normal.

At what point did you make the decision to leave Madrid?

The first person I wanted to know was Zidane. I talked a lot with him about the option I had on the table and we talked a lot about what was best at that time. He didn't want me to leave, but he understood perfectly. So, I have to thank him for thinking of me more than himself.

Were you surprised by the lack of confidence Zidane seemed to have in you since the beginning of the season?

I'm one of those people who, when things don't go as well as you'd wish, the first thing I do it look at myself and make a self-criticism, but a real self-criticism. After the injury and the fracture of my clavicle that I suffered in April of last year, and that didn't allow me to run for three months, it was tough to get back to my level, to adapt my physique to what I usually play like. During my career I have never asked for explanations from any coach when I have played and neither when I have not played. With Zidane it was not going to be any different. Even so, in all honesty, and I say this from the heart, I really feel Zidane's trust and I have no doubt that my time will come.

Do you think that your future in Madrid depends on Zidane's continuity and do you think that your return is more difficult with him still in charge?

I can only say good words about Zidane because of how he has always treated me, because he has always told me the truth, because of my admiration for him and because of what he means to Madrid fans. I live for today and I have to think about Bayern until the end of the season. When it's over, I'll have a conversation with the coach to know what he thinks about me, but, I insist, I feel a lot of love and respect from Zidane.

Dani Carvajal is a tough nut to crack and Madrid could bring back Achraf Hakimi from Dortmund. Will it be even harder to find a place in the team?

Honestly, I feel privileged to have the situation I have. And I can't stop appreciating that clubs like Real Madrid and Bayern have bet on me.

I imagine you'd be aware of how hard it is to make a name for yourself in Madrid, but did you expect to have such a hard time finding minutes with only Carvajal as your natural rival?

I have great confidence in my potential and I know what I can give. I have no doubt about myself because the best Odriozola is coming and will come. The good thing about football is that it gives you a chance to prove it every three or four days, so I'm delighted.

Do you have the feeling that the best Odriozola has not been seen in Madrid?

I have had good performances and I know that my only problem has been the lack of continuity. We full-backs depend largely on our physique, and even more so in modern football. Continuity in game time exponentially increases your physique, your pace and above all your confidence, with which you can bring out your best side.

Arriving in a season as difficult as the 2018/19 campaign, I imagine it did not help your adaptation much, to have opportunities...

I've always said that one season at Real Madrid is worth three at any other club. It's an accelerated masters, not only in a football sense but also in life. Of course, that season was very profitable: I played 22 matches (providing nine assists) and was unlucky enough to get injured in a training session in mid-April that didn't allow me to finish the season.

What do you think when you've watched Madrid from a distance? After they got up it seems they fell down again...

Not at all. In LaLiga they've kept all of their options intact and in the Champions League they still have the return at the Etihad Stadium. And we already know how Madrid are in Europe.

You did well in your debut season in the top flight with Real Sociedad, went to the World Cup in Russia and signed for Madrid. All in just one year. Do you think it all came too fast?

My life is like my game: full speed ahead (laughs). I believe that everything in life happens for a reason and if it has happened like this, it will be for a good reason. I have no doubt.

Would you change any of the sporting decisions you've made in recent times?

I'm 24 years old, I managed to fulfil my dream of making my debut with Real Sociedad; I've played at the Santiago Bernabeu with Madrid's shirt; I've been to a World Cup; and I'm currently playing for Bayern Munich. Imagine all that I have [ahead of me]. Honestly, I really appreciate everything that's happening to me.



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