Cristiano's contract, Gareth Bale's fitness and the team's struggles to win the Bernabéu were just a few of the issues tackled by Zinedine Zidane in this afternoon's press conference as the Madrid coach looked forward to tomorrow's night meeting with Espanyol. (domingo 1, 20:45h., Partidazo). Zidane explained that Gareth Bale, who was taken off against Borussia Dortmund, “has a sprain” but didn't entirely rule out the Welsh winger for Sunday's match.
The moment the team is in: “We want to continue as he have been doing, we've won our most recent games and we've been playing well. The important thing about tomorrow's game is gaining a good result. If we start the game well, we'll have to chance to go on and win it, which is what we all want”.
Two draws and a defeat at the Bernabéu
Why are Madrid having problems winning at home? “We have the chance to change that tomorrow. We don't live in the past, what's happened is behind us now. We have an opportunity to change the situation and we'll be trying to beat Espanyol”.
How is Bale? “We'll see how he's feeling tomorrow. It's a sprain, nothing serious. But as always, we don't like taking any risks when players have minor injury problems. If he has to join up with the Wales squad, he'll go - I don't think there's any problems with Real Madrid and his national team. It'll depend on how he responds, and that's all. We'll take it one day at a time, from tomorrow”.
Cristiano's positive influence on Madrid team mates
Cristiano as an example to the rest: “Marco [Asensio] is right in what he said about Cristiano. He can see it from close quarters, Cristiano is an example for everyone - for his energy which rubs off on the rest of the lads. I'm happy Asensio has renewed, he deserves it. And I'm happy for all of the others who have renewed their contracts. Let's hope others end up staying for a long time at this club”.
Should Madrid offer Cristiano a contract extension? “He's playing well. You can see Cristiano doing what he loves best out on the pitch - playing and scoring. I'm not going to get involved in his contractual sitaution. That's a private matter for him and the club; I'm sure it'll turn out well, as it always does. There won't be any problems between him and the club. All that matters to him is being out on the pitch and playing”.
Could Bale be included in the squad list tomorrow? “Maybe, yes. We'll see tomorrow”.