Wesley Sneijder has revealed that growing up in a though area of Holland prepared him for professional football and also given his views on Real Madrid's recent displays.
The Dutch midfielder has made an instant impact at the Bernabéu after his summer arrival from Ajax and he has not suffered from any nerves in his surroundings.
That lack of fear comes from his childhood, where Sneijder was forced to fight in order to play on the one pitch in his local district.
"I started playing in my Utrecht district when I was three against kids who were six or seven years old," he explained. "I had to be psychologically strong and I believe that experience made me the player I am today: competitive and anxious to be successful.
"Ondiep, the district I grew up in, became famous a few months ago because one person was murdered and people protested with riots. People believe it is an important place now, but it is actually a tough area to grow up in.
"You end up being tough if you manage to play football on the streets."
After being left out of the draw against Valladolid at the weekend, Sneijder had time to reflect on Real Madrid's best system and he has no qualms about stating his beliefs.
"I think we should play like we did against Villarreal; being patient and using our speed to score goals when we see a chance to do so," continued.
"We should be organised in defence and attack through our three forwards. That's what we did then and we managed to score three goals consecutively. The system isn't as important as playing together, fighting hard and using our speed in attack.
"We cannot play the counter-attack by waiting in defence. We should be organised, fight to recover ball posession and then attack as fast as we can. We should be able to make quick passes, penetrate our rivals' defence and shoot.
"Against Valladolid and Werder Bremen our game was too wide; the defence was too far back and the midfielders too close to the goal."
Finally, Sneijder talked about Ruud Van Nistelrooy's revelation that every new player must adhere to code of conduct laid down by club captain, Raúl.
"I don't know if they can be called rules per se, but what you can't do when you are new to the team is behave as if you were a great player that doesn't care about anyone else," he explained.
"You can't challenge what the more experienced players say. It wouldn't be wise to do so. It is better to do as they say.
"Raúl is a great guy, with great personality. He manages to do a lot out of nothing. The shot of his Valladolid's coach saved the other day was a good example of this. We hadn't had a chance in an hour and he suddenly came close to scoring a goal.
"He always knows where he has to go and where the ball will end up. Very few players have that gift. He is the best at reading a team's play."