Ready To Meet Éibar

9 Mar

Los Blancos had their final session before traveling to Bilbao in preparation for tomorrow’s match. 

Training

The full squad (with the exception of Luca) were available for the session, joined by Under-18s goalkeeper Adrián. (Video)

Presser

FROM REALMADRID.COM

Zidane: “Éibar are a brave team and they’re enjoying a fantastic season”
by Javier Garcia | Photographer: Angel Martinez

“We’re preparing to put in a good performance because it’s not easy to take points from there”, he added.

Zinedine Zidane appeared in the press room at Real Madrid City after overseeing the final training session ahead of this weekend’s clash with Éibar (Saturday, 1:00pm CET). The coach discussed his side’s visit to Ipurua: “We’re in for another tough game at a difficult place to go. It’s a small pitch and it’s not easy to take points there. Éibar are having a fantastic season but we’re preparing to put in a great performance because that’s exactly what’s required at Ipurua”.

“They’re a team who have fought hard against relegation and are now demonstrating they’re capable of more. I am a big fan of their coach, he’s got clear ideas. They’re a brave and disciplined team. I’m not at all surprised by their league position and they’re going to make life hard for us”.

LaLiga
“It’s hard to stay at the top level throughout the course of a season. This year, LaLiga has been a case of ups and downs. When you drop points on those above you and the gap opens up, it’s difficult. We’ve had some good games and some poor ones. We know that in our work day to day, this is my message, that we will not give in. LaLiga is not finished, and it’s not over. We’re going to keep fighting until the end because anything can happen in football”.

The season
“I would not have taken this situation, because at the start of the season we always want to win everything. We always want more. But the reality is where we’re at today and we have to keep fighting to achieve more. I would have liked to be top of the league and in the Copa final. But that’s football and we have to accept it”.

Celebrations in Paris
“I’m not here to talk about specific names. The PSG game was won by the group. Perhaps some stand out more than others but I hugged every one of my players because we were absolutely thrilled. But it’s in the past now. We have another important game tomorrow in LaLiga and we have to put in a good performance”.

Benzema
“I’m not going to comment on what’s been said. I was pleased with Karim’s contribution. I’d have liked him to score but he did a lot for the team and we have to be patient. Other players got the goals, we won the game and I’m not concerned by anything else. People who know about football know what a good player he is. There are some who like him, others don’t. Some people love Isco, others don’t. That’s something we cannot change”.

“Karim has to carry on because we should look at what he’s achieved in his nine years here. I really like him as a player and his numbers speak for themselves. He may be the Madrid number 9 and we ask more of him because he’s not been scoring lately. But he’s doing an awful lot for the team and the goals will come. People who like football have to like Benzema”.

Champions League aim
“I’m not thinking about it, I’m focused on tomorrow’s game. The Champions League is back in April and we’ll think about it then. We’ve got real ambitions in that competition and we’ll give it our all, but the most important thing for the team is to follow the right path, and we’ve got another chance to show that tomorrow”.

Criticism
“I’m not here to convince anyone. Everyone will have an opinion about my and they’re entitled to that. I don’t want to change people’s opinions. The key for me is to keep working hard and give it my all every day. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Right now, everyone’s saying I’m the best, a tactician, but it’s ridiculous. If I lose to Éibar they’ll say I’m the worst. The important thing is the passion that I bring to training and on match day”.

“I’m not bothered by it at all, it’s the way it is. When you lose, there are comments, and when you win, there are others. It won’t stop me working with the hunger I possess. We have to live with that criticism and when it’s going against you, you have to live with it”.

Neymar
“I’m not going to discuss a player who isn’t mine. As for the price… I think they paid 220 million and that’s that. When they bought me for 72 or however much, I thought it was madness and ten years later we’re talking about 220. It could well be that in a few years’ time, that’ll be 400 million. Neymar would fit in at any club because he’s a fantastic player, just like many others”.

Bale
“He’s not lacking anything. He’s part of a squad full of good players. He’s doing a great job as well and we have a lot of games. He didn’t start in either last-sixteen game but I’ve not got any problem with him. He’s a fantastic player and very important for us, just like everyone else. There’s no problem with him being on the bench, I spoke with him and he knows what it’s all about. You’re looking for a problem where there isn’t one. I pick a team every three days and for me, Gareth is crucial, but there are other important players as well”.

Call Ups

The following players were called up for the match:

Goalkeepers: Navas and Casilla.
Defenders: Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Nacho, Marcelo and Theo.
Midfielders: Kroos, Modric, Casemiro, Asensio, Isco and Kovacic.
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Bale and Lucas Vázquez.

Travel

The team made the short hour-long flight to Bilbao where they were greeted by enthusiastic fans. (Video)

Signing

Fans got to meet and pose with Casemiro and Cristiano at the Hotel Carlton, where the team are headquartered. Man, do I ever love that family in the plaids, stripes and velour baby tracksuit. They are rocking my world.

Award

Congratulations to Asensio who was given the Mahou Cinco Estrellas Award for February, The award is voted on by fans.

– Lozil

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