Zidane: "It's not that the BBC are untouchable - they're the best"

Madrid's coach says it's irrelevant whether he plays 4-4-2 or 4-3-3: "The system, with three up front or four, is not important. I pick the team which I think will win..."


Sporting Lisbon-Real Madrid Live

Pre-match press conference

Zinedine Zidane spoke to the media at the José Alvalade stadium this evening to look ahead to tomorrow's Champions League meeting with Sporting Clube de Portugal (20:45 horas).

What did you learn from the MatchDay 1 meeting with Sporting at the Bernabéu?: "They didn't surprise me, they put in a great game, and we difficulties winning the match. Tomorrow, I'm sure we are in for another complicated match".

Sergio Ramos in this evening's training session at the Jose Alvalade stadium.

Will Ramos and Benzema play? "We'll see...".

4-4-2 or a different system: "Everyone is free to have an opinion on what we are doing. The system, whether you are playing with three in attack or four, isn't important. I pick the team which I belive is going to win. I select the best players, and the way I field them doesn't matter. The idea is always the same - those who play have to give their best".

Would it be better to finish second in the group? "That's not something which I have been calculating. We always go out to win and end top of the group, after that we can look at how the group turned out".

Is the Bale-Benzema-Cristiano frontline untouchable? "It's not a case of them being untouchable, it's because they are the best - like the rest, but they have that little bit extra".

Marcelo in Lisbon this evening

Gelson Martins: "He had a great game in Madrid and he will again tomorrow.  Apart from being a great player, he will be trying to do well against Madrid because players like him up their game against sides like us. He's a great player and we will be trying to make him play worse".

Isco's position: “His position is just behind the centre-forward. He has always played as a No.10 and I think that's where he feels most comfortable, but he can play in other positions - and he's shown that he can. What he has been doing, he has done fantastically well”.

Cristiano: “At any moment he can punish you. When I was a player, you'df be fresh when you started the game but by the 90th minute, you wouldn't be as fresh as you were in the first. But Cristiano's not like that. On 90 minutes he's the same as he was at kick-off. I hope he gets another hat trick tomorrow”.

This time a year ago, Madrid were thrashed 0-4 at home to Barça. What's changed? “I haven't done anything. Before, Madrid were the same Madrid as always. Now, with me the team is doing a little better, but you know what football can be like. I know what this sport is about. When we draw two or three games, it gets complicated. But for me, drawing three games isn't a problem. What's important is knowing where we can improve. And similarly, after winning the derby, I'm not going to blow it out of all proportion. What we want to do is continue on an upward path, we want to win things but we know that from now until the end of the season we are going to go through tough times and we will need to work very hard - with calm”.

Gareth Bale in Lisbon

Bale on the left.. “If I remember correctly Gareth started out on that wing, as a full-back. It's a position which he knows well and he has proved he's a great player out on the left. But he can also play in a variety of positions - including on the right when he can cut inside and shoot. We'll see where he ends up playing. In three days' time we have another game, then Barça… He did really well the other day putting in crosses and setting up the third goal… he can give us a lot in that position too”.