Rueda de prensa de Zidane

Zidane: "The derby is always a special game"

NEWS | 06/03/2021

"Everyone wants to see a great game of football and we're all set to take on Atlético", commented the Whites' boss.
Zinedine Zidane offered his thoughts to the press at Real Madrid City in the build-up to Sunday's derby meeting with Atlético (4:15pm CET). The coach previewed the match in the following terms: “It’s always a special game, just like all of the Madrid derbies. We’re aware of that, as are our fans. We’re ready for the game. We’ve had a really good week and we're all looking forward to the game. There are no favourites. Everyone just wants to see a great game of football tomorrow”.

“It's a derby and a special game to play in and I myself have experienced that. There are three points at stake tomorrow and it's like a cup final, but that's just the same with all of our games. We always have to win and regardless of what happens, we’ll still be in the LaLiga title race. We’re focused on putting in a good performance and that's all there is to it, that's the most important thing”.

Previous meetings
“It's a different game and the stats don't count for anything. We have to head there with the belief that we're going to put in a good performance and take all three points. What happened in the past won't help us in any way at all. We have to put in a good performance because we're up against strong opponents, who are up there in the table. We’ll have to make a strong start and perform well throughout the 90 minutes”.

Defensive solidity
“It's difficult when you’ve got so many players out. We’re performing well defensively and we know that it's our strength. It's key that we all defend well and that's what we've been doing of late. We have to keep that up and then create chances at the other end. The most important thing is that we're strong defensively”.

Benzema’s return
“He'll be with us. We know just what a player he is and not just in terms of his goals. He's an important player for us and as a striker, he's important within our system, particularly when we're in possession. We'll have to see how we set up tomorrow. I don't want to take any risks if there are any doubts because then you can then end up causing even more damage and sidelining him for even longer. The players who play must be at 100%”.

Benzema brings joy to all football fans.

“Since Benzema joined the club more than 10 years ago, he has improved massively and is a key player and a special player for football fans, not just the Real Madrid supporters. He's a player that everyone admires and it's best to have him on your team. His teammates are pleased to see him back. He does special things out on the pitch and brings joy to those who enjoy football”.

Praise for Courtois
“There are a lot of very good goalkeepers out there, but we've got Courtois and he's one of the best around. He's improved a great deal with us and is an important player. He’s shown that of late and we're happy to have him”.

Casemiro, Modric & Kroos midfield trio
“All three of them have been at Real Madrid for a long time now. They’ll write their names into this great club’s history books. There's no doubt about that and the good thing about Real Madrid is that the club always attracts the best players. They've won an awful lot and that speaks volumes”.

Equalling Del Bosque’s record
“The thing I learnt from him was him calmness. He was very much a footballing man and was very knowledgeable. He was down to earth and transmitted great calmness to the team. I joined the club at the age of 29 and despite that I learnt a lot from him and all of the other coaches I played under. Everyone tries to do as much as they possibly can for this great club. You do feel that that when you leave here because the club has always been very grateful to those who have worked here”.

Vinicius Jr. & Asensio’s goalscoring potential
“We’re keen to score more goals. The important thing is that we’re creating chances and we have been creating more of late. Everyone wants to improve. I remember that I didn't score many goals and my target was to score more. They’re players who have the quality to improve their statistics, particularly their goalscoring records”.

Progress of Hazard’s injury
“There hasn't been any setback and what we want is for him to be 100% when he returns. We’re taking things slowly, without rushing things and we know just what an important player he is within the team. We have to be guided by how he feels and ensure that when he comes back he is feeling strong and is 100%. We're not going to take any risks at all with his return. He's making good progress and I hope that perhaps next week he’lll be able to join in as normal”.