The team had their final session before tomorrow’s Derby.
Keylor returned, Casemiro & Pepe continued their recovery work on the pitch and surprise, surprise The Ramos was called up for the match! I don’t know how much he will play but it’s nice to have him there. (Video)
Zidane: “We know Atlético well and it’ll be a very tough match”
by Javier Garcia | Photographer: Helios De La Rubia
“We’re going into it in good shape and we’ve got players back following the international break”, added the coach.
On the day prior to the derby clash with Atlético, Zidane discussed his feelings with the media ahead of his team’s visit to the Vicente Calderón: “We’re going into it in good shape and we’ve got players back following the international break. We’ve got a few problems, as can happen, but we’re focused on what we have to do tomorrow. It’s an important match, we haven’t had long to prepare for it but we’re ready. We know Atlético well and it’ll be a very tough match”.
“We haven’t won anything yet. We’ve done things well so far and we want to continue in this vein. This is a derby and it’s a beautiful match for both teams, for the fans and for anyone who loves football. I want to see a good game of football, that’s what everyone wants. We want to carry on doing a good job. We’ll get a good night’s sleep tonight and tomorrow we’re going to see a great match”.
“It doesn’t matter whether Benzema plays or not. We can change the system but we always have one idea. We want to play, we know how difficult the game will be because we’re up against a very good opponent but we’re not going to change. You can make changes to players, because there will be some changes, but the plan to play good football won’t change”.
“Karim is in the squad. He’s back with us and he’s feeling better. I’m happy to have him back – he’s ready to play from the start so we’ll see tomorrow whether he’ll be in the line-up or not”.
“These things happen and I’m not going to blame anyone. We’re not happy about the injury but it happens. We want him to be calm and focused on recovering and that’s all. I said before the break I hoped we wouldn’t get any problems. Then this happened and it’s the way it is. The important thing is to get him back quickly”.
“I don’t know what happened the other day, I’m not a doctor. Everyone there was a professional and they’ve done their best. Now we just have to be patient. He’s frustrated, as am I and I believe the national team is as well”.
Casemiro and Kroos
“Casemiro still needs time. He’s getting better every day and we’ll have a look at him next week. We’ll see tomorrow who is going to play instead of Kroos and Casemiro”.
Recent games with Atlético
“it’s not an exam. We always analyse our opponents closely and try to frustrate them. We know they’re familiar with us and it’ll be a very difficult match for both teams. It’s a great game to play in. A defeat always hurts but I’m not thinking about that game – only about what we have to do. We’ll try and play a good match and do our best to win it”.
“Sergio has trained well and we’ll look at how we’re going to play tomorrow. When I met him, he had more hair, and I did too. He’s our captain and it’s great to have him back with us. He’s very important for the group, he’s a good player and a good person. He’s doing a fantastic job”.
“Tomorrow is another game. We know it’s a 50-50 tie. From beginning to end, in every play, it’s going to be a tough match. We’re used to games being difficult but perhaps tomorrow it will be even more so”.
“He’s good. I’m happy to see Isco playing like this. He’s showing that he’s a key player for the national team. I’m more interested in Real Madrid”.
The atmosphere at the Vicente Calderón
“It’s a beautiful ground, with beautiful support. Real Madrid players are used to playing at all kinds of stadiums and in heated atmospheres. We are familiar with this ground and we know it’s going to be a tough game. We’re ready and I’m only interested in giving our all from the first minute until the last”.
“He’s not anxious, it’s just what he’s like: happy and full of energy. His positivity is contagious in the group. I want him to be like that forever. What Lucas said hasn’t bothered him, so we’re fine”.
Luis Enrique’s derby comments
“He’s right. If we lose it’s better for them. The other day when Atlético and Barcelona were playing, I thought the same. It’s natural he’ll think like that”.
“They’re a team that keeps improving every year. They’ve got a very good coach who has changed a lot since his arrival and he’s doing a fantastic job. Everyone talks about how well they defend but it’s not only that, it’s much more, and that’s evident in everything they do. It’s a good game to play in”.
Predictions for the match
“I don’t know, I can’t answer that. I’m not a wizard. We have to play the match and we want to see a good one. We’ll see what happens on the pitch”.
A special derby
“It’s not only special for me, but the derby is special for every madridista. It might be the last one at the Calderón. It’s special for both sets of fans. People speak about hate between fans and the teams, but seeing this derby is magnificent and I hope we get a beautiful game of football”.
“We have to forget the negative aspects, the hate, and have a good time. It’s going to be an incredible match, we’re ready to play well. I was able to experience it as a player, from within it and from the outside”.
“I’m glad he’s back and ready to play. I never wish for a rival player to get injured. He’s a key player for Atlético and I’m pleased he’s recovered, but he’s not their only threat”.
The following players were called up for the match:
Goalkeepers: Keylor Navas, Casilla and Rubén Yáñez.
Defenders: Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Nacho, Marcelo, Coentrão and Danilo.
Midfielders: James, Kovacic, Modric, Asensio and Isco.
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Bale, Lucas Vázquez and Mariano.