The Brazilian footballer commented on the welcome the team received in Dortmund and other aspects surrounding Borussia's centenary upon his arrival in Germany.
In Dortmund we are proud of our stadium. ¿Does it bring back any memories for you?
I have very good memories of this stadium, where we defeated Ghana 3-0 during the 2006 World Cup.
What do you know about Borussia Dortmund’s Brazilian players?
I know them both. Dede won’t play tomorrow but I’m sure he will be useful for Borussia and he also has the support of the fans. I know Tinga from the national team and he has helped us in many games.
What will Real Madrid give us as a birthday present?
This friendly game celebrating the centenary will be a festive occasion for fans. We will honour their history, but we are still in preseason. La Liga starts soon and we are still preparing for it. It’s an important match and we’ll try to do our best.
Borussia have already played two league games. Is it a good chance to show the current level of Real Madrid?
Yes, it’s an important game because, unlike us, Borussia have already started their league, so they must be in better shape. We are still building up the team and it’s important that we have the chance of playing together because it will be a long season, with many games to be played both in La Liga and the Champions League.
What’s your opinion on Manuel Pellegrini and Lucas Barrio?
I know Lucas quite well. He is a solid striker and will be an important signing for Borussia. About the coach, he has clear ideas about the team. The most important thing for a Real Madrid coach is knowing how to deal with so many talented players, and I think he is doing it very well.
How were your first days with Cristiano Ronaldo? Are you blending well with him?
The first days were fantastic because we didn’t even have a linguistic problem and we had met before. We are gradually understanding each other better both on and off the pitch. We have our own personality and interests, but we have the common goal of leading Real Madrid to victory. This applies not only to Cristiano Ronaldo but to every team-mate. I’m getting along very well with them.
Some people are concerned that Real Madrid haven’t played as well as they expected.
I would be concerned if by the end of the season we don't play as we want to, but now building up a team is all that counts. We are starting to enjoy ourselves on the pitch and we must keep on adapting. A few days from now the league tournament will show our level. We want to win every game, but now we must focus on knowing each other better and grasping what the coach demands from us. I hope those concerns disappear soon.
Did you expect such a warm welcome at the airport?
It’s incredible. Wherever we go we receive the warmth of fans. In Toronto, Washington, at the airport or at the hotel, we feel the importance of this club. Each trip with Real Madrid is special.
After the financial effort Real Madrid have done, are you the team to beat in Europe?
Currently that honour belongs to Barcelona. They are the reigning champions. We are motivated but there are other contenders from the Italian and English leagues, and also some underdogs could appear during the group phase.