Zinedine Zidane spoke to the press ahead of his side’s game against Valencia at the Bernabéu this weekend.
How is team spirit?
The same as always. Physically and emotionally we are in good shape. We know that what we’ve been doing up to this point we have been doing very well. Over the course of a season there are moments when you have to suffer but from the beginning to this stage we can be positive about what we have been doing.”
Madrid A or Madrid B against Valencia…
Since the beginning I know that I have an extraordinary squad, they are all very focused. They know that is Real Madrid and what we are playing for in the league and the Champions League. More than the talent we have in the squad is the mentality they have. They are very professional, very respectful and we all want the same thing. Everybody is entitled to their opinion but I have to make the decisions. It is the most difficult job a coach has.
Why so many changes? Are you braver than others have been? Would it have been easy for you to understand a rotating policy?
It’s not the same today as it was before, when there were fewer games. When you play 30 or 40 games a season you can do everything with 12 or 13 players. But not these days, and even less so here where everybody plays for their national teams and have 60 or 70 games a season. It’s my way of working. I’m not braver than anybody else. It’s just my way of thinking. It's not me who’s going to bench Cristiano or Bale, it's my philosophy. Sometimes we argue with players, I try to explain my way of thinking and then we all carry on as normal together. We all have the same goals. Then you have to try and explain to the player that this is the right way to do it. And when the players are behind you, it’s great.
Debate between A team and B team…
I understand, everybody has their opinion. But I’m the coach of Real Madrid and I have to think about my team and choose. I’m only concerned about my family and Real Madrid. The rest doesn’t interest me.
Ronaldo as a striker:
He has always played as a winger and every now and then because of his skill he can play as a centre forward because he is very good. But his position has always been on the wing and nobody’s going to change that. He has scored 300 or 400 goals from there we shouldn’t forget. But with his quality he can play in other positions from time to time.
"There are other clubs where substitutes don't play at all"
Unfair treatment in line-ups..
You can see it like that if you want but I see it the other way around. I have the utmost respect for my players but I have to make selections. There are other clubs where substitutes don’t play at all or only when the coach needs them for some reason. For me there will always be the squad and all the players are important. I have to pick an 11 and people might think that there are games where the same players always play, as you say the A team and B team, but I don’t see it like that.”
How do you explain to a player like Isco that he’s not playing against Bayern or Atlético?
I’m here to explain those things to the players. I’m not going to tell you what I tell the players. I always played, or almost always. I try to talk to them just the right amount, because telling players nonsense is not something I’m going to do. We have a game tomorrow, another on Tuesday… Isco is focused, confident and he has the confidence of his coach.
How do you decide who’s going to play instead of Bale?
I don’t have only one idea over one player in my head. You have to take many parameters into account; the player’s position, how the opposition plays… and I know I have a lot of options because all of my players are very good and that is one of the luxuries and advantages of this team.
What’s your opinion of the French elections?
My opinion is the same as it was in 2002. My ideas are a long way from the Front National’s and I’d prefer to stay out of it.
- Roque Mesa1007Passes
*Update 28 de abril de 2017