The team had their final session and they’re now ready to take Kashima by the antlers tomorrow and bring home that Club World Cup trophy.
Sergio rejoined the team today for training while Pepe worked out indoors.
Zidane: “We came here to win this trophy and we’re ready for the final”
by Javier Garcia (Yokohama)
“Kashima have won three matches, they deserve to be in the final and they’ll make it difficult for us”, he added.
Zidane was in the press room at the International Stadium Yokohama to discuss this Sunday’s Club World Cup final (11:30am CET) against Kashima Antlers. The madridista coach explained: “This title is very important to us, we came here to win this trophy. We have to play good football and do the job we’re here to do. It will be a tough game because our opponents will make it difficult for us but we’re ready. We started a bit off colour on Thursday because of the journey, the pitch and everything, but now we’re ready to play in another final”.
“We came to play another final and we did our job in the semi-final. They’ve won three matches and they deserve to be in the final. We want to win the game and we’re ready to do that, it’ll be a difficult clash”.
His managerial career
“My plan when I came in was to bring the group together and try and win games. I’m positive, even if it doesn’t seem like it, and yes, I did expect a Real Madrid team like this. Having these players makes it easier”.
“I always focus on the group. We’ve watched a lot of our opponents’ matches and they’re a team who run a lot, they’re very disciplined and organised. We’re ready to play a great match, we’ll try and play well in the final and win it”.
“It’s going to be tough but that doesn’t change anything for us. They’re going to be supporting their team, and I’m sure there’ll be fans of other Japanese teams who will get behind us. The love they’ve shown us has been incredible. When the match kicks off we’ll be fully focused on ourselves, on playing good football, giving our all and defending well”.
“Sergio is our captain and he’s fine, he’s trained and he’s in tip top condition. He’ll be with us tomorrow and I hope he can play in the game with no problems”.
“I haven’t been a coach for very long. I learn new things every single day. It’s the matches that help you to improve. For me, it’s important that I see my team’s games in order to improve. It’s also important to look at our opponents, but our team is the main thing”.
“When you start something new, it needs time. It’s fine to want to improve through technology but we have to be patient and wait for things to get better. Nobody is going to stop technology, football included, it’s understandable. What we want out on the pitch is there to be no doubts, and that comes with time but I think it’s a good thing”.
Week-long training camp
“We came here for this competition and we needed a week because we had two games. Being cooped up in the hotel is a bit dull but it’s part of our profession. The players need a bit of fresh air sometimes and that’s easier to do at Valdebebas, but we needed a full week”.
South American teams knocked out
“Normally, a South American team makes it to the final. This shows that it’s getting tougher and another country can make it now. Just being Real Madrid doesn’t mean we’re going to win before we’ve even played. We must always show fight and play well. Every game is a battle and you have to show the world that you’re the better side in every game”.
Bad run following the 2014 World Club Cup win
“We’re aware of it, but we haven’t spoken about it, you learn from negative things. We’ve got a week’s rest after this match and then we’ll work very hard because we’re starting again from scratch, we know that”.
“It’s a dream for me every time I imagine lifting a trophy”, said that captain.
Ramos appeared alongside Zidane at the press conference ahead of the Club World Cup final. The captain, who confirmed he is ready for the clash, discussed his feelings: “For me, whenever there’s a chance to win a title it’s a new experience, despite all I’ve won already. As I’ve said before, I reset myself every year to start from scratch. I’ve got a lot of football left in me, God willing, and we have a chance to win another title”.
“As captain it would fall to me to lift the trophy and that fills me with immense pride, and add to that the fact you’re wearing the badge of the best team in world football on your chest. It’s a dream for me every time I imagine lifting a trophy and I think this team, after the great work we’ve been doing, deserves to be playing in this final, with the utmost respect for our opponents and we’ll do all we can to win it again”.
“I’ve been feeling pretty good after a strain from having played so many minutes, and with the intensity it requires. I’ve been training separately this week but today I trained with the group and I’m available to the coach just like the rest of my teammates”.
“Since Zidane has come in, the mood in the group has changed completely. He manages the dressing room very well and he gets the best out of every player. We came back in LaLiga and we weren’t far off. We won the Champions League and the Super Cup. One of the key things is the way he’s been able to translate what he did as a player. We’re very happy, he’s the captain of this ship”.
Goals in the dying minutes
“I’d prefer the team to be winning and not to get to these late stages. In the last few years, these circumstances have come about. But if, as well as defending, I can bring goals too, then great. The fans will breathe more easily if we don’t take it down to those minutes”.
“Finals go down in history. I am a fighter and I have that belief until the last minute. Madrid means we’re obliged to fight until the final moment. I’ve been lucky, but you’ve got to make your own luck. We’ve got a great team and I hope we can clinch another title”.
The current squad
“I don’t like to make comparisons. I’d take something away from every period that I’ve experienced at this club. It’s not easy to form a group like the one we have now. There haven’t been many changes in the last few years. We’re the same players, we know each other perfectly and the team is flowing well. The results are there and we know what we’re thinking just with a look. I’ve learned every year and I take something out of every phase”.
Club World Cup
“We are treating it with the importance it deserves. It’s a title contested by the champions of the Champions League. A title is always important. Tomorrow we’ll value it more, once we’ve played for it. We respect our opponents, who have beaten the champions of South America, Oceania and Africa”.
The team’s fitness
“I’ve seen the team’s training sessions, we’re in good shape physically. We’ve been doing specific work to go into the game well, and I don’t think we’ll have any problem, despite having only a couple of days”.
“It’s a good decision, it’s trying to help football. Technology will end up making a referee’s job easier. It helps in tennis, I’m a fan. Perhaps this wasn’t the most appropriate moment, but they’re doing what they can to help and you have to respect that. In specific plays, such as offsides or penalties, we’ll avoid situations like the one with Spain at the World Cup in Japan”.
“Cristiano has won it on merit, it shows he’s the best. There are two great players, Ronaldo and Messi, and it’s the small things that make a difference. It was clear that this year it would go to Cristiano Ronaldo”.
Ballon d’Or vote
“I’m not surprised I don’t get any points. What surprises me, is that Iniesta doesn’t get any. That Raúl, Xavi or Iniesta haven’t won one seems ridiculous. I don’t know what the criteria is, but it’s to be respected. I’m not taking away from the champions, people are free to their opinions”.
Let’s do this gentlemen!