Albiol: “No wonder Cavani at his age is still in that state of form”
The Valencian central defender lives a great week with a key game against Madrid and the Europa League final against United
Raul Albiol It’s one of the Villarreal squad veterans, one of the players with the most matches in high-level UEFA competitions behind him. Protagonist in the semifinal against Arsenal with a goal at La Cerámica, the Villamarxant, believes that we must face the Europa League final against Manchester United as one more game, as the team has shown throughout the season. Now, in the absence of two clashes (Madrid and United) to end the season, he believes it is time to enjoy and compete. “It was our goal at the beginning of the season. To reach the last week with options to enter Europe and also with the option of playing a final. We are very excited, they are two beautiful games and two historical rivals,” he explained this Tuesday in the Media day marked by the UEFA one week from the final. The Valencian player will have a difficult commitment in the final by having in front of one of the most fit forwards of the moment as he is Edinson cavani, who at 34 years old, has 16 goals this season.
Has won 11 finals
The finals is something very personal. each one lives it in their own way, with their own character. You have to enjoy it and live it. It’s one more game, very nice. In the ninety minutes you forget everything, to be focused to win the game. The previous hours are worse, the wait.
Pressure of having so much at stake
Absolute normality. You have to give the week naturalness, with your head one hundred percent focused on each of the games. You have to focus on the mental and emotional issue and be strong during the match because it can go one way or another. You have to take the good feelings of the season. They are two great games against two great games and it will be good for us to see how we finish the season.
Manchester betting favorite
I don’t look at the fees. Someone will have to be favorite, I imagine. By history, by economic issue by players, it is a giant of world football. We know what our strength is. It is normal that the favorite is Manchester United.
I don’t look at the odds, United favorite? Someone will have to put “
Importance Emery in the change of mentality
His figure has been very important in this path of the Europa League. He is a winning person in this competition and his experience in these matches will help Villarreal on their way, especially in the previous days. Then the players must demonstrate the work plan on the field. The road has been beautiful and we will have to give our best that day to play as a team, to be calm. When you play soccer you dream of playing against these teams and in scenarios like this one in a final.
I played several Naples – PSG matches and I know him because he is well loved in Naples. We know what a great player and scorer he is. And it doesn’t surprise me that at his age he is still in the state of form in which he is. I was very surprised that after the end of the contract I was without a team for so long. Uruguayans live football in their soul, they will be very happy, I think they have renewed. You have to be prepared because if it is not Cavani it will be another forward because that is what happens in the finals.
Tips for the finals
Everyone has experienced something in football. It is something very personal, living it yourself, forgetting about the outside and thinking about playing what is going to be experienced on the field. We know that we can only win as a team and we have to prepare it that way. We are all prepared.
We know the punch that United has, we must be strong defensively
We have not been able to study the rival either. And we know the punch it has. IT IS a team that scores many goals, you have to be very strong defensively so as not to suffer. They are players who, if they have their day, can do you a lot of damage as we saw in the tie against Real Sociedad. We will study its strengths and weaknesses. And I hope it will be a closer final than normal than a more open match that could be more difficult for us.
How has Villarreal grown?
Has grown in mindset. From having a bad year, from fighting for relegation to entering Europe, we have grown in game, personality and mentality. Both at home and abroad we have tried to be protagonists. In difficult moments that we have had in the season we have managed to get out. And we have lived through it all. From comebacks, to losing games in five minutes and all that has made us grow and improve. We have had a very good Europa League, with qualifying rounds in which we have not conceded any away goals.
The selection list? No more things enter my head, Madrid, the final …
No more things enter my head. Cavani, Real Madrid … I can only be thinking about the two remaining games that are the most important for my team and for me. When all this is finished the list will come out and I can’t think about that. The last year I have not been and I can only focus on what depends on me. If I play, finish at the highest level.