REAL MADRID

Zidane on Clásico win: "We played the perfect game"

Zinedine Zidane expressed his delight with his team's performance in their 3-1 victory over Barcelona; and defended his players against recent criticism, which he believes has been unfair.

Zidane on Clásico win: "We played the perfect game"
LLUIS GENE AFP

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane had said that the game against Barcelona was a chance for he and his team to “redeem ourselves” after two embarrassing defeats against Cádiz and Shakhtar Donetsk. And that is exactly what they did in the 3-1 win over their arch rivals at Camp Nou.

In his post-match interview, the French coach congratulated his players, praised their “perfect" performance and said now was the time for them “to rest and enjoy” before thoughts turn to Tuesday’s Champions League clash against Monchengladbach.

Zidane speaks after Clásico victory

Did Madrid redeem themselves?: “Yes, clearly. We have played the perfect match. It’s three points, nothing more. Now we have to rest and enjoy. Yes, we are going to enjoy this and think about Tuesday because it comes quickly. With the criticism we have had these last few days… We have to be calm and play like we have to play.”

Has the criticism of you or the team been unfair: “Very unfair, I don't know if with the team or with me ... I am happy for the players, they are the ones who fight and when you see this result, it means that this team has character. Today we brought out that character as a team. I am proud of my team. I'm happy for the players. It's a team victory. We played the perfect match.”

Are you tired of being doubted?: "In the end we had a good game playing against a team that we know is open, that played as well. I'm happy for the players because that's what it's all about in the end, after the last few days after everything that was said.”

Explanations of what happened to the team over the last week: “Everyone can explain things. We had problems in the games before this and that can happen. The thing to think about is what we did today. We want to repeat what we did. We also played good games before. Last year we had a lot of very good games and you have to connect with that, but sometimes you don't succeed. You guys make explanations every day. Today we can be happy and enjoy.”

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos celebrates after scoring a penalty against Barcelona at Camp Nou.

Zidane: “We are not here to shut mouths”

Do you think you and the team have shut some mouths?: “We are not here to do that. We are concentrated in our work, we believe in what we do, we are together when we have to be and that is what we did today. We did it as a team, I'm very proud of them. When it came to defending, we had a compact unit and against a team like Barça. We have found holes and, in the end, it is about that.”

Sergio Ramos: “We know who Sergio is, but not only as a player. We always want him on our team. I'm happy for the team. It is important to see the team play as they did today. We have got three points and the good thing is that Sergio has not had any problems.”

Ramos penalty: “There is a referee, he went to watch the play and called a penalty. I never speak about the referees, whose work is difficult, and I am not going to start today. We deserve our victory because we won 3-1, we were able to score more. We have to think about our deserved victory.”