© foto di Hernandez/Alterphotos/Image Sp
Raúl Albiol isn't hiding the happiness which he has been overcome by after his contract with Real Madrid was extended until 2017. The only thing on the mind of the Real Madrid defender, who kicked off the season by playing against Los Angeles Galaxy, is to reciprocate, on the pitch, the trust shown by the club, Mourinho and the fans: "I'm really excited and want to stay on at Real Madrid. The club and its coaching staff trust in me and now I have to show them they are not wrong. I am very happy and I hope to be here until I retire."
Congratulations on getting your contract extended until 2017. I guess you must be very happy...
I am very happy because this means that the club and its coaching staff trust in me being here. I really feel at home at Real Madrid and I'm very happy. Now I have to show that they are not wrong and that I can be a good player for the team.
Also, this trust comes a month after another reason for celebration: your second European Football Championship.
We're seeing, with Spain, some wonderful years which will be remembered forever. I'm lucky enough to be living though them from the inside and the team is fantastic and has proven that during the last championships. Let's hope it carries on like that for many years to come. Although we know it's difficult, the team will never be short of ambition.
Having your contract extended brings you closer to your goal of being at Real Madrid until you retire.
In the world of football you never know because anything can happen during each season. I'm really excited and want to stay on at the club. I'm very happy here and hope to be here until I retire.
How has Albiol grown as a footballer since having Mourinho as coach?
The coach is very demanding and gets the best performance out of each player. He makes you concentrate and be involved. He's a winner. You have to be there and really make an effort.
What's the key to his success?
I guess he has a lot because he's been successful for many years now, winning lots of trophies and training the best teams in the world. He understands a lot about football, devotes a lot of time to it, and is on top of everything. He knows how to get the best from the players. That's his skill.
Albiol, Pepe, Ramos, Arbeloa, Varane, Marcelo, Carvalho, Coentrão… Many players make Real Madrid's defence the best in the world. Do you agree?
We have great defenders and a great team.
Last season you won the best Liga in history and you set the mark really high. What goals have you set yourselves for this season?
To win all the trophies we can, although, depending on how the season goes, we'll see if we're capable of achieving this or not. We shouldn't just concentrate on one. We'll play all four and we'll go after them all.
Pepe said in the press room that the team's camaraderie was crucial to winning la Liga. Does the team really get on that well?
There's a great atmosphere, despite many things that were said last year. Also, we have great footballers and the year before we showed that we can go further and keep on growing. We have to keep on showing this during the coach's third year to achieve our goals and improve on last season.
The first opportunity to show this the Supercopa de España against Barcelona...
It's a trophy that's not far away. We're training to get in shape and get to the official matches in the best possible way. Last year we didn't get it, so let's hope this season is different and that we win it.
Lastly, what message would you like to send to Real Madrid fans?
Together we'll try to fight for all the trophies. We particularly want to win the European Cup. On a personal level I'll try to improve, shine when I have the opportunity to do so and help the team as much as I can. We must come together because that's the most important thing.