Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has revealed that he does not believe that Los Blancos will be out the race for La Liga, even if they lose today’s game against city rivals Atletico at the Bernabeu.
Real will start the game in third place in La Liga, a point behind neighbours Atletico and a further eight points behind arch nemesis Barcelona.
Still a chance of the title
In truth it is difficult to see Barcelona slipping-up in La Liga to the extent where either Atletico or Real could catch them this season, but French legend Zidane is not giving up the title just yet. The Real head coach told Sky Sports:
“No matter what we are not going to give up until the end. There are points to play for,”
“It is always going to be harder if we drop points, but we have games to play, we have the Champions League and we need to concentrate only on ourselves. Our season doesn’t end tomorrow.
“It is a special match because it is a derby. I understand that people have doubted my abilities as a coach. “It is normal, people can think what they want, but I have to concentrate on what I do. I am clear about the ideas of what I want to do as a coach.”
At the moment Real Madrid have little and no hope of winning La Liga this season and a defeat against Atleti will see little leave town.
Atletico the real deal under Diego Simeone
Diego Simeone was a horrible opposition player in his playing days. He was a tenacious central midfielder who would use every trick in the book to gain an advantage over his opponent. The Argentinian was very good at what he did.
As a coach he has already proven without doubt he is one of the brightest in the world game. The 45-year-old broke up the duopoly of the big two in Spain and came oh so close to winning the Champions League with the Rojiblancos.
Simeone is the man that revived the fortunes of an ailing Atletico Madrid side and helped them compete with Real Madrid and Barcelona on an equal playing field, despite the vast resources available to his competitors.
Like Simeone during his playing days, Atletico are horrible to play against. They are so well-organised and well-drilled that it is difficult to break them down, even when down to nine men at Barcelona Simeone’s side still only succumb to a 2-1 defeat.
Real Madrid had enjoyed a dominance over Atleti until fairly recently, but their less lauded rivals have now gone five games without defeat against Los Blancos and will be dangerous opponents for Real on Saturday afternoon.
Needs to be a change of mentality at Real Madrid
Real Madrid head into the Madrid derby favourites to claim victory at odds of 10/11, but in reality even a win will leave them a long way behind the juggernaut that is perennial rivals Barcelona in the race for the title.
When Rafa Benitez was sacked as Real boss, I stated that Real Madrid needs to change their mentality from top to bottom. Los Blancos have won one La Liga title in the last seven years and in the last 15 years have won just four domestic titles.
No doubt Real Madrid are one of the biggest clubs in the world, but the clubs hierarchy never seem to get it right with their recruitment policy.
The clubs obsession with Galactico’s has killed the team’s chances of winning more silverware and that is why Real Madrid are struggling to keep up with the Jose’s.
When Real Madrid won their last Champions League trophy, Angel Di Maria was the battery that made the team tick. The Argentinian was fantastic and enjoyed the best season of his career, but that summer he was sold off, as he was not seen as a Galactico.
His face did not fit, despite the fact that he had enjoyed such a big influence on the team in the campaign, so he was gone.
Until Real Madrid realise that football is not just about signing star players for big money and improving the clubs brand they will continue to fail to achieve success at home and abroad.
Are Real Madrid still in the race for La Liga this season?