Zinedine Zidane attended the international press this afternoon to preview Real Madrid's debut in this year's FIFA Club World Cup, against tournament hosts Al-Jazira on Wednesday. The coach also said he is relieved to have a full squad available once again.
The most important thing about this semi-final: "First of all, it's not like last year's - there's not a huge difference in time zones and that's much better for us. We've been training well and we're in good spirits".
Bale and Varane: "We'll wait and see if they're able to play. Both of them trained as normal and without any discomfort today and yesterday. I'm very happy to have all of my players fit".
Zidane praise for Madrid's midfield
Kroos and Modric, hitting their best form: "They're both important players for us - and Mateo [Kovacic] too. They know the system well, and they've both been playing well in our recent games. Our midfield is playing exceptionally well at the moment. Recently, we've shown we're on the right path".
VAR: "The whole point of technology is that it's designed to improve things and that's positive. But then, in certain aspects, there are some things which I don't like [about VAR]".
Cristiano, the best player in the world: “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I've got the best player - who has shown the player he is for this club and I'm very happy to have him in my team”.
El Clásico on the horizon: “That's a different competition and it's a match we want to win. It's not going to be easy. Right now, we're only thinking about this competition”.
Madrid experience in last year's Club World Cup
Almost being surprised by Kashima Antlers in last year's tournament: “We know there are no easy games. Everyone says that this one will be easy, but if we start thinking that way, we'll be very mistaken. When there is a trophy in play, anything can happen in football. And that's why we will need to be fully focused”.
Great win against Sevilla: “I'm happy about that. All of us want to see us playing good games like the one we put in the other day. Now we've had a chance to rest, we're training well and thinking only of tomorrow's game”.
Fifth trophy of the year up for grabs: “I don't think 2017 will end as the best year in Real Madrid's history because Real Madrid is such a huge club, but it's certainly something which motives us. All of us want to go back home with the trophy and that's what we'll try to do.
“We're all really happy with the warm welcome we have been given. As for Al-Jazira, they'll be trying to make the most of this opportunity. For them, this is the game of their year and we know that we are in for a complicated match”.
Avoiding red cards
A sending-off would mean serving the suspension in El Clásico: “It's something which could happen. We are talking about two different competitions and I think it's over the top that a suspension can be served in the league. But let's not worry about that. I'm thinking in the positive. There's nothing we can do about it”.
Kepa Arrizabalaga: “I'm not here to talk about that. The only thing on my mind is tomorrow's game”.