“Sometimes we don’t value what we are doing enough”

Zaldua ante Dembélé


There are five games left for the season to end and Real Sociedad do not want to throw in the towel in the complicated fight for the Champions League, despite being six points behind fourth-placed. The realistic dressing room is ambitious, as the right-back admits to Diario AS, Joseba Zalduaone of the captains of the first squad.

Photo of Zaldua

Shield/Flag R. Society

-They are five games away from achieving something that only the two-time league champion team did at Real in the 1980s…

Yes, we are very close to achieving the third year in a row at home. It’s complicated but we have a lot of illusions and a lot of desire to achieve it.

-Doesn’t it give you the feeling that you don’t really value this achievement that you can achieve?

What I am telling you is that it is very complicated. With the rivals and budgets with which we fight, it has tremendous merit. It’s spectacular and sometimes we don’t realize how difficult it is and we don’t give the value it has to what we’re doing. We don’t value it enough. Entering for the third year in a row in Europe would be milk.

Do you count what’s left?

It’s not the time for that. We have to go game by game knowing that we have five very difficult days left. Because in First Division any team can hurt you. You have to go day by day to be as high as possible at the end.

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-Did it make you angry to let the opportunity to be closer to the Champions League slip away because of the damned lack of goals against Betis and Barça?

Yes, quite angry. Because they are two games in which we were superior but in football it is about scoring goals. It makes you angry because you do things very well and not getting the victory prize is a bit frustrating. But it is the line that we have to follow in the last games, we have to play the same, and that is how the goals will come that allow us to get back into Europe.

-But I want to think that they still haven’t said the last word in the fight for Europe. And you?

Until the math gives, anything can happen in this soccer game. There are many direct confrontations left, and most things in the league will not be decided until the last day. We hope to be close to being as high as possible.

-Although the feeling is that they reach the final stretch of the season very well…

Well yes. The sensations are very good. In the last two games we have played a very nice game creating chances and being superior to the rival. We deserved the victory, but this is football and doing it well is not enough. We are in a good dynamic of play, and if we are a little more successful in front of goal we will achieve the results we want.

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-Are you worried about the lack of goals that you accuse throughout the season?

Well, that has to be dealt with naturally. And support the strikers, who are the first to want to score goals. Sometimes with little you score many goals, and other times it costs more. But the goal is something for everyone, and the most important thing is that we are creating many chances, and what we need is to score the goal, which is what feeds you. Because if we were a little more successful, we would have a few more points. The only thing we can do is keep working to try to be more successful in front of goal.

-The lack of goal contrasts with his enormous step forward in defense…

Yes, the numbers are there. It is noticeable that we are gaining more experience together and in the First Division. And the experience that the youngsters are gaining more the union of the block helps a lot to defend better. That is the result of being able to conceive few goals.

-The first of the matches to finish is in Vallecas. And the Lightning is already saved, but I imagine he doesn’t expect any gifts, does he?

Nothing nothing. Surely they go to death. The matches there are always complicated, because Rayo always competes very well. But we must focus on ourselves because if we are close to our best version, and thus we are capable of beating anyone.

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-In front of you, on the right wing, plays Adnan Januzaj, who has not renewed. Do they tell you something to keep you going?

Let’s see, we all like to have players like him in the squad who give different things because they are special. Luckily we can enjoy it and it would be an honor for us to continue. We are going to do everything possible so that he stays but it is not up to us. Januzaj is very happy here and he feels at home. He is very happy with the fans, with the city, with the team… We are going to encourage him to stay, but we have to respect the decision he makes. For our part, that effort will not be lacking so that he stays here for more years.

-And how is your renewal? Because it ends in 2023…

We haven’t started talking yet. But I’m pretty cool about it. For my part there will be no problem, because my dream is to retire here at Real. And even if everything isn’t in my hands, I’m going to give everything possible to continue here for many years, and I hope the club has that idea in mind. We haven’t started talking yet, but there is time.

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