The team had their final training before the first Champions League match vs. Sporting CP. And the BBC is back in action, y’all!
“Sporting are a great team and they give everything on the field. We’re expecting a difficult game”. Said the Whites’ coach.
The Champions League returns and Zidane showed his confidence in the team as they begin the defence of their title: “We’re happy to be starting the Champions League. We know the importance of the competition, the players are prepared and that’s good. We have all the players practically ready. We’re only without Coentrão and Keylor who are both training almost normally but they just need a bit more time”.
“There are a lot of teams who want to win. You have to compete and we’re ready to play. We’ve got a complicated game against a side who play good football. They’re a good team and they will fight hard. We’ll have to play well as always. This is just starting and there are a lot of teams who want to win. We are amongst the favourites but that doesn’t mean anything. You have to work hard to hope for anything and that’s what we’ll do together”.
“He’s ready to play and the idea is that he’ll play the 90 minutes. But anything can happen in a game. I always think about the 60 days that he’s been out. That’s a lot of time for a player. I speak with Cristiano about other things, not how many minutes he´ll play. He always wants to play 90 minutes”.
“I’m sure it’s a special moment for Cristiano. Sporting is his club, he grew up there so it’s to be expected. I know that Cristiano is very professional and when he’s on the field he’ll give everything. When the referee blows his whistle he’ll be focussed as always”.
“You know the responsibility of being here. Not only me, but the players also know. When we’re on the pitch the objective is to win games. We’re here to fight for everything that’s in front of us. The Champions League is an objective that we want to fight for and it’ll not be easy. It’s more complicated now because we have to back up what we did last year. All of the games are going to be difficult and the first one is tomorrow”.
Difficulty in choosing the squad
“It’s my job, my responsibility, but it’s the worst thing about being a coach, leaving four players out when they do the same as the rest every day and they want to play. The players know and what everyone wants to win things. We’re going to try by doing things like this”.
“The players understand, although it’s not easy. I had a coach some time ago, I’m not going to say his name, he thought that he had enough with eleven. He only played someone else when one of the eleven was out. I don’t think like that in any way. For me the most important thing is the group, taking in to account the competitions that we have and that we’re going to play every three days. The players understand. I’m not going to lie to them, there’ll always be players who play more minutes”.
Champions League or La Liga
“What motivates me is the day to day. We prepare in training every day to win. The players are convinced by this. I’m happy because they are working well. Both things are important, the Champions League and La Liga”.
Second Champions League
“When we have to back up the title we have won, everyone expects more from us. They expect us to win more and they are going to demand more from us. My plan to achieve that is to work day to day and to be prepared. I know that I’ve got a great team and a great squad. If we all work more and more every day we will achieve our objectives”.
Sporting Clube de Portugal
“They’ve got a great coach with a massive passion for what he does. He’s a very good coach and he knows how to lead his group. He’s doing a fantastic job. They are a great team. The Portuguese know how to play good football, they know how to compete and give everything on the field. We’re expecting a difficult game. They’ve changed some players in the summer but their philosophy will be the same. Maybe we’re the favourites tomorrow, but favourites don’t exist for me”.
“It was difficult to explain to my sons that they can’t play and the reason why is unclear. The most important thing is to talk and I’ve done that. Now we have to wait and that’s what we’ll do”.
Progress as a coach
“When I started as a coach everyone asked if I could do it. What motivates me is the day to day and our work. Being humble I can confess that I’m progressing as a coach. But it is never fully achieved. Maybe in six months everything is over. But I’m enjoying every training session. We are a great club but only hard work will bring the trophies. I’ve got the same pressure as last season”.
“Sporting Clube de Portugal are a great team and they have started the season well”, added the madridista full back.
Marcelo spoke to the media alongside Zidane in the press room at the Real Madrid City the day before the first game in the Champions League. The Whites’ full back explained his feelings ahead of the match against Sporting Clube de Portugal: “We’re going in to the Champions League with the same excitement as always and we want to make our fans happy. We want to win every trophy that we can and we’re as happy as always”.
“Sporting are a great team. They have started the season well, they’ll come to win and we have to respect them. We have stared well, it’s one of the best starts since I’ve been here. It’s obvious that we can’t think that everything is perfect. Every day and in every game we can improve things. It’s been a happy start to the season. We’ve done some good things but we can always improve everything”.
Winning the trophy again
“If we’re taking part in the Champions League, we have a chance of winning it, like all the teams. No team has ever won it twice but we’re here to try. We have in our minds on what we have to do. We are going to train every day and prepare for the games to end the season well”.
“I can’t exactly say what’s different to previous years. There’s a good atmosphere that we’ve had since the start of the season and that’s important. We do what the coach says and we’ll try to carry on with this good form”.
“Everyone wants to talk about Cristiano. I see him work every day. In my opinion and that of a lot of people, he’s the best in the world. A lot of people try to take credit away from him. He has won the ballon d’or three times. He does a lot for the team and he’s got a lot more to give due to his age. He’s a great teammate and for me the best in the world without a doubt”.
“I don’t have to understand these things. What I’ve experienced here with Raúl…he is a symbol of madridismo. Raúl has done everything for Madrid and for these things outside the club, it doesn’t matter. In football there is much more than rivalry. There are friends that play in other clubs. He has done everything for Madrid and these things don’t affect anything in my opinion”.
“The coach knows a lot more than me. If he has to rotate it is for the good of the team. Whoever plays has to give everything. Players always want to play but the coach is the person who decides if a player has to rest for the good of the team”.
“I have been with a lot of players. I don’t know if it’s the best team but I’m very happy. I see great players by my side. Everyone is working well. This season we have to confirm what we did in the last. It’s just the beginning and we have to continue. We know what our objectives are”.
Goalkeepers: Casilla, Yáñez and Craninx.
Defenders: Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo and Danilo.
Midfielders: Kroos, James, Casemiro, Kovacic and Modric.
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Bale, Lucas Vázquez and Morata.
Let’s go Blancos!