Alberto Rivera says it is important that Spain’s next batch of youth prospects do not relax as they bid to become stars for both club and country.
The 34-year-old made his Real Madrid debut in 1994 at the age of 17, but to further his career moved to Levante, followed by spells with Betis, Sporting Gijon and Elche.
Following his experience at Los Blancos, Rivera has warned the next generation of players not to get ahead of themselves too quickly and to keep focused on the task ahead.
“If I had to tell the young players something, I would tell them they should not relax because they have managed to get there,” he told AS. “They must keep on working hard to stay in the first team.
“I made my debut for Real Madrid early in my career, and I was also involved in the national team from such a young age, but the pressure I felt was incredible.”
Despite leaving the Santiago Bernabeu without making a significant impact, he pointed to himself and a high-profile former team-mate as examples of success stories away from big clubs.
“In the end I had to leave, but that isn’t the end. Take [Roberto] Soldado for example, he left [Real Madrid] and managed to play with the national team,” Rivera continued.
“Raul and I had our debut at the same time, and he left his mark on me with his temperament and advice. He had a great amount of confidence in himself, and that is what has helped him in his career.”