• Live Real Madrid v Villarreal (21:00 p.m.)
  • Matchday 17 Classification in the First Division
  • Europa League: VAR saves Villarreal's lead in the eleventh minute of added time

Alfonso Pedraza (San Sebastián de los Ballesteros, Córdoba, 1996) had to go through four loan spells (Lugo, Leeds United, Deportivo Alavés and Real Betis) and reconvert from winger to full-back before settling on the left wing of Marcelino's Villarreal, who visit the Bernabéu today.

They have three coaches this season. What's wrong? It wasn't the start we expected, we struggled to find what was going well for the team and in the end it required a change of coach. We know it's a very uncomfortable situation because we're the ones who play, we have to give the level and in a way we haven't found it. Now with Marcelino we're having stability, we're being more of a team. We have to keep improving a lot of things, but we are finding a way to change this dynamic and let the victories come. Marcelino was the one who gave him his debut in the First Division.I'm very grateful to him and I'm happy to have him back because I think he's a great coach, who brings out the best in everyone and that's what the player wants, to grow, to have ambition. What key have you touched to improve the team? The first thing is to run more, be more intense and have a block, a sign of identity. And defend the eleven players. Tactically, he gives a lot of importance to that. And with the ball we know how. There is plenty of quality, but we have to give more priority to defending without the ball and that means that quality will come out at the top. Do you think they will be able to come back to get into Europe? We don't lose hope, there's still a long way to go, the team is getting better every day, it's doing more things well and we can't lose that enthusiasm. Villarreal have found significant stability in Europe.He had to go out on loan several times before settling at Villarreal. What did you take away from those experiences? I always say that in order to have the stability I wanted at Villarreal I had to prove it abroad. Every loan has been a learning experience for me. I was at Alavés, a newly promoted team that was fighting for survival. Also at Betis, which was very different. Also, I went to England very young, another football, a lot of games... Each stage has made me mature. How was the experience in Leeds? Everyone says that English football suits me well, but it was a very short stage. I left at the end of January, very young, at the age of 20, to a club that was fighting for promotion. It was hard, but I knew how to adapt. I didn't have the season of my life, but it helped me grow.


There has been talk of interest from teams in Germany and Italy to sign him. It hasn't come to fruition at all. I'm very comfortable here and if something doesn't come along that's good for the club and for me we don't listen to anything. I've been here since I was 16, I know everybody. I don't have stability here anywhere. In addition, the family is close and that is also rewarded. You feel very attached to your people and your land, right? To be in my village is to have all the tranquility in the world. It's a town of 800 inhabitants [San Sebastián de los Ballesteros, in Cordoba] where we all know each other, I'm just one of them. To disconnect from football I value it a lot and when I have a few days off I always try to go to my village. I have an olive farm and in my free time I take the opportunity to be in the countryside, take the tractor a little and be surrounded by nature. The countryside for me is life. I am studying an intermediate degree of Vocational Training in Agronomy, I started this year and my idea is to get the intermediate and the superior. Also to distract myself a little in the afternoons and to train in agriculture, which is what I like and what I would like to dedicate myself to in the future. You will be happy with the price of the oil. Now the farmer is happy because prices are skyrocketing, but it's because of the drought. Oil is eight or nine euros a litre, but we also look to the sky because in Andalusia we suffer a lot from the lack of water. The team that has also suffered lately with Villarreal is Real Madrid. Last season they won both games in the league.It went well for us, but we have to think that this year is different. We know it's going to be very difficult because very few teams win at the Bernabéu. To get the three points you have to play a perfect game, especially defensively. What do you think of Bellingham? I don't know how many millions they paid for it, a lot. Those players who are paid so much are asked to perform from day one. There's no time to adapt because Real Madrid is a very big club and they demand the highest level from you from day one. He has adapted very well and is giving great results. Who can't be stopped is Girona. How far can you go? When he has been playing at a very high level for almost half a season, it is no longer surprising. He's doing things very well. They have a very good group, tactically they know what they are playing, with players with a lot of personality. They have a lot of merit.

  • football
  • Villarreal CF
  • Real Madrid
  • Girona FC
  • Deportivo Alavés
  • Real Betis Balompié