Sorry for my absence lately. I managed to get sick again. 😦 How does it always happen that when I’m about to get a couple of days off fr0m work I get some sort of chest or sinus infection (or both, in this case)?! Ugh. Anyhow, I’ve been sleeping a lot. But tomorrow’s a match, so I thought it was time to update.
The team had their final training before meeting Athletic Bilbao tomorrow. (Video) Sese, Lukita and Casemiro are still recovering from their injuries and worked out indoors.
Zidane: “We’ve had a good week and we want to carry it on against Athletic”
by Alberto Navarro | Photographer: Angel Martinez
“The important thing for us is to keep working because we’ve won nothing yet”, added the Real Madrid coach.
Zinedine Zidane appeared in front of the media at Real Madrid City prior to the La Liga clash with Athletic. The Whites’ coach discussed the match against the Basque side: “We want to carry on how we’re going, we’ve had a great week and after Tuesday’s game we’ve gone back to work. We’re in good shape and looking forward to playing against Athletic”.
“I’m happy to be here every day as a coach and the important thing for us is to keep going because we’ve won nothing yet. I’m lucky enough to have experienced it as a player because you can have four or six good months and then things get tougher. Now I’m motivated every day and everyone involved with this team is doing a great job. They day to day work is the key aspect, I know I’ve got the best players and we’ve got to keep working until the end”.
Recent contract extensions
“If we renew the players’ contracts it’s because they’re the best. If they all sign, then I’m a happy man. I’ve got the best players and everyone involved, both the fans and anyone concerned with this club, are happy when these contracts are renewed”.
Pepe’s new contract
“It’s a question of time. He’s a very important player and the club values his work because he’s been here for 10 years or more and what he’s done in this shirt has been incredible. I’m sure his time will come”.
BBC and the line-ups
“I’m always going to consider all the players and we’re lucky enough to have three world-beaters. I have to make decisions and I know how important all the players are and what they can offer. Each game is different. I always take my time when thinking about the team. That’s my job and it’s normal, especially when we play every three days”.
“I speak to Morata because I appreciate him. He gives us a lot and he’s a key player. He’ll get playing time, I’ve told him that this is a long season and I’m sure he’ll be part of the team’s success. Just like all the others. He and Benzema are two fantastic players in their position and I’ve got Mariano as well. We’re well covered in that respect. In the last few games it’s been just Karim up top and there’s no debate for me because they’re all important. That’s what encourages me”.
Casemiro’s Brazil call-up
“They’ve called him up to the national side and we’re going to take things day by day. We don’t know how long until he’ll be back. First things first, he’s got to recover. They’ve called him up with 24 players and we’ll see if he can go and whether or not he’s recovered. It’s difficult because he still isn’t even back running”.
“He’s the perfect teammate. He’s very professional and always in a good mood, joking with the others. I love him as a player and a person, because we’re all people first and foremost”.
“I’m not concerned about how much he’s playing, because he isn’t either. We’ve only got him and Casemiro in that position. He always says that with one day’s rest he can play another match and so I’m calm about it”.
“The club is very well organised and that’s all there is to say. That’s the most important thing”.
The following players were called up for the match:
Goalkeepers: Keylor Navas, Casilla and Rubén Yáñez.
Defenders: Carvajal, Pepe, Varane, Nacho, Marcelo and Danilo.
Midfielders: Kroos, James, Kovacic, Asensio and Isco.
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Bale, Lucas Vázquez and Morata.