Here is an interview with Guti to kick this post off:
José María Gutiérrez ‘Guti’ knows that the most important thing to do in order to stay at the top of one’s game is to be excited and to be motivated about winning titles.
Does Real Madrid need Cristiano Ronaldo?
Real Madrid needs good players and I think we currently have a great squad. I think Cristiano is the best player that could join any team nowadays. We would naturally be delighted if he came here.
Are you tired about all the speculation that’s been surrounding his possible signing this summer?
Signings like this are always complicated. If think it’s natural for the press to talk about great players like him.
Does the squad talk about it?
No, we are pretty relaxed about the whole matter. We have a great group of players, similar to the one we had last year but with the additiion of young players who were loaned out to other teams last season. We are waiting to see if more men join us, but we are strong to face the upcoming campaign if none arrive.
A newspaper in Barcelona says Schuster may be interested in Samuel Eto’o… What do you think about the possibility of sharing a dressing room with him again?
I did so once and the truth he is one of the great players around. We are very good friends. He is a great person and a fantastic player. I think he could do much for Real Madrid. He will work well wherever he is. He is a great footballer and Real Madrid should always sign great players.
How do you think the fans would feel about it?
Our fans are understanding and I think we will all be happy if he joins and scores goals for us. This is all speculation nevertheless.
Do you think you have greater chances of playing for Spain now that Vicente del Bosque is the national coach?
I had zero chances before, so I guess there is a smaller chance now. It’s hard anyway because the team just won the Euro 2008 and has a young squad that I think he will continue to have faith in.
He was very open when he was asked about your chances of making the cut…
Vicente trained Real Madrid and knows the Club’s youth system very well. Any Spanish player, including myself, who does a good job has a chance. Judging from how well I know him, I believe I have a chance.
Do you think the departure of players like Ronaldinho and Eto’o will weaken the league?
I don’t think so. New good players show up when others leave. Barcelona are making good signings. The Spanish league has always seen great players being replaced by other greats. I’m sure the competitiuon will continue to be rather good and competitive.
Do you think the Premiership and the Italian league are stronger?
I think the Premiership is probably one of the strongest competitions around. Practically all of the Champions League semifinal spots of the last few years have been taken by English teams. We have to try to change this.
What are your personal goals for your 14th season at Real Madrid?
I want to enjoy much playing time, help the team and win titles. I think the greatest challenge for a Real Madrid player is to win titles.
How is Robinho feeling?
Has he told you guys what he intends to do?I think he is very happy. He wakes up every morning at 8, turns on his music and dances… I don’t think there’s anything wrong with him. He hasn’t told us anything, but it looks like he wants to stay here.
This is one of the few summers in which the Club isn’t looking to build a new team… Is that strange for you?
I must be very old for this… it is quite strange (laughs).
Is winning the Champions League the team’s greatest goal this year?
The greatest goal is to reach as far as possible in the competition. Winning our tenth European Cup will be hard, but we will all give it a try. We want to at least be one of the three best teams in Europe this season. We will have chances to win the title if we achieve that.
Do you think this team, without any new signings, may win the Champions League?
I think we’ll have chances as long as we don’t sustain many injuries. We were badly hurt when more was at stake for us last year; many of our most important men were injured. I think we will need some new signings because we are a very aggressive team, but we are very happy with what we have. It would nevertheless be nice to receive some reinforcements to give us greater chances to win both La Liga and the Champions League.
Which position do you think needs strengthening?
There are many alternatives, but I think this Club requires the team to have great players in attack. I think the team is more solid in other aspects of the game.
Raúl believes Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival wouldn’t break the good vibes on the team. What do you think?
I think the same. I’ve talked to people who know Cristiano and they’ve all said he is a great person and an excellent team worker. I think everyone works hard to win as many titles as possible.
Is he enough to win a Champions League?
No, but he is a very unsettling player capable of winning a match practically on his own. Decisive players are those who have more chances of winning titles.
You’ve been on the team for 14 years. How do you motivate yourself at the start of every season?
Wearing this shirt is enough to motivate me. The challenge is to keep it up, especially on such an important team. I hope to play much and to be important for the team this year.
Can you imagine an entire season going by without the Bernabéu crowd getting angry at you?
That’s impossible! No, I’m just kidding… Things have changed these past few years and I am very happy with the fans.
Can you imagine an entire season going by without you having to prove you can be a starter on this team?
I imagine myself playing several minutes, knowing that we have a large squad and that we all must enjoy some playing time.
Some insight into the first team is always nice, as Raul, Guti and Salgado have all said that the team unity will not be broken by the addition of one player, that they like Ronaldo but are not desperate for him and that Robinho seems happy and wants to stay. Players have a tendency to adopt the same approach as their coaches do when dealing with the media, so when Bernd Schuster uses mixed words and euphamisms, they will to. But when Bernd is blunt and frank, they will follow suit. Here, we have some pretty honest answers, no disecting needed, and Im happy with what Guti had to say.
The particular highlight is the discussion of Etoo. We all know he used to play for us, we also know he now plays for the “more than a club” crowd now. And I hope no one forgot what he said after Barca won its first title in some years in 05. Guti says they are friends, and he may be hoping Real picks his up from the clutches of Uzbekistan or wherever. But I say this, FUCK YOU ETOO. No way in hell will the asshole come to this club. Its bad enough we have Saviola sitting in the stands all season long, now we take back a player we sold to the Nemesis. Dont think so. He isnt Luis Figo, he isnt Bernd Schuster, and obviously he isnt Di Stefano. They were in their prime, on the cusp of greatness, ready to lead Real to important titles, which they did.
Etoo has been inured, off-from and severly lacking in a proper attitude for some time now, so thanks but no thanks. Id rather take Cristiano Ronaldo