Tag Archives: zidane

Asensio is back on fire, he solves Zidane’s equation better


Having played the last five games for Real Madrid, three of them as a starter, Asensio is once again a protagonist for Zinedine Zidane.

The wings are the most volatile positions in Zidane’s eleven, where the French coach has opted for several variants over the campaign so far. But in the Clásico, the first important game of the season, Zizou put his faith Marco Asensio.

The previous two defeats prompted Zidane to strengthen the centre of the field for the Clásico, with Kroos, Modric and Valverde accompanying Casemiro. The Madrid boss trusted in the formula that has given him so many successes in the past, opting to start Asensio in a position that, against Barcelona, had the added responsibility of giving support to Nacho (and eventually Lucas Vázquez after Nacho’s injury) to keep Jordi Alba at bay.

Zidane has a lot of confidence in Asensio. The serious injury he suffered last season prevented him from stamping his mark on one of the most competitive positions on Zidane’s team, but to which no one could claim a permanent hold in his absence.


Asensio takes Bale’s 11 shirt
Asensio has become the owner of the 11 shirt with the exit of Bale, and the appreciation between coach and player is mutual. “We understand each other very well, almost just by looking at each other. He told me to score a goal”, revealed Asensio when talking about what Zidane said to him before he came on in the game against Valencia after the coronavirus suspension. It was his first appearance back after recovering from his horror injury and it took him half a minute to satisfy his coach’s wish. He ended up contributing two more goals on the way to Madrid’s 34th LaLiga title.

Asensio has been envisioned to become a regular fixture in Madrid’s attacking trident alongside Hazard and Benzema – an offensive line of which Real Madrid has been deprived because of both Isco’s injury and Hazard’s recurrent injuries. The three have only coincided on the field for nine minutes, in the aforementioned game against Valencia that marked Asensio’s return.

The prudence that Zidane has shown when it comes to reintroducing injured players to the fold meant that Asensio only played 362 minutes in the final 12 games of last season following the coronavirus suspension.

In the seven games played so far this season, Marco has played 318 minutes, making him the 11th most-used player in the squad. Having played the last five games, three of them as a starter, Asensio is a protagonist once again.


Reports claims Zidane’s departure from Madrid will not affect Mbappe’s move


Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane potentially leaving the club would not impact any deal to sign PSG star Kylian Mbappe next summer, according to reports.

Zidane, who as recently as July won LaLiga in this his second stint as Madrid boss, is suddenly under-pressure after two consecutive losses at home to Cadiz in the league and Shakhtar Donetsk in Europe.

Madrid face fierce rivals Barcelona in El Clasico on Saturday and amid a poor run of form, speculation is building about a potential departure from the Bernabeu for the French manager – yet according to Spanish outlet AS, that would not affect Madrid’s pursuit of Mbappe as a marquee signing in 2021.


The report details that though Mbappe has spoken glowingly about Zidane in the past, his apparent desire to move to the Spanish capital does not hinge on Zidane being in the managerial hotseat.

Mbappe said of Zidane in May: ‘My first idol was Zidane for everything he achieved with the national team. Then it was Cristiano [Ronaldo]. He has won a lot and is still a winner after so much success.

‘Both have left their mark on the history of football and I want to leave my own chapter in the books.’

Mbappe’s contract at PSG runs until the summer of 2022 and so far he has resisted talks of an extension.

The 21-year-old, who signed for the Ligue 1 champions in 2017 from Monaco, sees his long-term future at Real Madrid according to sources close to the player.

On the other hand, Madrid president Florentino Perez sees the French World Cup winner as the ‘cornerstone of the next project at Real Madrid’.

Madrid will reportedly consider appointing Mauricio Pochettino or former star Raul as their next manager if they decide to sack Zidane.


According to a separate report in AS, Raul, who won 16 trophies in 16 years at the Bernabeu, is the ‘ideal option’ for Perez.

Another option is former Tottenham boss Pochettino who has previously been linked with the job.

The Argentine has been without a club since he was sacked by Spurs last November and would be a ready-made replacement for Zidane.

Meanwhile, Zidane has received a big boost ahead of El Clasico with news that captain Sergio Ramos will be fit for the clash at the Camp Nou.

Ramos went off at half-time in Madrid’s 1-0 defeat by minnows Cadiz last weekend and was also absent as they crumbled on Wednesday in the Champions League – however, he took a full part in training on Friday.

‘He’s our captain, our leader. He’s over his injury, but obviously we won’t take any risks. He’ll be with us, you need players who are 100 per cent fit and Sergio is,’ Zidane told a news conference.


Juventus makes Zidane first choice to replace Sarri


Juventus have made Zinedine Zidane their No 1 target following the sacking of manager Maurizio Sarri on Saturday afternoon.

The Italian champions dispensed with Sarri after just one season in the wake of their dismal Champions League exit to Lyon on Friday night.

And Juventus supremo Andrea Agnelli has already targeted former midfielder Zidane, the manager of Real Madrid, to succeed him.

The former Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino is the Turin club’s second choice behind Zidane.

Talks with Real president Florentino Perez over Zidane are imminent as the Spanish champions also lick their wounds following a Champions League exit on Friday.

Agnelli will do anything to bring Zidane back to Juventus, the club he represented with distinction as a player for five years between 1996 and 2001.


And star player Cristiano Ronaldo would like to work under Zidane again following their success together at Real Madrid.

In the wake of Real’s last-16 exit to Manchester City on Friday, Zidane said: ‘We will see what happens next season. Now it’s time to rest, I’m here and I’m the Real Madrid manager until something happens.’

But their failure in the Champions League means Juventus may be able to prise Zidane away this summer. The Frenchman enjoys very good relations with Agnelli and they are frequently in contact by phone.

Zidane has always wanted to coach Juventus while Agnelli has promised the three-time Champions League winner the job sooner or later.


Zidane still spends time in Turin for family and business reasons and even uses the same taxi driver from his time there as a player.

He has also often praised Juventus. In 2016, when inaugurating the Z5 Sports Center, he said: ‘Juve made me grow as a football and as a man. It’s always an emotion to come back here as I played five years in Turin.

‘With Juventus there is something special: It was important for me. One day I could coach in Turin, you never know.’

The sports complex was opened by Zidane following others in Aix-en-Provence, Marseille and Madrid and features a five-a-side football centre and restaurant.

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‘Sarri changed me, but Gattuso is the Perfect Coach’ – Mertens


Zidane lost his first UcL tie


Zinedine Zidane experienced something new at the Etihad Stadium on Friday night.

With a 2-1 loss against Manchester City, Real Madrid were knocked out of the Champions League and Zidane, for the first time in his coaching career, lost a knockout tie in the competition.

Prior to their trip to Manchester, Zidane’s Real Madrid had won nine knockout rounds and three finals.


Roma, Wolfsburg, Man City themselves, Napoli, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Bayern again have all fallen at the hands of Zidane’s Real Madrid.

The three final wins came over Atleti, Juve and Liverpool.

Pep Guardiola, then, has become the first coach capable of bettering Zidane in Europe.

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Youngsters to fill Barca squad next season


Guardiola VS Zidane, Europe’s top ranking coaches go one on one


When Pep Guardiola parted ways with Barcelona no one thought that his record of 14 titles in 247 games would ever be matched, but Zinedine Zidane is now closing in on that figure.

Zidane now has a better average of trophies per game than Guardiola (one every 19 matches compared to the Catalan’s one every 22), but if you focus on his best period at the Camp Nou, Pep won a title every 18 matches, edging his rival.

The two coaches will come face-to-face this Friday in the Champions League in a game in which Manchester City hold the advantage after a 2-1 win against Real Madrid at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

Two attack-minded coaches

Zidane’s Real Madrid go into the game with the best defensive record in Europe’s top five leagues, while Guardiola’s Manchester City boast the best attack after scoring 102 goals.

They are two coaches who love to defend and attack, with Real Madrid notching at average of 2.4 goals per game, not far off Guardiola’s 2.58.

Guardiola comes out on top in terms of percentage of matches won, having triumphed in 73.8 percent of his 639 games in charge, having lost only 74, while the Frenchman isn’t far behind with an average win rate of 67.14 percent, losing 26 matches out of 210.

What stands out about Zidane is that from his 11 titles, he has won all nine cup finals he has managed in, and among them were the three consecutive Champions League triumphs, which is a trophy Guardiola hasn’t managed to get his hands on since he left Barcelona.


However, if there’s a coach who dominates domestically, especially in the league, it’s Guardiola, who has won a total of eight.

He only lost one LaLiga Santander title to Real Madrid in his four years at Barcelona before going on to lift three Bundesliga trophies with Bayern Munich and then coming out on top in the Premier League in two of his four seasons with Manchester City.

In the first head-to-head between these two great coaches this season, Guardiola came out on top.

The Catalan will now be looking to seal the deal in the return leg in Manchester and eliminate a Zinedine Zidane side for the first time in Europe and finally claim that much-desired first Champions League trophy for Manchester City.

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‘This James-Zidane fight of a thing annoys me’ – Arturo Vidal


Zidane gives Madrid squad full rest


Zidane has planned for the players to return to the training ground on Monday but the first session of the week has been put back to Tuesday at 11:00 hours.

Real Madrid will return to the training ground at 11:00 hours on Tuesday – not Monday as was originally planned. Diario AS understands that Zidane has decided to give his squad an extra day to rest before preparations begin to confront the final part of the season. The players will need to report in Valdebebas on Monday to undergo a coronavirus test then wait for the results before training resumes.

It means that Madrid will have 10 days to prepare for their rescheduled Champions League Lsst 16 return leg tie against Manchester City. The players could be give next weekend (Saturday and Sunday) off if Dupont is happy with how the players’ fitness levels are shaping up – the idea is to have nine full sessions before the City game.

Last 16 return leg venue now up in the air
The game is due to take place on 7 August at 21:00 hours, behind closed doors at the Etihad but quarantine rules announced by the UK government on Saturday could see it moved to Lisbon. Madrid will be without Sergio Ramos, who is suspended after being sent off in the first leg. Zinedine Zidane’s squad will return to work after enjoying eight days off following their league triumph.

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‘Tomorrow’s match will be tough’ – Zidane


Zidane to remain at Madrid next season


Zinedine Zidane will be in charge of Real Madrid next season.

In a discussion at the end of the LaLiga Santander campaign, the Frenchman and Florentino Perez agreed the former would stay on as head coach beyond the summer.

Los Blancos’ 34th league title his dispelled any remaining doubts over Zidane’s future and his second spell at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu will continue into a 2020/21 season.


“Zidane is a blessing for Real Madrid,” Florentino himself said once Sergio Ramos had lifted the LaLiga Santander trophy last Thursday night.

Zidane has two years left on his deal at Real Madrid, but contracts have never been an obstacle for him.

He retired as a player with one year left on his Real Madrid contract and he resigned as coach in 2018 following a third Champions League victory in a row.

Pride restored

Zidane singled out LaLiga Santander as the trophy he wanted to win last summer, and he’s delivered it.

There were difficult moments after the defeat to Real Mallorca and before the trip to Istanbul to play Galatasaray, but the Frenchman came through it.

After losses to Manchester City and Real Betis earlier in 2020, he bounced back again after the coronavirus-enforced break in the season.

With his future secured, Zidane can now look ahead to next season.

He knows his has decisions to make regarding his playing squad, with situations involving Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez, among others, needing to be resolved.

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La Liga ends; Real Madrid remains – Zidane says


La Liga ends; Real Madrid remains – Zidane says


Zinedine Zidane said Saturday that his players will not be given any holiday after La Liga ends this weekend as Real Madrid turn their attention to their crunch Champions League tie with Manchester City.

Madrid have won La Liga with a game to spare and could rest players for Sunday’s final game away to relegation battlers Leganes.

“They are not going to have two weeks off,” said Zidane in a press conference on Saturday. “We have a game tomorrow and then we are not on vacation. Let’s get some rest, but then our minds will be on City.


But Zidane insists there will be no let-up from Monday as Madrid attempt to overturn a 2-1 home defeat to City in the second leg of the last 16 encounter.

“The season is not over. We’re going to have a few days off but everyone will be focused on what is a crucial match.”

Madrid sit seven points clear of Barcelona at the top of La Liga after securing only their third league title in 12 years.


Their success comes after a 10-match winning run since the restart, with the team finding their best form after the three-month suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The title should never be under-estimated, especially this one. It has been difficult and we have fought to the end,” Zidane said.

Madrid’s line-up and focus could be crucial to La Liga’s survival race given Leganes are fighting Celta Vigo to avoid the drop. Leganes are a point behind Celta, who play away at bottom club Espanyol.

“We can’t play it differently,” said Zidane. “One match is left, we must respect that. It is the last game and we have to respect everyone else. We will play it to try to do well.”


‘Tomorrow’s match will be tough’ – Zidane


Real Madrid face Villarreal on Thursday and Zidane spoke about Eden Hazard: “He’s much better, he’ll be with us, the pains have gone and that’s good news”.

Victory against Villarreal at the Alfredo Di Stéfano on Thursday night will be enough to see Real Madrid crowned LaLiga champions, but Zidane was as cautious as ever when he previewed the game in today’s press conference.

Toughest game of the season: “Sue, without a doubt because it’s the next game. Villarreal know how to play, they are a very difficult rival to play against – as they always have been. I think it’s going to be the most difficult game out of the recent games we’ve played”.

Hazard ready to face Villarreal
Eden Hazard’s fitness: “You will be able to see for yourself tomorrow, he’s much better, he’ll be with us. The twinges he has been suffering have gone and that’s good news”.


The club has asked the fans not to go to Cibeles: “Tomorrow,we have a match. There is a lot of noise here right now – talk about celebrations, holidays, all of that… But we have a game tomorrow and that is only important thing that matters right now. We have to focus all of our energy on that game. There has been a lot of talk elsewhere, but here, the players and all of the people who work at the club are only thinking about tomorrow’s game”.

Do the players feel like they are champions? “No, not at all. The nice thing we have is the energy that we put in to our job, every day and it is the day-to-day that motivates us. As for everything else… we don’t know what will happen”.

Just two points needed to win the league: “Two draws won’t be enough for me. It’s not about what I would prefer – we are here for one thing – to think about tomorrow’s game and to go out and win it. That’s our motivation and what we have been preparing for. I don’t have to think about if we draw tomorrow, or on Sunday… Tomorrow, we will be going all out to win the game, as we do in every game. Having said that, we know we are also up against a very good team”.


Modric and Ramos still going strong at 34
Modric’s level of form and a time when he might retire: “There are a lot of similarities between his case and mine but the most important thing is how the player feels about it an what he wants to do. At 34, I stopped playing but I’m sure Luka would prefer to keep playing. He’s have a great season. We know the great player he is and we enjoy having him in the team, and Sergio too. Both of them are 34”.

How is Bale’s situation affecting the dressing room: “Oh God, here we go again, another question. We are thinking about tomorrow’s game and so is Gareth. He’s one of us. You keep implying, trying to put words into our mouths but you are not going to succeed. We are united, we all think exactly the same – Gareth, James, all of us”.

The coronavirus league: “We think about our fans because, as you mention, a lot of people are having a really hard time and are still struggling. Football is a way of forgetting about the day-to-day difficulties in our lives. We continue working hard for all of those people who cannot come and watch the games. They’ll be watching what we are doing and I hope they are proud of the whole squad. We have to keep going right up the end”.

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‘We shall defeat Villarreal’ we’ll concede no defeat or draw – Zidane


‘We shall defeat Villarreal’ we’ll concede no defeat or draw – Zidane


With two more points Real Madrid can clinch the LaLiga Santander title, yet Zinedine Zidane is only thinking of winning Thursday’s match against Villarreal.

The Frenchman was asked if he would sign up for two draws in the final two matches, against Villarreal and Leganes, but he explained that his only objective right now is to collect three points on Thursday night.

“It’s not about what I prefer or not,” he said when asked in his press conference about drawing the next two fixtures.

“We want to win Thursday’s match, that’s all.

“We’re going to go for it, like we always do and like Villarreal will do too.

“I don’t feel like a champion yet.

“Nobody knows what could happen.”

Despite Zidane’s caution, Real Madrid are so close and Zidane was asked if the 7-3 pre-season loss to Atletico Madrid played a role in turning this team into a team capable of winning the 2019/20 title.


“I’m sure that helped us improve,” he admitted.

“I was very annoyed after that defeat, as were all the players.

“This team has shown an ability to suffer.

“There is ambition at this club, as there has been throughout history.

“When we returned from the lockdown, you could see that the players wanted to achieve great things.

“I saw in training that they wanted it, that they wanted to keep going even after it had finished.”

The coach was also asked if feels like his achievements have been underrated.

“No, I don’t,” he said.

“I’m happy just to be at this club.

“What those outside say won’t change anything.”

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Zidane stands against Messi leaving Barcelona


Zidane stands against Messi leaving Barcelona


Zinedine Zidane wants Lionel Messi to remain in La Liga – despite what he brings to Real Madrid’s bitter rivals Barcelona.

Messi is reportedly considering leaving the Catalan giants when his contract expires in 2021 after growing frustrated at the club.

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner is allegedly unhappy with the atmosphere at Barcelona, and the fact he gets blamed whenever things go wrong.

But surprisingly Real Madrid manager doesn’t want Messi to leave, despite him being a real threat to the success of his own team, because the Frenchman wants La Liga to retain the world’s best players.


“I don’t know what will happen but we hope not because he is in this league and we want the best in this league,” said Zidane, following Real Madrid’s 1-0 win over Getafe on Thursday.

Sergio Ramos scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot. The win sees Real Madrid extend their advantage over Barcelona at the top of the table.

We want the best players in LaLiga – Zidane on Messi exit rumours
Zidane said of Ramos: “Our captain is our leader on the field, but also outside.

“He is an unrepeatable player. He is unique and we know what he transmits to everyone else. I’m happy for him for his goal because when it comes to shooting a penalty, he has a lot of confidence.


Messi is reportedly considering leaving the Catalan giants.
“It’s almost in the 80th minute and Dani Carvajal’s effort in goal is from the whole team. We know that with patience and tranquility we can score goals. This is what happened.

“The last 20 minutes with freshness we claimed a very important result. We have to congratulate all the players because what we are doing is not easy.

Could you imagine a Barca without Messi? No… no you couldn’t. Barca in turmoil brings a smile to my face.

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Zidane freaks over rumors that Referee and VAR supports MADRID



Zidane freaks over rumors that Referee and VAR supports MADRID


Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said he was disappointed that he was only asked about the referee’s decisions after his side earned a 2-1 victory at Real Sociedad on Sunday to climb above Barcelona and top LaLiga.

The day before the game, Zidane had been forced to defend his team against a suggestion from Barca defender Gerard Pique that decisions were going Madrid’s way after their 3-0 win over Valencia, in which Rodrigo Moreno had an opening goal ruled out.

The French coach faced fresh questions about Madrid’s apparent fortune after three huge decisions went their way against Sociedad.

“It annoys me that at the end of the day people are only talking about the referees as if we did nothing out on the pitch,” Zidane told a virtual news conference.


“But we cannot control what people will say. We win matches on the pitch and that’s what we did today. It was a deserved victory.”

Sergio Ramos scored the opening goal just after the break with a penalty after a contentious foul on Vinicius Jr while Sociedad had an Adnan Januzaj strike ruled out for a positional offside against Mikel Merino.

Karim Benzema then doubled Madrid’s advantage in the 70th minute after controlling a cross with the top of his arm, the goal being awarded following a VAR review.

“I didn’t see the plays but I’ve been told the penalty decision was correct and that Benzema’s goals were legal,” added Zidane. “I don’t get involved in controversies because that’s the referee’s job. I just want to think about our deserved victory.


“I would prefer to talk about football and the match, I can’t say anything else about the other things.”

Having won all three matches since the season re-started after the hiatus caused by the new coronavirus, Real now lead the title race due to a superior head-to-head record over Barcelona but Zidane said there was still a long way to go.

“We haven’t achieved anything yet even though we’ve got nine points from nine,” he said with another eight rounds of Liga matches remaining this season.

“It’s going to be difficult right until the end. We always want more and you have to recognise how great our attitude was today. We saw a team that always wanted to win.”

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Real Madrid: “Zidane speaks to you like a friend” – Fede Valverde



Odriozola: I still feel Zidane’s affection at Real Madrid

Alvaro Odriozola believes he still has the support of Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid.

The right-back was loaned out to Bayern Munich in January, having rarely featured for Los Blancos in the first half of the season.

“I’ve always felt the appreciation and affected that Zizou has had for me,” Odriozola told Movistar.

“It’s a privilege for me to belong to Real Madrid.”


Zidane will target both ‘chosen one’ Pogba and Haaland

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is planning a sensational double swoop for ‘chosen one’ Paul Pogba and wonderkid Erling Braut Haaland this summer.

Zidane is looking to bring more ‘physical robustness’ into his Los Blancos side in order to switch their play style next season. He wants to play for less possession but hurt teams more on the counter attack, according to NobleSports Reliable Source.

The French manager has always been an admirer of Paul Pogba and has been linked heavily with the Manchester United midfielder for the past couple seasons.

Zidane would hope to bring the Frenchman to the Bernabeu to play in midfield alongside Toni Kroos and just in front of Casemiro. It is suggested that Fede Valverde would lose his place in the side despite having a super first season at Madrid.

The club will also look to strengthen their attacking options with Karim Benzema nearing the end of his peak years at 32 years old.

Haaland became hot property in the last 12 months after some barnstorming performances for RB Salzburg.

The striker landed himself a transfer to Borussia Dortmund in January and has continued to impress with 16 goals and six assists from 14 Bundesliga matches.

Zidane is aware of his ageing squad, with the likes of Sergio Ramos, Luka Modric, Marcelo and Toni Kroos all over the age of 30.

However, the financial impact on Real Madrid from the suspension of La Liga due to the coronavirus pandemic is still unknown but could effect their summer spending.


Zinedine Zidane Lifts Lid on Sergio Ramos Contract Talks Amid Renewal Doubts

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has said talks over Sergio Ramos’ contract ‘should be resolved quickly’, indicating he is very keen for his captain to put pen to paper despite some reported doubts over the club’s willingness to offer up an expensive extension.

The centre-back is one of the most decorated players in recent history having lifted four La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues among a list of honours as long as your arm.

Continue reading Zinedine Zidane Lifts Lid on Sergio Ramos Contract Talks Amid Renewal Doubts

Hazard returns ahead celta vigo’s clash – Zidane announce

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has confirmed Eden Hazard will be available for Sunday’s meeting with Celta Vigo after spending the last two months out injured.

The Belgian hasn’t featured since Los Blancos’ 2-2 draw at home to Paris Saint-Germain on 27 November. He limped off during the clash with the French club, with subsequent scans revealing a hairline fracture in the foot, which has seen him miss 16 matches.

The first year of Hazard’s Real career has proved a testing one for the forward, who arrived carrying a hamstring problem. That delayed his debut until 9 September, while it also appeared to have an impact on his confidence and form.

However, he remains one of Madrid’s most prized possessions, with Zidane saying of his return (via the club’s official website): “I’m really happy that he’s back because he’s a unique player. We didn’t want to rush things with him to ensure that he feels really good.

“We know what he brings to the team and that’s why we signed him. He’s a really great player, and it’s time for him to be back and involved. He’s feeling good physically, but he’s not played in three months.

“It’s now all about the tempo and playing games. Fitness-wise, he’s ready to play. He’ll be with us tomorrow and is ready to play.”

Zidane refused to give a concrete answer after being asked what role Hazard would play on Sunday, explaining: “When you’ve got players who are all really good, it’s tough to name a starting lineup. Every one of them brings something to the team.

“I like to have all of them ready to play, but when it comes to naming the side, you’ve got to take enough time to think about it. I don’t always decide on the same day.

“I’ve got 23 available players, and I have to choose. What they do is focus and are committed, and I’m then the one who has to choose.”


Zinedine Zidane Defends Real Madrid Team Selection After Humbling Copa del Rey Exit

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has defended his team selection following the club’s Copa del Rey quarter-final exit at the hands of Real Sociedad on Thursday night, insisting it was not the wrong line-up despite their 4-3 home defeat.

Zdiane had named a strong team with Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Toni Kroos and Karim Benzema all in from the start. Luka Modric also entered the fray at half-time in place of James Rodriguez when the visitors were leading only 1-0.


Martin Odegaard, on loan from Madrid, came back to haunt his parent club, opening the scoring before young Swedish forward Alexander Isak scored twice to put La Real 3-0 up.

Marcelo pulled one back, but Mikel Merino made it 4-1, with the visitors managing to hold on to the lead, despite late goals from Rodrygo and Nacho.

Speaking after the game, via the club’s official website, Zidane said: “When I name a team, it’s one that’s capable of going out and doing well.

“It’s easy to offer opinions afterwards. I don’t think we got the team wrong, there’s another team involved and they did really well, they opened the scoring and we then struggled. We made mistakes that we don’t usually make, but that was nothing to do with the personnel.

“We’re all in this together, we win together and lose together.”

Martin Odegaard
Zidane explained that key midfielder Casemiro wasn’t fit, adding: “There were other players out there and we can’t be looking for excuses. We all know what great quality Casemiro has and what he brings to the team, but others played tonight.”

The Frenchman was also adamant that there will be no knee-jerk reaction to the defeat in terms of future team selections.

“Conceding four goals is a lot and it hurts, but that won’t alter anything in terms of my plans to rotate,” Zidane said. “I believe in this group and what we’ve now got to do is lift ourselves and continue to work really hard because this one game won’t change anything


Zidane says there should be respect for PSG as Madrid pursue mbappe.

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has refused to be drawn on speculation linking his side with a move for Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappé.

Los Blancos are understood to be incredibly keen on the 20-year-old, and there has even been talk of a world-record €400m bid for the Frenchman in the near future.

Speaking ahead of his side’s meeting with Valencia on Sunday (via the club’s official website), Zidane refused to discuss any of the rumours, although he did not shy away from admitting his admiration for Mbappé.

“He’s a PSG player and I’m not going to comment on the things that happen there. That would show a lack of respect,” the boss said.

“As for everything else, people are aware that I know Kylian really well, but I have to show respect for things.”

Zidane has previously spoken about his ‘love’ for the forward, but he has been more reserved this time around. Having said that, his words are certainly not going to put an end to the rumours.

Mbappé remains under contract in Paris until 2022, but the Ligue 1 giants are working tirelessly to tie him down to a contract similar to the size of Neymar’s bumper deal in an attempt to convince him to stay.

However, the Frenchman is yet to show any willingness to negotiate. It is believed that he wants to see how PSG fare in the Champions League this season, and he would be open to leaving if he feels the French side don’t have what it takes to win the competition.

Zedine Zidane

Kylian Mbappe

PSG are understood to be concerned by his recent attitude change, having seen him clash with manager Thomas Tuchel on a number of occasions, and Real are currently monitoring the situation in the hope of taking advantage in the near future.

Zidane has made Mbappé his top priority, so expect the speculation to rumble on for the foreseeable future.


Zidane – Madrid not thinking about clasico.

… bale is available and ready

Zinedine Zidane has brushed off suggestions Real Madrid could be distracted by the upcoming Clasico when they play in-form Valencia in La Liga on Sunday.

Madrid face a difficult game at Mestalla, just three days before taking on Barcelona at Camp Nou in a match that could decide who goes top of the table.

But Zidane’s team cannot afford to underestimate Valencia, who have registered three consecutive victories, including one away at Ajax on Tuesday that secured qualification for the Champions League last 16 as group winners.

Valencia sit eighth, while Barcelona and Madrid are level on points in first and second respectively.

Asked about the Clasico, Zidane said in a press conference on Saturday: “I’m not thinking about that at all and I include everyone who works here at the club in that.

“Our only concern is tomorrow’s game. The rest may be close but at the same time it’s far away. Tomorrow’s game has all my energy and about Wednesday, I’m not interested.”

After Barcelona, Real Madrid play at home to Athletic Bilbao, to complete a tough week before La Liga’s Christmas break.

Zidane admits it will be “difficult not to rotate” in the three fixtures and it remains to be seen whether Gareth Bale is given some minutes against Valencia, after he was left on the bench against Club Brugge on Wednesday.

Bale has just recovered from a thigh injury sustained earlier this month. “The other day Gareth didn’t play but he is here and I am counting on him,” Zidane said. “The important thing is he is available and ready.”

Zidane also has a dilemna over whether to select Casemiro against Valencia, given the Brazilian will be suspended for the game against Barca if he picks up a yellow card.

Madrid are short of other options in defensive midfield.

“I have to pick a starting line-up thinking only about tomorrow’s game – if I think about Wednesday, that would be a mistake,” said Zidane.

“I always talk with the players because I’m interested in the feelings they all have. And with Casemiro, it’s the same. We know his importance and what he gives to the team.”

Ferland Mendy is banned against Valencia and Marcelo is out with a calf injury, meaning Nacho Fernandez or Eder Militao are likely to fill in at left-back.

James Rodriguez trained alone on Saturday as he continues his recovery from a knee problem and will not be ready this weekend. Eden Hazard (ankle), Lucas Vazquez (toe) and Marco Asensio (cruciate ligament) are all out.


Zidane – Gareth Bale Is Down But Not Out Of Real Madrid…

When Zinedine Zidane dropped Gareth Bale for a Champions League game against Paris Saint-Germain last year, Bale believed it was the beginning of the end at Real Madrid.

Two seasons on he remains but Madrid face PSG again at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday, with the Welshman’s future still in doubt and his standing among the fans perhaps never lower.

Madrid’s two last 16 legs against PSG in the Champions League in 2018, towards the end of Zidane’s first spell as coach and en route to their third consecutive European triumph, marked a turning-point between Bale and his coach.

By leaving him out, Zidane’s message was clear: he did not trust Bale in the biggest matches. The pair hardly spoke for the rest of the season, even as Bale scored twice as a substitute in the final against Liverpool.

Bale was set upon leaving that summer, only for Zidane to go instead, and while Bale stayed, Zidane came back and their relationship has been frosty ever since.

But in the last few weeks, as Bale’s behaviour has wavered and the criticism increased, Zidane has become his staunchest defender.

When Bale returned to London to visit his agent earlier this month, Zidane said he had permission to go. When Bale joined up with Wales despite missing six Real Madrid games through injury, Zidane said it was bad timing.

And when Bale celebrated behind a flag that put his club lower down his list of priorities than his country and playing golf, Zidane urged the fans to remember his achievements.

– ‘Too much noise’ –

“I have said before, we need our fans with us,” said Zidane after the game on Saturday.

“There’s a lot of noise, too much. He wants to be with us and do well and he’s done that. Talk, talk, talk, it’s not necessary. He’s a big part of the group and we are together.”

Zidane’s pleas had fallen on deaf ears not long before, when the screeching whistles at the Bernabeu were loud enough to conclude the majority of fans were unimpressed and wanted to make their point.

Yet after his introduction in the 67th minute of the 3-1 win over Real Sociedad, Bale played well and the whistles for his every touch gradually grew quieter.

By the end, there were some applauding as he almost capped a driving run with a goal. “He played 30 magnificent minutes,” said Real Madrid director Emilio Butragueno.

“He is a player that has the ability to help us a lot, he looks for space, has a good shot, can score. He was magnificent and we will need him for the challenges ahead.”

– ‘We’re all united’ –

Bale’s team-mates were supportive too. When Luka Modric added a third goal, following a neat exchange between Bale and Fede Valverde, Casemiro and Valverde sought Bale out to celebrate with him.

“It was a way to show we’re all united,” said Valverde.

“We are going to support him. I went over to hug him because I respect everything he gives me on a day-to-day basis. He is a good person, it is impossible not to love him.

“He is training very well and contributing a lot on the field. The fans will end up appreciating him again. We are all fighting for him.”

For Bale, the prospect of a rapprochement with Zidane is unlikely, even if the Frenchman is keen to maintain the peace for the sake of the team, particularly while the transfer window is closed.

Clubs are not expected to bid in January and while a departure next summer seems more realistic, Bale has made a habit of unlikely revivals.

Just as he delivered in defiance in the Champions League final against Liverpool, it would not be a surprise to see him produce again now, when criticism has been at its most intense.

“These discussions are always very public and everyone has an opinion,” said Thibaut Courtois, who knows the challenges of winning over the Real Madrid supporters given his own history with Atletico.

“Gareth has to give 100 per cent to the team. He played very well off the bench on Saturday and the third goal was a great move between him and Valverde. Now he has to win round the people.”


Real Madrid Not In For Revenge – Z. Zidane Tells Media..

Zinedine Zidane said that his Real Madrid side is “not looking to get revenge” when they host Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday after a 3-0 defeat in France earlier in the group stage.

Pressure mounted on Zidane after that loss at the Parc des Princes in September, but the 13-time European champions have since enjoyed an upturn in fortunes and sit behind leaders Barcelona only on goal difference in La Liga.

Real can join PSG in securing a last-16 place with victory at the Santiago Bernabeu, or if Club Brugge fails to win at Galatasaray in the other Group A match.

“We aren’t looking to get revenge after what happened earlier in the group,” Zidane said on Monday.

“But we want to play a good game of course and maintain our form.

“It’s the kind of game where you can confirm you’re on a good run. We want to win because we’re at home and we want to play good football.

“I want to see my side play 90 minutes at their best.”

Frenchman Zidane was rebuked by PSG sporting director Leonardo earlier this month for comments about a possible move for his compatriot Kylian Mbappe, when he said the Paris forward’s “dream is to play for Real Madrid”.

The 47-year-old made clear again his admiration for Mbappe ahead of Tuesday’s encounter.

“You know that I’ve known Mbappe for a long time and that I’m in love with him as a person because of when he came here on trial a long time ago,” said Zidane.

“Having said that, he’s our opponent and there’s no more to it.”

Real have recovered in the Champions League after also being held to a 2-2 home draw by Brugge in their second game, beating Galatasaray home and away including a 6-0 thrashing in Madrid last time out.

Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is hoping the Spanish giants can show how far they have come since the loss in Paris.

“The first meeting with them helped us learn a lot — it wasn’t a good game but we’ve improved a lot lately,” said the Belgian.

“It’s not revenge, more wanting to get one over on another big team who have aspirations to win the Champions League and we need to show how good we are.”

PSG lead Real by five points with two matches remaining and can secure top spot in the group by avoiding defeat.