Friday, August 18, 2017

I know Madrid for better and for worse – Zidane realistic on Bernabeu future

SoccerNews in La Liga 7 Apr 2017

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Zinedine Zidane knows he can expect no guarantees over his Real Madrid future.

Zidane guided Madrid to their 11th European title after succeeding Rafael Benitez midway through last season.

This time around Madrid are two points clear of Barcelona at the top of LaLiga, with a game in hand on their arch-rivals, while they face Bayern Munich in the first leg of a keenly anticipated Champions League quarter-final next week.

First up is the derby encounter with Atletico Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday and Zidane insists he cannot think about next season before negotiating this pivotal period.

“No, [I’m not safe] at all,” he told a pre-match news conference. “I’m not preparing anything. What I do is what is left for this season. 

“I know this club, I know what it is to coach Real Madrid, for better or worse. I’m ready for every eventuality. 

“I’ll only talk about the next game, and it will be like that until my last day as coach here.”

Zidane is in no doubt that he will face formidable opponents this weekend.

Madrid dispatched Atleti 3-0 thanks to a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick at the Vicente Calderon earlier this season.

Diego Simeone’s men have relocated their customary defensive solidity, conceding just one in their past six matches, but Zidane insists there is much more to a side whose attack is led by prolific France international Antoine Griezmann.

“Everybody says that this is a very good defensive team and I say, yeah, they do defend well but they are not just defensive,” he said.

“Over the last few years – the last four or five years since Simeone’s been there they’ve improved a lot in that aspect but they also play football very well.

“They don’t just have defensive players. I’m not just talking about the three up front but the midfield and the full-backs, they all know how to play football.

“We expect 90 minutes when we are going to have to suffer In the little details, we’re going to try and get under their skin a little bit.”

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