Zidane: "Hazard is ready to play, he is decisive"
Zinedine Zidane spoke to the media ahead of Real Madrid's Champions League opener against PSG at Parc des Princes on Wednesday.
How much enthusiasm do you have to start a new Champions League campaign? “We are happy to start another competition. We know that we have a difficult opponent, what we have to do, but we are ready for that.”
Is Hazard ready to play 90 minutes? "You will see him tomorrow, but I think so. In the end he has had more training with the team, he is ready to play."
Thoughts on Real Madrid-PSG: “We expect a lot from both teams and every time we play, but it is the beginning of the season. We have made a good start to the season, but of course it can be better. We must improve at all levels.”
Thomas Tuchel said Benzema was an underrated player. Is he underrated? “It has always been a bit difficult for Karim but he has shown the player that he is. He [Tuchel] said it, that they always think of Karim as a player who scores goals, but he is not only that. He is scoring more, he is very decisive but it is not most important thing. He's a team player and I'm more interested in that. He's a fantastic player, as the coach [Tuchel] told you. I think the same.”
Are PSG a favourite for the Champions League? “Yes, because they are a team that always performs, although they do not always get the expected results. They are leaders in their league despite the injuries. Of course they are better with Cavani, Mbappé and Neymar, but they are also a great team without them.”
Is James better as a midfielder? “He can play in many positions, but the higher up the pitch, the easier he has it. Tomorrow we will see. The important thing is that he is doing well and he is. Positions can change a lot with me.”
Mauro Icardi threat: “He is very good and he has always shown that. He is a goal-scorer who makes a difference. We’ve already seen him at Inter.”
Can Hazard make a difference? "I've always thought that he is decisive. He can make a difference. And he wants to prove that. He will be very important at Madrid. His future will be formidable."
Hazard, frustrated in the Champions League: “More than frustration what he has is motivation. We know that you always have to be good here. He has quality to live up to and you will see what he does.”