Zinedine Zidane: "Barcelona aren’t as good without Messi"

The Real Madrid coach spoke with the media ahead of his side’s visit to Las Palmas (20:45 CEST) on Saturday night
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Zinedine Zidane: "Barcelona aren’t as good without Messi"

Real Madrid Zinedine Zidane spoke with the media this morning ahead of Saturday’s visit to Las Palmas (20:45 CEST) and discussed a range of issues from his side’s poor first half against Villarreal, how to get the best out of the BBC and Leo Messi’s injury.

Real Madrid’s poor first half against Villarreal

You always have to change things at half time and we had 10-15 minutes to talk things through. We were better in the second half. Not in terms of attitude though, our attitude in the first half was good but we lacked a bit of the intensity needed to break down a good side. If you don’t push from the start they can make things difficult for you and that’s what happened. We stepped it up a gear after the break.”

Benzema and the misfiring BBC

Is Benzema’s place in the side non-negotiable? Look, we need everyone. We’ll play 60 games this season. We need everyone, not just Morata and Benzema. We also have Mariano and there’ll be moments when he’ll need to play. He’s part of the squad and we have a number of players who can play there. We decide on a game-by-game basis. Karim is feeling better and he’s happy.

The BBC haven't been on top form so far this season

They [the BBC] are playing well but they can do better. That’s always going to happen. Even when they all score they can still play better. I wasn’t happy with the first half against Villarreal, not just because of them but because of the whole team. I’ll never call out a single player, I’ll speak with them in person.

Ronaldo just gets better with age. If we start talking about him I won’t be able to stop. He’s a quality player who knows how to score goals.”

Casemiro’s broken fibula

“We won’t play differently because our vision is the same. Obviously some things will change because whoever replaces him won’t be the same player but our idea remains the same: to keep the ball and play in the opponent’s half. The idea is the same regardless of who’s on the pitch.”

Leo Messi’s injury

Barcelona aren’t as good without Messi. They’ll still be an excellent side but it won’t be quite the same when he’s not playing.”

Leo Messi is set to miss 3 weeks after limping off against Atlético Madrid