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Federico Valverde: ‘Regret’ at not taking penalty in Man City v Real Madrid Champions League shootout

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Federico Valverde said he felt “regret” as he went to bed after not taking a penalty in Real Madrid’s shootout win over Manchester City in the Uefa Champions League quarter-finals.

Midfielder Valverde is part of the Madrid squad in Germany to face Bayern Munich in the first leg of their semi-final on Tuesday, having gone through in the tightest of fashion following a 4-4 aggregate draw against the reigning English champions.

“I went to sleep that night with the regret of having not made my mark on Real Madrid making the semis with my contribution – and in a penalty shootout, where I’m usually strong,” said the Uruguay international.

“Sometimes you have to leave your pride aside and admit you’re not in a fit state. Fatigue really caught up with me and I told the coaching staff I couldn’t take a penalty.

“I wouldn’t like that to happen again, so I’ll prepare myself mentally so I don’t feel like that next time. But I enjoyed the win and I like it however it comes.”

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Signed from Penarol in 2017, Valverde agreed a contract extension until 2029 in November and has provided eight assists and two goals in 47 appearances this season.

The 25-year-old says manager Carlo Ancelotti has “helped him with everything”. “He’s been a fundamental piece of my development,” Valverde added.

“He’s got his ideas across so clearly. He explained how I could improve as a player and as a person.

“That really helped me – it’s opened my eyes so I don’t close myself off into a single position.

“Sometimes I have to play out wide, that’s where he wants me. I really appreciate him and I value my ability to adapt to playing how the coach wants.”

Bayern Munich v Real Madrid: Valverde ‘excited’

Germany international Toni Kroos has had a huge influence on Valverde, as has playmaker Luka Modric.

“I’ve grown up in the double pivot or double 5 position,” he said. “That’s where I started as a player and took my first steps as a professional.

“I love playing with Kroos because he’s a superstar and an idol to me. I’m excited, proud and happy to get to share these moments with him, especially when the results go with it.

“I try to contribute wherever I can. The coaching staff decided to put me in alongside him and I enjoy it.

“Sometimes I play out on the right, far away from Toni but closer to Luka. I try to make the most of him for as long as he’s at this club. I will always learn from and admire them.”

Ben Miller
Ben Miller
Ben has more than 10 years' experience in sports journalism, covering two EURO tournaments, European club competitions, the Premier League, EFL and WSL and a variety of other major sporting events.

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