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Zidane: "We head into El Clásico in good shape, both mentally and in footballing terms"

NEWS | 17/12/2019 | Alberto Navarro | PHOTOGRAPHER: Víctor Carretero

"We've been playing well and picking up results for some time now", added the Real Madrid coach.
Zinedine Zidane took to the media room at Real Madrid City on the eve of El Clásico to preview Wednesday's LaLiga meeting against Barcelona at the Camp Nou (8pm CET). The Whites' boss had the following to say: "We go into the game in good shape. We've been playing well for some time now and have been achieving results in all departments, both mentally and in footballing terms. We're enjoying a good spell. We're all focused on tomorrow night's game. In games like this you've got to produce your best throughout the 90 minutes. I hope that it's a great game".

"It's one to enjoy, regardless of what happens. We start the game with 11 v 11 and know what we're up against: a very good side, who has shown that they're just that for some time now. We know that they've got [Lionel] Messi, but we too have our own weapons. I want to see a good game of football against a Barcelona side who're performing well. We know what the game's going to be like and the result isn't the important thing, the important thing is that we perform for the 90 minutes, which is how we'll enjoy ourselves".

Importance of teamwork
"Teamwork is always important. We've got to play together, with energy and desire. It's not only about showing that in the games but in training too. That's the consequence because in a game, anything can happen. The important thing is that we're 100% ready and we have been of late".

Fede Valverde
"He's doing very well and that's the value of this club. This club has always had the best players and he's proving that he deserves to be here".

Is possession key?
"It's not just all about that. You've got to think about a lot of factors. We'll have to perform to our best. I've got no doubt about that. That's what we'll be trying to do in every respect and not just in terms of possession".

Clásicos are the kinds of games that you live for.

"I'm not concerned about it at all. We're happy to be involved in a game like this. I remember when I was a player and these are the kinds of games you live for. We're just focused on what happens on the pitch. All we're bothered about is playing and my job is on the pitch. We all want to enjoy the football, which is what we all like".

Man-marking job on Messi
"Every day has its own story and its own time. Mateo Kovacic was the right player to man-mark Messi, but tomorrow it's another game and another story. We'll see what we do tomorrow".

"He's with us and is training well. He's an important player and has always shown that. He'll be ready tomorrow, just like they all will be. I've got no doubts about that".

His role as coach
"I'm just thinking about this game because it's our next one and I think that it's the focus for everyone at the moment. It's all about giving 100% at all times and if I started to think about what would happen if the game doesn't go well then I'd have to change jobs".

The referee
"I don't think that they put pressure on the referee. Everyone's entitled to their opinion. You've got to leave the referees alone because, just like the rest of us, they want to do their job and do a good job, like us and Barcelona. It's a football match. There's a lot going on around it, but people want to watch the football match and nothing else. There's a lot of fuss". 

Two teams to leave for stadium together
"That's something different for us. We've been told that we have to leave together and that's what we'll do. There's nothing else to explain. The important thing is that the game goes ahead. We've got to put all of our energy into performing on the pitch and have to believe that it'll go ahead. Tomorrow we'll have a game of football to play".