Zinedine Zidane talked about burning issues in his post-match press conference after beating Celta Vigo 6-0 in the last game of the season at Santiago Bernabeu.
Published By: Dalipinder Singh Sandhu (Bliss)
Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid side played the last game at Santiago Bernabeu of this season. The home side took on Celta Vigo and emerged victorious by 6-0. The squad was rotated with half of the veterans playing with the younger team. Bale, Isco, Achraf, and Kroos all found the back of the net ahead of the big game of the season i.e. UCL Final in Kiev.
Zinedine Zidane had quite many things to say in the post-match press conference. He admitted to the squad depth issues which has been a tough thing to manage. Though Zidane is one manager who has best of the players at his disposal and at least a couple of them for every position. It will be exciting to see which one of Bale or Isco will start in Kiev. Not many have been able to predict his starting line up especially in UCL and at times of match accumulation.
“I prefer to have all the players switched on and ready for Kiev. I’ll then have a selection headache to decide on a starting eleven for the UCL Final, but I’d rather it be like that.”
Zidane emphasized on the match performance further more and continued to praise the individual brilliance of his star players and the wonderful teamwork and chemistry amongst the squad members.
“We put in a great performance and it was important we did. Training sessions can be no substitute for a match. We looked focused and played some good football from the off, we’ve scored six and kept a clean sheet.”
“I’m thrilled for Keylor, keeping a clean sheet. He’s received criticism of late and the goals are not just Keylor’s fault, it’s down to everyone.”
“Bale is in fine form. He is doing well and showed that today. I’m happy for him, his goals and what he represents.”
“Keeping them out today was important and he saved us on two or three occasions, as well as taking the quick goal-kick to Modric for the first goal, when Gareth went through to score. This kind of thing is absolutely crucial.”
Last season Zidane had two weeks to prepare for his second consecutive UCL Final in Cardiff but this season he will have only a week due to the last match of La Liga on 19th May against Villarreal. The French coach discusses the schedule and briefs on his preparations and plans for the UCL Final on 26th May.
“We cannot pick and choose our schedule. That’s how it is this year, while last year we had two weeks to get ready for the final. It’s the way it is, we can’t do anything about it. It’s not a problem as far as I’m concerned, I’m sure we’ll be ready.”
“I don’t know what team I’m going to play yet in the final. I’ve got no idea.”
“The key is for us all to go forward in the best form. We have one game to go before the final and we need to play like we did today. In Kiev, I will have to pick from my 24 players.”
Zidane continued the talk and discussed about his transition as a manager since the time he started in January of 2016. He has managed to play in every UCL Final since he became a coach and has won every Final he has ever managed i.e. a total of 7 finals.
“I have improved as a coach since the first Champions League final, it’s inevitable. I like it and if I keep coaching, I’ll keep improving I’m sure. The people I work with help me out, as does training with this squad.”
Finally, Zidane commented on transfer rumors which heavily link Neymar Jr to Real Madrid CF. He has talked about his current squad and dedication of the players as well.
“People always talk about potential signings, it’s unavoidable. All the big players want to come to this club, it is a strong club and its history speaks for itself.”
“I am lucky as a coach to have these players and I really value all they do. Even in the tougher times. The fight, run and give it their all, but things cannot always go your way. The club values its players. We cannot control things from outside.”
Real Madrid now have two games left and all of the squad is expected to be fit by the end of this week. The two names who missed a couple of games due to injury were Cristiano Ronaldo and Dani Carvajal. Both of them have started to train on the pitch with the ball which comes in as a good news for the club just in the hour of greatest need.
Real Madrid will play Villarreal on 19 May 2018 which will be the final practice for the Spanish side before the meet the English club Liverpool in Kiev for the UCL Final.
The UCL Final in Kiev, Ukraine will take place on 26 May 2018 at 7:45 PM CET. The match will be telecasted all over the globe via the official broadcasting partners of UEFA.