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Bettoni reveals secret to Madrid's success: "It was psychological"

Real Madrid's assistant coach spoke to L'Equipe and revealed the key factors in Real Madrid securing their 34th league title.

Bettoni reveals secret to Madrid's success: "It was psychological"

One of the key images from Real Madrid's league title win on Thursday was that of a tearful Zinedine Zidane hugging his assisting David Bettoni. The 48-year-old is more than just an assistant for the head coach, he is his right hand man at the club with both sharing a friendship that goes back to their time together at Cannes. Bettoni talked to French sport's outlet L’Equipe as part of an exclusive interview and revealed what he believed were the ingredients to Real Madrid's impressive return to action following the Covid-19 enforced hiatus.

After winning the title, you and Zidane shared an emotional embrace. How did you feel after clinching the title ?

It was purely spontaneous as many emotions are. I felt that this was a title that we really worked hard for as the season was proving complicated since our 2109 return to the club.

What made the team perform so well following the restart?

We both thought, what are we going to do with these months of lockdown and we decided to embark on a new concept of training and looked for a more creative approach. We saw that our players needs a new fresh mental focus and we concentrated on that aspect of things. Many feel we worked exclusively on the physical side of things but that's not how it was, there was a major psychological approach involved.

But there was also an improvement in psychical performance...

The mental side of things also impacts on the physical. First we prepared our players during the lockdown period and they responded to the methodology of Grégory Dupont and as soon as we could get back to Valdebebas, we organised mini-sessions via video conference. The key to our success was both on an individual level from the squad and this coupled with a creative approach on dealing with a situation that we'd never come up against before

How would you define Zidane's style?

It's simple, it's an attacking focused side who always strives to find the equilibrium between attack and defence. We have a great deal of flexibility and appreciate that there are certain games that demand a more defensive approach. Zidane advocates a valiant and daring style of football and he's not afraid to take big decisions and take risks. He's happy to take two players off at the break and modify the formation if the circumstance dictates.

Is his tag of a 'manager of egos' justified ?

He has a wonderful relationship with the squad and this is not a method but simply a natural connection between the players. He respects them and this is reciprocated by the team. Zidane is an individual who never blows his cool and always remains calm under pressure.

Zinedine Zidane
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Zinedine ZidaneRodrigo JiménezEFE

How does he deal with players who complain that they need to play more?

Sure, he needs to talk to them and be frank with these individuals. When he claims in press conferences that all his players are important for him, this is the truth and in the long run his system works.


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