Zinedine Zidane appeared before the media at the pre-match press conference ahead of Real Madrid's Liga game against Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday evening. The French coach discussed the current situation of the team, pitch time for Bale and Benzema and he also touched on recent comments made about an anti-Madrid feeling.
Zidane on Real Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao
"The most important thing is to try to get back second place, which is the objective. And we will try to play well".
"They are a team that doesn't deserve to be where they are in the table... They are a very good team, one that competes well. They're a complete team. They'll come to try and take points from us and we need to be ready for what they do well: second balls, crosses... We have to be on our guard for this."
Did you regret at some point of not signing Kepa?
"At the time there was no need to sign a goalkeeper. We have three and we are happy with all three. In respect to the future, this will be spoken about after the season."
Are Bale and Benzema sad? Could their presence next year be in danger?
"I don't think so. This is football. We are on the same team, we need all the players. I don't see them being sad. They are training well. Of course, both would like to score more goals, but apart from that, everyone is working well. This will always happen. There are moments of other players being in form and this is where we are at. There are very good players in this team and I have to value that too."
Bayern and anti-Madridismo
Are you worried that what happened with Juventus may affect refereeing against Bayern?
"I already spoke about this the other day. We'll do our job and the referee will do his...I'm convinced of that."
Thoughts on Arturo Vidal being injured
"It's Bayern's problem, he's an important player. It seems like he is injured but it won't change anything, Bayern is the same. They have a very deep squad, with key players and they will replace him well."
People speak about 'anti-madridismo'. Is this talked about in the changing room?
"Not at all. Anti-madridismo has always existed. The problem is the other way around, every day there are more 'Madridistas', I believe in that. This is the best club, the club with the most fans. This grows every day, it's better to talk about the positives."
"I am not here to defend ourselves every day, but where it is unjust, I do it. I am not here to criticize anyone. Each person can give their opinion, debate, and it's better this way, it's life. But if we are shown a lack of respect, I have to talk, with complete humility."
Has 'anti-madridismo' been exacerbated with social networks?
"Ten or fifteen years ago it didn't happen., It's different, it's a new reality, it's what we have and we have to live with it."