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Real Madrid - Athletic Club

Zidane: "It was hard going, but it was a deserved win"


NEWS | 15/12/2020

"For me, Benzema is the greatest forward in the history of French football", commented the coach.
Zinedine Zidane shared his thoughts with the press in the media room at the Alfredo Di Stéfano following Real Madrid's meeting with Athletic Club: “We probably found it slightly harder going after a week in which we've had four games. Normally when you've got a one-man advantage, it should make things easier, but that's not the case. It was tough and we rushed things a little bit when we were in possession. It’s true that we struggled that little bit more. But, at the end of the day, it's three points, a good win and our fourth victory on the spin and that's down to the players. It's a deserved win”.

“You talk about the things I do. I'm there and have to do these things. We changed things around tonight and I think that's what was needed, that's all there is to it. All of them are focused and want to play. The players want to play and the most important thing is that we keep on doing what we're doing. There will be challenges because you've got opponents out there, but we're doing well and are focused in everything we do. Once again, we've got to be satisfied at having picked up three points”.

Backs against the wall
“Yes. We were up against it and we had to dig in. You can’t get through a game in this league without doing so. It’s our fourth consecutive game, we’ve played brilliantly in the last three from the first minute to the last and today we struggled a bit more but we have to be pleased with the result. The key thing was to get the points, even if we weren’t quite as emphatic but ultimately, it’s important to pick up points when you don’t play well“. 

Is Benzema the greatest French forward of all time? 
“As far as I’m concerned, yes, he is. He’s showing it with all he’s achieving. He’s been at Real Madrid for a long time, he’s played over 500 games, the goals... Really, the trophies he’s won speak for themselves. He’s demonstrating his quality, for me, he’s the best there is, no doubt about it. Things take time, he’s a more complete player now but he’s always shown he’s not just a number 9 who thinks only about scoring goals. That’s why I love him because he’s not got a one-track mind. If he has to pass to a teammate, he does so, that’s what I like about him. He’s got both sides to his game. Tonight, for instance, it wasn’t a fantastic display from him, but then he got two goals and that’s what Karim can do”.