By Óscar Maya Belchí
Sports Desk, Jul 7 (EFE).- Marco Asensio wants to put the serious knee injury, which he suffered in 2019, behind him and the Real Madrid player is now fully focused on representing Spain at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
In an interview with Efe, the 25-year-old, who is currently training with the Spanish Olympic team in Benidorm, touched on his thoughts on Tokyo 2020, his relationship with Zinedine Zidane and the legacy that Sergio Ramos left behind at Real Madrid.
Question: Are you one of those people who will watch any sport going on at the Olympic Games?
Answer: Yes. I’ve always loved watching all sports, I get hooked watching anything.
Q: How did you find out about being called up to Luis de la Fuente’s Olympic squad?
A: I was quite eagerly awaiting the list. It dawned on me in Madrid, when I was training to see if I’d make the team. I was called up and I’m super happy. I’m really excited. It is something that you only get to do once in your life and I’m really looking forward to rejoining the team for a competition, and one like the Olympic Games, which is really special.
Q: Are Spain the favorites?
A: We know that we have a great team. We have to all prepare 100% because it won’t be easy at all. Any team could trip us up.
I’m sure that, if we play at our best level, we can achieve something beautiful, something great.
Q: This all comes after a difficult season for you, going in and out of first team selections. How do you deal with that mentally?
A: It’s been a… different season. It was the first since my injury. There were bad moments, with pain, complicated situations that I won’t dwell on.
Around four or five months ago I started to feel very good, without any pains. The surgery has been totally forgotten about, there’s no longer any need to talk about the injury. Physically, I’m 100% and mentally prepared for anything.
R: Sí. Cuando ocurrió lo único que tenía en mente era no solo ser el de antes, era mejorar. He mejorado en muchos aspectos, sobre todo mentales. Ha habido algunos dolores que he tenido que superar, que son normales después de la lesión; pero eso ya está olvidado y totalmente recuperado. Ya no hay que hablar de eso, solo centrarse en rendir al 100% en el campo porque ahora estoy preparado para ello.
Q: Moving on to Real Madrid, have you spoken with Carlo Ancelotti?
A: Yeah, we had a chat before I came here for the Olympic Games. It was short, but very good. He gave me a good impression. What can I say about him? He’s a very experienced manager, who has been with huge clubs, and I’m sure this season is going to be great.
Q: Recalling the day you came back from the injury, 384 days ago, that photo of you with Zidane, smiling on the touchline… What does it mean for you to have been coached by Zidane?
A: A lot. As a player he was one of my idols, and to have him as a coach and listen to his advice was something very special. Aside from that, we are also quite similar personality-wise. We sometimes understand each other without saying a word, just by looking at me he could tell if I was angry, happy… or he knew what I wanted.
Q: Another figure who has left is Sergio Ramos, how was the departure of the captain for you?
A: Sergio has left behind an incredible legacy. He leaves as a Real Madrid legend. He has been hugely important as a captain and as a player.