Roberto Soldado wants revenge for Valencia against Real Madrid
Roberto Soldado has revenge in mind as Valencia prepare for Real Madrid’s visit to the Mestalla on Saturday. The striker will be looking to erase the memory of Valencia’s 6-3 defeat in the corresponding fixture last season.
Real Madrid were already 4-0 ahead at half-time, a scoreline that had become 5-0 when Soldado scored for Valencia on the hour mark in the match last April. Los blancos eased up a little after Kaka had added a sixth, late strikes by Jonas Goncalves and Jordi Alba giving the result a veneer of respectability for Valencia.
The wounds have not yet healed almost seven months on: “The damage done by that result still hurts and has not been forgotten,” Soldado said, convinced that the result and the team’s performance left an indelible mark on the squad: “I want revenge for what happened on the pitch that day. It is an image that we all want to change.”
With a quarter of the season gone, Valencia are currently third in La Liga, just a point behind Barcelona and four adrift of leaders Madrid. Soldado, who began his career at the Bernabeu, believes Saturday’s match presents an ideal opportunity for Valencia to settle old scores and at the same time cement their place among the leaders.
“We are there and we need to lengthen the distance between us and the others as far as possible. We want to be with Madrid and Barcelona until the end of the season, and we want to win on Saturday because psychologically it would be great to win against such a strong team as Real Madrid,” he said. “We learned a lesson last season and will go into the game on Saturday with all the confidence in the world and knowing we can win.”
Soldado, who has netted six times already this season, vowed that there would be no repetition of last season’s “abysmal” result at the Mestalla: “It cannot happen again. We want to reverse that result. After what happened last time, we have a very clear idea of how to deal with this game,” he said.
A native of Valencia, the 26-year-old striker signed for his home town club in June 2010, replacing the Barcelona-bound David Villa. Soldado urged Valencia’s supporters to get behind their team: “Every game is important, and the fans can play their part, even more so against a team like Real Madrid. We have not forgotten the damage they did to us and with the support of the fans the team is much stronger, as we showed (in the Champions League) against Leverkusen.”
Meanwhile, Valencia Coach Unai Emery’s preparations for the game against Madrid have been seriously disrupted, with a number of players away on international duty. In addition to Jordi Alba, who played in Spain’s defeat at Wembley last Saturday, Emery is also without Adil Rami and Jeremy Mathieu (France), Mehmet Topal (Turkey), Jonas and Diego Alves (Brazil) and Sofiane Feghouli (Algeria).
To make matters worse, goalkeeper Vicente Guaita has a swollen wrist and has been restricted to light training. Emery has drafted in two youth team keepers as cover.
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