8 Aug 2012 10:05 AM EST
-by Alex Mangini, Staff Writer; Image: Esteban Granero (Image Source: Total Football Madness)
Real Madrid midfielder Esteban Granero has come forth to explain that the defending La Liga champions club is in full support of manager Jose Mourinho, adding that he and his teammates would stand by their coach “to the death.”
Granero also discussed the thrill of dethroning their powerful rivals from Barcelona, expressing his belief that Real is still not given the proper credit when looked at alongside the Catalans.
“We are accustomed to being No. 1, it is the place that suits us, both the fans and the players,” Granero said told Spanish culture magazine Jot Down. “We will fight to keep our place, after regaining it last season. Everyone talks about the best team in history, but another team beat them by nine points. We were the best team in the league. We won in their stadium. Madrid does not just accept whatever happens, the club rebels and returns to where it belongs.”
Granero praised his coach for being the one to help push the squad over the edge and regain the La Liga trophy, while also expressing disappointment for the perceived media image of captain Cristiano Ronaldo as arrogant.
“Mourinho has got us all with him to the death,” Granero said of the Portugal international, who had previously headed up both Inter Milan and Chelsea. “One of his virtues is he achieves that through honesty. That is the difference. He is a coach who has won everything, who wants to keep winning, his ambition is contagious. He makes you be at 100 percent always, every day of the year. And ambitious players appreciate that.”
“The regrettable image outsiders have of Ronaldo does not fit with the reality,” Granero said. “Humility is not just about lowering your head. You can show humility when you know you are good, but you always want to give more in every training session and every game. When people say Cristiano is not humble, I laugh. He is one of the most humble guys I know.”
“For me success is Real Madrid," the 25-year-old said. “In what team could I develop more? How far would I have to drop down to think I had reached my limit? I would not know how to set myself a ceiling which was not the highest. Of course I want opportunities, but at Real Madrid, which is the best place. Having that possibility, it would be crazy to decide to leave.”
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