Shortly after arriving at the Celtic of Vigo, Thiago Galhardo will have the chance to face the mighty Real Madrid at the start of the reopening of the Santiago Bernabéu, after more than 500 days of work. The stadium, which has not yet finished being renovated, will be able to receive up to 30,000 fans.
Real Madrid x Celtic, in Laliga, will be broadcast live and exclusive to Star+ subscribers, this Sunday (12), at 4 pm (Brasilia time). To watch, just click here. Not a subscriber yet? Learn more about Star+ here.
The 32-year-old striker who shone in 2020 with the International, confessed to ESPN who can’t wait to be on the field in one of the best championships in the world.
“Regardless of starting playing or not, it will be a dream to be able to be related and be there. There are Brazilians there who have already made history, like Marcelo and Casemiro. There are Militão, Vinicius Jr. and Rodrygo who arrived less time ago and are great players, selection and everything else. Apart from the other stars. Look at Benzema, Modric and Kroos, who I’m a fan of his football. And it’s the reopening of the Santiago Bernabéu. I’ll consider it my debut. my career,” stated Galhardo.
The striker made his debut for Celta in the last round of Espanyol against Athletic Bilbao, when he entered at the end of the second half. Since then, he started training hard to be in the ideal physical condition for Sunday.
“The only thing I hope is to be prepared to play. My manager is here and my brother came to watch. My dream and that of my family. My children still don’t understand, but in a little while they will understand better and will be proud of their father. And I’m proud of the career I’ve been following, especially after I’m 30. Breaking the paradigms of football. I hope I can continue like this until 2025 to have a nice retirement. And that I can tell this story in books and lectures I intend to give “he stated.
Galhardo’s story is unconventional. After comings and goings in football, he exchanged a salary of R$ 4,500 a month at Petrobras for the chance to be a player at Bangu for a negligible amount. He played for many small teams – and even in Serie D at the Brazilian Nationals – before becoming a standout at Internacional and being called to the Brazilian national team in 2020.
“I’m very happy to serve as an inspiration for people. The fan doesn’t act with reason, but with emotion. So, if you score, you’re the best. If you don’t, it’s the worst. One day they love you. another one hates you. The child has a pure heart and is genuine. When parents say that their child is a fan and they like it because you study, it has a cool story, that’s cool. So, I confess that this dream was no longer there in me, but Father in Heaven makes things wonderfully perfect.”
At Celta, Galhardo is led by Eduardo Coudet, coach with whom he lived his best moment in his career at Internacional. He played as a midfielder until Paolo Guerrero was injured, when he was transformed into a center forward and stood out.
“It was his misfortune that I found myself. Coudet knows I have an understanding of the tactical scheme. I like to analyze the games. I have to meet my teammates, understand where the full-back likes to cross the ball, where Iago needs to a guy who is more of a reference because he likes to leave the area. They are players of unparalleled quality. It’s a dream to be here and I want to learn,” he said.
To speed up his adaptation to Europe, the striker will take Spanish lessons. So, he hopes to stay in Spain until he hangs up his boots.
“With all due respect, LaLiga is the biggest in the world. Although the Premier League is considered the biggest, LaLiga in recent years had the winner of the Golden Ball. So it’s a dream. I dreamed as a child, but after growing older, Coritiba I couldn’t imagine it. So much so that I had the opportunity to get an Italian passport and I didn’t bother. Now, being here, I already have all the paperwork to get a European passport.”
“Now I intend to stay here until the last day of my career. I will do everything to renew with Celta and end my career here in Europe. Preferably here at Celta, which opened its doors. And with Chacho (Coudet), who he understands perfectly and I understand him. I can’t wait for Sunday to arrive,” he projected.
Now, Galhardo intends to help Celta return to the big European tournaments next season.
“Knowing Coudet, talking about the title today being realistic is surreal. If you fix five or six straight victories, it’s possible to fight up front. But everyone’s goal here is to return to a European competition. Chacho told me he missed a point. We want a better campaign than last season. If that goes well, we’ll go back to some Uefa competition. That’s my wish too,” he concluded.