Zinedine Zidane says there will “always be pessimism” at Real Madrid and he is unconcerned by Los Blancos’ patchy showings in pre-season.
Even before a ball was kicked in LaLiga this term, the circus was seemingly in town at the Santiago Bernabeu amid rumours in Spain of growing tension at the club.
Madrid limped to a third-place finish last term and the returning Zidane saw the club fork out large sums to revamp the squad with Eden Hazard, Eder Militao, Ferland Mendy and Luka Jovic all arriving – although rumours suggest the latter may already be headed for the exit door on loan.
But Madrid have thus far been unsuccessful in rumoured pursuits of Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba and Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar, while their warm-up games have offered little cause for optimism.
Madrid have suffered defeats to Bayern Munich, Tottenham and Atletico Madrid – the latter a 7-3 rout – while they shipped three in a victory over Fenerbahce and only defeated Salzburg 1-0.
Coach Zidane, though, was a figure of calm when assessing Madrid’s chances of success this season, with their campaign starting at Celta Vigo on Saturday.
“There will always be pessimists. Real Madrid will always have these things. Whether there are good results or not, people will always argue about things,” he said.
“We need our fans to be with us, as they always are. We will try to make things exciting for the fans by playing good football. That’s all we can do.
“We want to start and here we are. We’ve had our final training session and we want to get this league started. We are very happy to begin and we’re ready.
“I want to play well and get results. That’s what I’m most worried about. The most important thing for me is what we do on the pitch.
“We try to do things well as a team together. If we do that, we will win as a team. I prefer it if we play well because it’s important to do that at Real Madrid.”
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) August 16, 2019
As well as seemingly missing out on potential incomings, Madrid have also failed to find new homes for Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez who at one stage appeared certain to leave.
Zidane insists he is happy with the make-up of his squad, though.
“I’m happy with what I’ve got. We have all sat down and spoke about this. This is what we have, the players that we have. I’m interested and ready to work with these players,” he added.
“We can’t talk about other things we can’t affect. You can talk about other players if you like but I’m going to focus on tomorrow. I am what I am. Sometimes we all have changes of mood when things don’t go right, but I’m not going to waste time. I’m smiling, I’m happy because we love football. We are very lucky to do this.
“I don’t think about the past, what we have won, because football is about what is coming up in the future.
“If I had to think coming back was a risk, it would not be an easy thing to do. I don’t think about the criticism, it’s all part of the job. It’s part of life of a coach.
“I know where I’m going and what I want from my players, I know what I want on the pitch. We have to be competitive, win matches and win titles. We have to do that throughout the season.”
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