Real Madrid goalkeeper Andriy Lunin has admitted that the role he wishes to undertake at the Bernabeu is the hardest in world football for a player in his position.
The Ukraine international aspires to become the first-choice No.1 with Los Blancos and to that end is currently out on loan with Segunda Division outfit Oviedo in a bid to gain experience and improve himself as a player.
His target, however, is to challenge Thibaut Courtois for regular game time in the Spanish capital but he appreciates it can be a thankless task, with legendary figures such as Iker Casillas having been jeered when taking up that position in years gone by.
Asked by AS if playing in goal for Real Madrid is the toughest challenge for a goalkeeper, he replied: “Yes.
“There always was and there always will be critics. It’s normal and some people think it’s their responsibility. I have the coach, the coaching staff and my team-mates to help me. I manage criticism well.”
Meanwhile, he has revealed that Andriy Shevchenko, the former Milan and Chelsea striker who won the Ballon d’Or in 2004, has aided him a great deal.
“Shevchenko helped me and continues to help me a lot with the confidence he has in me because when I was not playing at Valladolid he kept calling me for the Ukraine team and in all the friendlies he counted on me,” the 21-year-old said of his national team boss.
“Not playing for a year is a disaster, so that helped me a lot. One of my goals is to be No.1 [for the national team] and for that you have to play, that's why Oviedo has given me a lot of confidence. I hope that works for the future.”
Lunin switched to Oviedo in January after playing second fiddle at Valladolid in the first half of the campaign.
After featuring five times for Leganes last term in La Liga, he has rapidly established himself as the No.1 at the relegation-threatened outfit and hopes he will be able to convince Zinedine Zidane to take him back to Madrid for next season.
He added: "I hope I will be able to demonstrate my level so that Zidane sees that I have to return to Madrid, that he has one more option. I'll try everything for that and we'll see. I am giving everything to return to Madrid but in the end the coach and the club decide."