Zinedine Zidane spoke to the press ahead of the Clásico against Barça at the Santiago Bernabéu.
How do you prepare for the Clásico?
“We’re used to this. It’s another game. It takes a lot out of you but we’re eager to carry on doing what we’ve been doing.”
Is the league all but won with victory?
“Not at all. It’s one more fixture and there are still seven games left. We are just focusing on tomorrow’s game.”
Will Gareth Bale start?
“He will be with the squad. You’ll see the team on Sunday.”
Champions League effect
“There are people who probably think that we are confident because of Tuesday but that’s not the case. We are focused on the game and we’re not going to think about what came before or what come afterwards. We want to do our best to win our game.”
Is there are a favourite?
No because it’s a game that you have to play to win, you have to fight, to work hard… we’re not favourites.
Your first Clásico at home as Real Madrid manager…
It’s always special. There are three points at stake. When the referee blows the whistle we are going to have to manage the game and that’s it.
Is there less pressure on this occasion?
“We are always under pressure but that’s not a bad thing. It’s the pressure of knowing that we are going to play an important game and nothing more. We’re very sure of what we’re doing. We’re playing against a very good side who can cause us problems but we’re playing in front of our fans and we’ll try and win the game with them.
He is a complete player but what I like most about him is his character. He’s very positive and he gives the squad energy. He’s always joking around.
I don’t know if he’s going to play or not.
Is it a decisive game?
I don’t think it will be decisive whatever happens. We have seven finals to play and the first of those is tomorrow. From here until the end of the season we’ll take it game by game. All of our fixtures are important and this one won’t decide anything.
Physically and mentally he’s ready to play a great game, as all of the players are. We always talk about Cristiano in the big games and he has always shown what he can do, like he did on Tuesday and possibly we’ll see it again on Sunday. The energy he transmits to the group is incredible.