Sunday, May 20, 2018

Zidane warns Real Madrid: Cardiff win will make no difference

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 2 Apr 2018

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Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane does not expect last season’s Champions League final to have any impact on his side’s clash with Juventus on Tuesday.

The Serie A leaders will be seeking to avenge their 4-1 loss in Cardiff last May when they host Madrid in the first leg of this season’s quarter-final tie.

Zidane, though, does not think his team’s emphatic triumph in their last meeting will play a role in the outcome of the showdown in Turin this week.

“We will try to play a good match, but the events of 10 months ago will have no bearing on this game,” he told a news conference.

“It’s another match in another setting. It’s totally different.

“Juve have always been strong and they’re showing that. They are a complete team and you need to be attentive to what they do at the back, in midfield and in attack.

“Juve are having a good season. I’ve watched their matches, I can’t comment on any criticism of the Italian league but Juventus have a good style.”

Zidane would not divulge his plans for the starting line-up, amid speculation Isco could be left out in favour of the in-form Gareth Bale.

Much has been made of Isco’s struggle to nail down a regular place in the side in recent weeks, especially in light of his sparkling performance for Spain in the international break, when he scored a hat-trick in the 6-1 thrashing of Argentina.

But Zidane thinks it is perhaps easier for the midfielder to impress for the national team since he has comparatively fewer matches with them every season.

“Maybe with the national team Isco is different because he has eight matches with them [in a season], whereas here there are 60,” he said.

“We play every three days. For me, there are no back-ups. I have 25 very good players and I am going to use them all. There are moments in which some will play more.”

Zidane went on to praise the way he was treated during his time with Juve as a player, where he won six trophies before signing for Madrid in 2001.

“I learned so much in those five years,” he said. “I hadn’t left France before and they welcomed me like a family.

“I have very good memories, but I’m the Real Madrid coach now, so I’m only thinking about the match.”

Asked if he would consider coaching Juve in future, Zidane added: “Never say never, but I’m happy where I am now. I’m just thinking about Madrid, not about the future.”

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