Excluded. Raul Albiol, captain of Villarreal: “Like a video game” | Champions League

Villarreal captain Raul Albiol brings a wealth of experience to the team from his time at Valencia, Real Madrid and Napoli, but the 36-year-old is such a rookie that his club has a chance of qualifying for the Champions League final.

Albiol won the UEFA Europa League with coach Unai Emery’s side last season, and is hoping that Villarreal can surpass themselves again in the semi-finals, after eliminating Juventus and Bayern in the previous rounds.

Next opponent: Liverpool. But after winning two European Championships and a FIFA World Cup with Spain, Albiol is also a strong opponent. Ahead of the semi-final first leg at Anfield on April 27, UEFA.com told Villarreal’s career about the resolve spearheaded by the Spanish side.

Raul Albiol in your imagination?

Who is Raul Albiol?

Date of Birth : September 4, 1985 in Villamarxant (Spain)
Cuts : 1.90 m
UEFA Club Competition Matches/Objectives: 117/4
UEFA Champions League matches/goals: 77/2
Caps/Targets: 58/0

Raul Albiol on the Liverpool match

Obviously, the more you progress, the more complicated it becomes. It is somewhat similar to video games. There are levels to unlock. In the end, the goal is to finish the match, we agree. Liverpool will be tough and very difficult. They are back to the level they were in when they won the Champions League and the Premier League. I think they’re at it again. It’s true that they fell back a bit last season, but they’re back this year.

To read: Villarreal, why the yellow submarine

It will be very difficult, but can we really imagine anything else for the Champions League semi-finals? If you are afraid? of course not. In football, you can be nervous, but not because you are afraid. It’s the adrenaline, it’s the impatience to get on the field and play. It’s great to be playing the semi-finals of the Champions at Anfield. I think this experience in this stadium is going to be great.

Raul Albiol on Bayern Munich

We are very happy with the work the whole team did in the two matches (against Bayern in the quarter-finals) and we struggled together. The thing that can make you happier is seeing your teammates working and suffering with you and a night like this in Munich is so special.

In two minutes, Bayern 1-1 Villarreal

In two minutes, Bayern 1-1 Villarreal

In the dressing room (Etienne) Capoy was dancing; Everyone was celebrating. To see your teammates happy, to see that they believe in Bayern Munich’s possibility, says a lot about the team and their desire. Now we are facing a big opponent, but we are trying to move forward and dream about this final.

Raul Albiol on the European Champions League

The Europa League helped us a lot in terms of the Champions League experience. It’s not the same level, but last year we created something collectively at European level and learned to manage difficult knockout rounds. And I think now that by eliminating Juventus and Bayern, we showed that the team has character, knows how to suffer; We’ve been through hard times.

Samu Chukwueze talks about Raul Baba Albiol

He is a wonderful man. There is a word he uses: “frate”. I don’t really understand what that word means, but when you say: “Frate, ¿cómo estás? (How are you, brother?), I say, ‘Ah, good, good. It’s funny. I call him Papa because he’s like a teacher to me. I listen to it, you know. »

Raul Albiol on Villarreal’s successes

It shows that with effort, discipline and team spirit, great things can be achieved – and that money and great players aren’t the only way to win titles. In the end, we are a group of good players, we want to develop and improve, we work hard and spend many hours preparing for each match with the coaching staff.

It would be a dream to play in the Champions League final with Villarreal, a very humble and hardworking team that struggled to survive in the First Division. (Guaranteed) a lot of effort on the part of the Roig family, the owners of the club. They have had some very happy times and some very difficult times. For a team in a city of 50,000 people to reach the Champions League final would be historic. So it will be an event that will be remembered not only by Villarreal fans, but also by many football fans.

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