Zidane and the BBC: “I like to look at different systems”


Blanco boss says team are not thinking about PSG clash yet, but are focused on this Saturday’s away game against Levante

Zinedine Zidane has the full BBC available once again. The Real Madrid manager played all three at Mestalla, and they will presumably play a decisive role from now until the end of the season. Even still, the Frenchman recalls how, in the last Champions League final, with Bale on the bench in his hometown, Cardiff, the team beat Juventus with a diamond formation in midfield: “I like all of my players, I like to look at different systems too”, Zidane explained. “We can play with the three of them up top because they’ve always performed well in those positions. Then there are other other players who can play there too, and I can change things around.”

The one who stands to lose most from the return of the BBC is Isco Alarcón. “I don’t see much as having changed”, Zidane answered a reporter’s question. “What he needs to do is keep working, knowing how important he is for us. We have a lot of matches to play in a row. After Real Sociedad [on February 10th] we have nine fixtures in a very short time, about a month, and Isco play a part in that. Later you’ll be asking why Marco Asensio is not playing, then it will be about Ceballos and then another player… you guys talk about these things all the time.”

The Málaga-born midfielder and Sergio Ramos will both be back in the call-up for the away game at Levante as they are now both over their injuries. The team are still not focusing on the Champions League Round of 16 tie with PSG, which will be within twelve days. “The most important thing for us is tomorrow’s game”, Zidane commented.

Being knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Leganés has brought a silver lining in one sense for Zidane: “When you’ve got a long week, like this one and the next, that’s the time to recharge the batteries and get down to work. For example, in my first year we spent entire weeks looking at improving physically, which we did, really well, focusing on strength, resistance, speed…”

As is now habitual, Zidane was asked about signings in the winter window, or rather the lack of them: “We stick together in the hard times, like now. I look at my players and see they are focused and driven. Although many people say I’ve done this just not to have problems, I have real faith in my squad and they repay it by working hard, fighting and refusing to believe that this is the end already.”