The team finished their final session before facing Granada tomorrow (7 AM my time – ugh!)
Martin Odegaard again joined the first team for the session. Sergio training on his own on the pitch. G-Money, Pepe, Mateo & Lucas continued their recovery work. The latter two did some work on the pitch as well. (Video)
“We’re going into this in the same way as the game against Sevilla. Granada will make things difficult”, he added.
Zidane spoke to the press after the final training session ahead of the game against Granada (Saturday, 1:00pm CET). The coach spoke about how he will approach the game: “In the same way as the game against Sevilla. It is another game and we have to get back into LaLiga and keep doing what we are doing well. We are facing a team that likes to make life difficult for you and we will have to be ready to put in a good shift yet again. We don’t have much recovery time or time to train as we are playing every three days, but that is the way things are, we have to do things well and play a good game”.
“I have always enjoyed myself. Since I first came to the club I have enjoyed it here. The first few days were a little tricky but I’ve really enjoyed every single day here. Real Madrid is the best. I’ve gone from being a player first, to being a coach… now I’m coaching the first team, and I’m happy and need to make the most of it because one day this will all be over. The players also make the most of being at this club because time here really does fly. All the players are enjoying themselves and I love that”.
Career as a coach
“I fret over things but keep them to myself, apparently I don’t show it. I’m 44 years old so I’m still quite young. I have just started coaching, but eventually things will get more complicated. I have been with the first team for one year now and for the moment I can handle it”.
“He puts his work above anything else. I’ve seen him perform well on plenty of occasions. The other day he scored two goals and I am happy with those goals and the work he is putting in. Asensio and James did a good job of keeping Sevilla’s wingers at bay. James is important but for me the important thing is the team and the energy that they have. I want all of my players to go out onto the pitch and give their very best. The idea is to keep up the good work that they are all doing, it really is down to all of them”.
Four madridistas in the Uefa.com World XI
“I am thrilled for those four players. It means they are doing something right. If you ask me if there are more players who deserve to be there then I would say yes, because they are all professionals and great players”.
“We spoke and the one thing you have to bear in mind is that Cristiano is a truly intelligent player. My idea is to have Cristiano fit throughout the season. When playing 20 games in 70 days, obviously from time to time you have to rest. That is how we both see it. He always wants to play but we discuss things. We both want to win absolutely everything in front of us”.
“He is a leader both on and off the pitch. When he wasn’t playing he came to say hello and he came to the dressing room before and after the game. He always speaks to every single player and is completely dedicated even when he is not playing. He has a great energy about him and it rubs off on the others. He is important for the group and he is a great leader”.
Cristiano’s position change
“Cristiano can play anywhere. Recently he has been playing as a number nine, but he can play where he has played his entire life. We keep changing things but there is nothing set in stone. It is something temporary as he can play anywhere. It is difficult to get him scoring more goals than he already is”.
“I don’t look at the referees and don’t want to get bogged down in all of that. We are thinking about tomorrow’s game and that is that. I won’t comment on the referees. They have a difficult job and my sole focus is what we are going to do on the pitch tomorrow”.
“I’m not going to comment every time there is an issue like this. I am only looking at our game and playing as best we can. I’m not thinking about what happened yesterday. It happens and could happen again. I want to underline the hard work of the referees and that is all”.
What his players give him
“My players show me their professionalism and work ethic. They are there working hard every day. It is difficult doing what they do. We have done well but we have many games to play and there is a long way to go. We know that if we play well we can win things. I show my players the passion I have and what I understand about football. I’m 44 and this what I’ve done throughout my life, play football and think about football because I love it”.
Good run of results
“It is not the most important aspect. I try not to focus on these sorts of things and keep calm. What I focus on is my day-to-day work and preparations for our games. We can keep on breaking records but that isn’t the most important thing, I’m more concerned with improving each day”.
“I have the best players and the good fortune to be able to train them. Each coach has to focus on his work but I think I’m lucky to have such quality players at my disposal. It helps so much having them here and gives us more options to win. Clearly talent alone isn’t enough, you also have to work hard. If you combine those two, you can succeed”.
The following players were called up for the match:
Goalkeepers: Navas, Casilla and Yáñez.
Defenders: Carvajal, Varane, Nacho, Marcelo, Coentrão and Danilo.
Midfielders: Kroos, James, Casemiro, Modric, Asensio and Isco.
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Mariano and Morata.
And now I’d better get to sleep if I want to get up and watch that game tomorrow.