NEWS | 16/01/2016 | Alberto Navarro“In Cristiano I've got the best player in the world", added the Real Madrid coach.
Zinedine Zidane spoke to the media at the Real Madrid City press room one day ahead of the La Liga clash against Sporting. The Whites' coach, who revealed that "Varane is going to play", previewed the opening game of the second half of the season: "We need to be on our guard because we know that we're up against tough opposition, who know how to play and who'll come here fighting. We need to make a good start and focus on the things we've worked on during the week".
"I'm not afraid of them, they're tough opposition, despite them being down there in the table. They have some good players, and we're going to have to be on our guard. I'm more bothered about what we do, but we'll have to pay attention to two or three aspect of their game. The important thing is that we all go away happy at the end of the game".
In Cristiano Ronaldo I've got the best player, and that's that. Between him and Messi there's a competition because they're both very good, and that's not going to change for quite some time. I don't think that he is a worse player than he was before. He's got my trust and his stats are there for everyone to see. If he doesn't score three goals it won't matter, and if he does, we'll all be happy. There'll always be talk of Cristiano Ronaldo, but I'm very happy with him and what I focus on is his work. He's performing very well, and I hope that he starts well tomorrow and that he scores many goals".
Praise for Varane
"He has made progress. He's a starter for the national team, and he has also been captain. He's improved, but we all know how tough it is to play for this club. Tomorrow he's going to play".
"He is an assistant. He helps me out, just like Hamidou, Luis or Javi do. We've got a group and he's a member of it. He's not performing the role of my assistant now. We're friends and we've worked together a lot. He's always been by my side, and I've always thought that he has a lot to offer. We have the same passion, which is for football. First things first, they're not going to throw me out. What's more, we have Chendo who has his assistant coach badges.
"I think that it is absurd because I've been here, in Madrid for my whole life, with my family and my children. It'll get resolved and the important thing is to find out what has happened. I'm sure that by next week we'll no longer be talking about it. I'm a little bit bothered by it, but they are things that are difficult to accept and that are absurb. Next week everything will be resolved, I'm relaxed about it. It doesn't make any sense. It is a mistake. The most important thing is to focus on the football.
Sergio Ramos' recovery
"He's doing better. After having spoken to the doctor, we think that next week he'll join in with the rest of the group. We believe that it's best with him not to take the risk, and I think that by Tuesday he'll be able to train normally alongside the rest of his team-mates".
No Copa del Rey
"The reason that we're out owes to bad luck. It gives us the chance to work, and that's important with what lies ahead: the Champions League and La Liga. We've got three weeks in which to work. We trained well last week and this week too. We're lucky to have this break in which to work on things".
James to start?
"You'll find that out tomorrow, he's part of the squad. He might be, but today I'm can't tell you".
Training during the week
"On Wednesday we did strength work, both on and off the training pitch, and on Thursday we worked on resistance, both with and without the ball. We trained well on both days. On Friday we dropped the intensity levels a bit, as we did today, ahead of the game".
"We do a little bit of everything in each training session. There's an element of physical work, given that we're just playing once a week. At the start of the week, we work a bit more on the physical side of things, and by the end of the week the sessions are a bit shorter, and always involve the ball. Such is my footballing philosophy".
"Up until now there have been no discussions with the club. I'm happy with my squad. I get on very well with Fabio Coentrão, and I know what he's like as a player, but I'm very happy with my squad, and with how they've been training".
"He is a very good player, an extraordinary player. Right now I'm working with the squad I've got, and that's all I'm focused on. I'm working with this group, and it is with these players that'll see us win games and trophies this season".