Tag Archives: Real Madrid

Zinedine Zidane: pressure mounts on Real Madrid boss after Copa exit

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Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane says that he is enduring his “worst moment” after the defending La Liga champions were knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Leganes on Wednesday at the Bernabeu.

Although Marco Asensio had scored a last-minute winner at Butarque in the first leg which gave Real an advantage a 2-1 defeat saw them knocked out on away goals. They were in the cup tie without Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo as per Zidane’s player rotation policy.

“To start this tie in the manner we did it’s really bad,” added Zidane. “For that I’m angry. I don’t understand what’s going on.”

Real faces Paris St-Germain in the Champions League last-16 in what will be the only realistic campaign left for Los Blancos.

had led Real to back-to-back Champions League titles since taking over as head coach, winning eight major trophies since he took charge in January 2016 and enjoying a record 40-game unbeaten run in all competitions last season.

However, a poor start this season saw his team lag 19 points behind of La Liga leaders Barcelona.

“It’s a fiasco,” the French World Cup winner said. “My worst moment as a coach. I don’t regret anything I did in the game, though. I take responsibility for what I do.”

When asked if his future at the club depended on the Champions League tie against PSG on 14 February, the 45-year-old said: “Yes, that’s clear.”

“I’m responsible for this, I’m the boss. I have to find the solutions. We’ve found some of them but not consistently enough. I need to take responsibility and I’ll always fight.”

Zinedine Zidane: Real Madrid coach defiant despite poor results

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Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane was in defiant mood as the former French star hits back at critics who claims that the club is in a downward spiral.

The defending Spanish and European champions’ stuttering season continued as their La Liga campaign saw another setback on Sunday following a 2-2 draw against Celta Vigo.

La Liga leaders Barcelona now are 16 points ahead of Los Blancos in the table and with a daunting Champions League last-16 tie with Paris Saint-Germain to come, pressure on Zidane’s squad has been mounting despite his trophy-laden successes during his two years in charge.

Zidane, however, insists his side will get back on track with collective hard work and is adamant there are reasons to be positive for the rest of the season.

“You can analyse it as you like, that it’s a moment of crisis or not, but we’re here to find solutions,” he said. “I’m not going to go into the details. When there are things like we’re going through, where things aren’t going as we want, it’s about work. I always believe in that.”

“What you tell me is what a lot of people think: that there are people who are bad and I have to get them out of the team. It’s the opposite. When a player is bad, I will help him. I’m more interested in unity. We’re all in the same boat.”

“It’s everyone’s fault, mine first. We’ve had two spectacular years; thank you for saying so. It’s important people don’t forget that. There are people who say everything has gone to s***. No. The day of the Celta game, I focused on the good things.”

“Are things more complicated with a draw? Yes. The second half was not good, but we’re not going to go crazy about it. We’re going to think that, with work, we will achieve good things.”

Real would face Numancia in the second leg of their Copa del Rey last-16 tie on Wednesday, having claimed a 3-0 win in the first meeting.

Zinedine Zidane: Real Madrid wants Bale to play regularly

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Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said he was now looking for “regular games” from Gareth Bale after the player was absent for four months from injury.

Bale, 28, marked his first start in four months with a converted penalty in Thursday’s 3-0 Copa del Rey last 16 first leg win at Segunda side Numancia.

When Lucas Vazquez was tripped in the area near the hour mark — after Numancia had their own penalty claim turned down — Bale grabbed the ball and calmly slid home the spot kick.

After Numancia midfielder Pape Diamanka deservedly picked up a second yellow soon after half-time, Madrid sealed the win late on with a late penalty again won by Lucas Vazquez and converted by substitute Isco, and an added time far post header by Borja Mayoral.

Although by that stage Bale had been substituted, he presumably will start in Madrid’s La Liga trip to Celta Vigo on Sunday evening.

“It was important to see how [Bale] felt,” Zidane told the post-game news conference.

“In the end he played an hour, without problems, feeling physically well. He had played four games with 20 or 30 minutes [off the bench], this was his first start. So we will continue like this. We want him to play regularly now.”

Although a team including mostly youngsters and squad players did not really sparkle, Zidane said he was happy with how the game had gone.

“I am very happy as we got a good result in the end,” he added. “This was not an easy place to come, they have been playing well and made it tough for us, but we got a good result.”

“Many of these are players who do not play so often. In the second half we had some problems, above all when they were down to 10. But in general I am happy. We managed to get three goals, kept a clean sheet, so I am happy for those who played.”

Andres Iniesta: Liverpool’s Coutinho won’t take my Barcelona spot

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December 22 — FC Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta has said that doesn’t see Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho as someone who will come in and replace him but as a player who could improve the current Barca squad.

Barca had failed with three bids for Coutinho in the summer, but they intend to test the waters again January with CEO Oscar Grau saying the Catalan club ‘are prepared’ to sign him.

There had already been talk on where the Brazilian playmaker would fit into once he arrives, with some saying he would play take Iniesta’s place in midfield. However, the 33-year-old Spanish international — who signed a lifetime contract with the club earlier this year — indicated that he doesn’t see Coutinho as competition and would welcome his arrival at Camp Nou.

“I think Coutinho’s a great team player with a huge amount of talent,” Iniesta said. “He can use both feet, he scores goals, he links play well and gets between the lines in attack.”

“He’s a player with qualities like ours and it would be a great signing if it’s finally done. I don’t see him as competition for me, but as a step forward for the club.”

Iniesta will be leading his side in Saturday’s Clasico against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu, where league leaders Barcelona are six points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid and 11 ahead of fourth-placed Real, who have played a game less.

“We are in a confident mood at the moment,” Barca midfielder Paulinho said. “We know it will be tough in all competitions but we are on a winning run and we are very solid as a team.”

“Madrid are a quality team and we will have to be on the ball for 90 minutes, but we just have to worry about ourselves and put in a good performance. A Clasico can be decided at any moment and we have to be almost perfect.”