Everything in my life is in a constant state of catch up these days. I feel like Keylor trying to stop tennis balls. If only I had his skill! But onward…
The team began preparations for the match vs. Getafe. Joining the first team for the session were Martin Odegaard, Enzo Fernandez and Marcos Llorente. Cris, Luka & Sergio training indoors and Casemiro did running drills on the pitch.
Zizou had access to his entire squad today and he put them through their paces.
”The semi-final against Manchester City will be difficult, but we are always preparing ourselves to try to qualify”, he added.
Zinedine Zidane spoke in the pressroom at Real Madrid City before tomorrow’s La Liga game against Getafe. The Whites coach, who revealed that “Cristiano Ronaldo will not be rested and will play tomorrow”, analysed the game that Real Madrid will play at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez: “I don’t like this game because it seems to be thought that we will play against Getafe and win easily but it won’t be like that. We’re going to play against a team who fight to the death in every game and who have just changed managers, a manager who I also happen to know. I’m certain that it will be a very difficult match”.
“I’m referring to the atmosphere and that fact that it is not easy playing away against a team who are almost bottom of the league. They have also just changed managers. Our players know what they will be playing against. We will be focussed, but I don’t like the atmosphere that we will have to face. I am only thinking about preparing for this game and avoiding any surprises. At the moment we are third in the league and we have to focus on getting to second place before anything else”.
Being able to sleep whilst one point behind Barcelona
“I’m going to sleep the same way I always do: well. We play our game before they play theirs and after the game we could be within one point of them, but before thinking about that we have to play well. It is going to be very complicated. There will be a few changes and tomorrow you will see the team I field. There will be some rotation”.
Manchester City: Champions League semi-final opponents
“I’m not going to answer ten questions about the draw. The important thing is tomorrow’s game. It is a semi-final. It will be a very difficult knockout tie. The only positive is that we play the second leg at home. I see it as a difficult knockout tie and I’m certain that it will be a real battle”.
“Real Madrid are always favourites. That is the way it has always been and always will be. This doesn’t bother us, we know how difficult it is playing a Champions League semi-final against City and we are always preparing ourselves to try to qualify”.
Luck in the Champions League draw?
“I don’t agree that our knockout ties are always the easiest. You’ve already seen us lose 2-0 in the first leg against Wolfsburg so I don’t want to hear this. We know that to get through and keep going forward we have to play against all the teams and everyone we’ve faced so far have been strong: Roma, Wolfsburg and Manchester City”.
“We have gone from a gap of 13 points to 4 and we are not going to let our guard down.”
“What we have to do is think day by day, improve, go in strong and try to focus on our games. I’m not too concerned with what people say and whether we are in bad shape physically. These things happen when you lose. The one thing we do every day is try to improve as a team and that’s it. We had three weeks to prepare the team physically and these are the results of a job well done. We’ve gone from a gap of 13 points to 4 and we are not going to let our guard down”.
Praise for Cristiano Ronaldo
“It has always been this way with Cristiano Ronaldo. Maybe he has moments where he doesn’t score, but no one should worry about him because he always ends up scoring. He is satisfied, happy and gets on well with all the staff here. You can see it in his face and we always try to make the players happy because for them to work well we need them to be in a good dynamic. He will play tomorrow”.
Carvajal, Nacho and Isco
“They are players who could all play at the Euro, but when I rotate players I am only thinking about the team and trying to field the best team who can play the best game”.
Barcelona’s slip in form
“For us to do something, those who are ahead of us need to slip up. We are working hard and physically we will be at our best by the closing stages of the season, when everyone will be playing. I am very happy with how we are doing things and if we achieve something it will be as a team. I don’t like seeing teams slip up but I want mine to do well. We mustn’t let our guard down, we have to train well and try to take something positive from every minute of every game. We will keep going”.
The French Football Federation’s decision on Benzema
“I spoke to Karim about this and they took the decision not to call him up for the squad. I’m not going to get involved in such things, but it has got the player down. He wanted to play at the Euro and all I can do is keep my confidence in him to continue doing things well and that’s it. Karim is very upset and he is down because he wanted to play at the Euro in his country. He is a player who can offer great things to his national team. The closing stages of the season with Real Madrid will be challenging and we want him to be playing at his best with us”.
“He is doing very well and is performing incredibly for his team. He will offer a lot to his national team, but everyone knows that the Euro is a very important competition and they are not friendly games. There is a lot of pressure on all of the players and it’s very difficult to get to the final stages of this competition. I will be supporting France and I hope they perform well, both the team and Griezmann”.
The following players were called up for the match:
Goalkeepers: Keylor Navas, Casilla and Yáñez.
Defenders: Pepe, Varane, Nacho, Marcelo, Carvajal and Arbeloa.
Midfielders: Kroos, James, Bale, Kovacic, Modric and Isco.
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Lucas Vázquez and Jesé.
Karim was voted Mahou’s ‘5 Star Player’ for the month of March. As long as it’s not ‘5 more criminal court appearances’ or ‘5 more blackmailing sex tapes’ I approve. Congrats, Benz.
And we have found out our next opponent in the Champions League and it’s Man City! First leg is away on April 26 and home on May 4th.