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Zidane unveiled: "I couldn't say no to Real Madrid"

Real Madrid's new coach appeared before the media at the Santiago Bernabéu. "Some things need to change", Zidane said. He also confirmed his coaching staff.

Zidane unveiled: "I couldn't say no to Real Madrid"

Zinedine Zidane returns to Real Madrid to retake charge of the first team nine months after he left. He has signed for the rest of this season and a further three seasons - until 2022. Zizou appeared with Florentino Pérez in the press room at the Santiago Bernabéu this evening.

After an opening speech by the presidente, Zidane gave his first words to the media: "I know this is a special day for everyone. I'm very happy to return here and that's the most important thing. I will be starting work tomorrow to put this club back where it deserves to be".

Feelings about being back: "The sensations are good. I'm happy to be here once again and to be able to work with this club and the squad".

Time away from the job

What has changed since you stepped down last year? "I know the reason why I left. I left because I needed to - for me. The club and the squad needed a change - not just with me but it had to move on. Now I'm back because the president called me and because I love Real Madrid very much. It's great to be back - not that I've been that far away... !!"

Responsibility of coaching Real Madrid: "It's huge. All of us love this club. I defended the Real Madrid shirt and I won many things. Now, I'm just one more member of the team, this club. I love football and I haven't forgotten what we have won - but I also haven't forgotten all the things that we did badly - being knocked out of the Copa and losing the league. I'll put everything I have within me to make the team better. I know where I am".

More power than last time. "Things are going to change - they need to. But that's not a priority right now. We have 11 games left, and the idea is to finish the season well".

First thoughts after receiving Florentino's phone call: "I'll come back - and here I am".

Any doubts about taking the job now and not in June: “There weren't any. In nine months I have given a single interview. When the president called, I couldn't say no. When you have been very successful and won a lot, you can suffer a dip and that's what's happened to us. I was on the outside but I could see what was happening on the inside. I wasn't happy with how things were going nor were the players. Now we have to see where we can get in the 11 games that remain and next season, which is the most important thing”.

Zidane presented as new Real Madrid coach this evening
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Zidane presented as new Real Madrid coach this eveningEDUARDO CANDELDIARIO AS

Remaining matches, starting with Celta

Cristiano: “It's not about that, it's about the 11 games that remain this season. We all know the history Cristiano made at this club, no one will ever change that. We have 11 games to play, starting on Saturday”.

Riskt move to return: “I don't think about risks - if I did, I wouldn't be here now. My heart told me that i have rested and now I'm ready to come back. Maybe four months ago I wouldn't have felt this way - maybe now' the right time to do it”.

Do you feel you have an outstanding debt to pay Madrid for leaving when you did? “I don't have any debt to pay with Real Madrid, I don't owe the club anything. I left because it was the best solution for everyone. I'm here because I want to be”.

What have you been doing while you've been away? “I've spent [the last] nine months living here in Madrid, recharging my batteries. Now I'm ready for new challenges with this great club - the club I love”.

Coaching staff: “The same ones I had before”.

Conclusions drawn: “I have watched the whole season so far at the stadium and the players are the first to know that it's been a difficult year. You can't win always - football's like that. Sometimes you have to accept the change and undestand that things haven't gone well. At times it's been difficult to watch the team struggle from afar”.

Zinedine Zidane (right) poses with his wife Veronique Zidane (left) after being unveiled as new Real Madrid head coach at the Santiago Bernabéu on March 11 2019 in Madrid, Spain.
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Zinedine Zidane (right) poses with his wife Veronique Zidane (left) after being unveiled as new Real Madrid head coach at the Santiago Bernabéu on March 11 2019 in Madrid, Spain.Denis DoyleGetty Images

No one to blame

Did you do anything badly? “What have I done badly? Lots of things. We won the Champions League but the Copa del Rey was difficult and we had a bad start to LaLiga. I was responsible for that. It's not for me to blame anyone. Lopetegui and Solari tried to do the best they possibly could and things have turned out the way they did. Now we have to look forward”.

Do you think you've got an unpleasant task ahead, dealing with the situations of players like Isco, Marcelo, Bale? “No. The players who are here at the club have won a lot. I've never interfered in what goes on between one person and another. I just wantb to be back with them, start work and do things right starting from Saturday”.


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