Zinedine Zidane reveals he wouldn’t swap Ronaldo for Salah at Madrid

No chance Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has revealed that he would not swap Cristiano Ronaldo for Mohamed Salah if

No chance

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has revealed that he would not swap Cristiano Ronaldo for Mohamed Salah if he was given the chance.

Ronaldo is still the Bernabeu talisman and continues to impress despite now being 33.

Despite having a poor first half of the season, he has excelled in 2018 and guided Real Madrid into the Champions League final.

Though, Mohamed Salah has arguably had an even more impressive season.

He has not had any blips in his campaign and finished with 43 goals in all competitions, even breaking Cristiano Ronaldo’s record tally in a Premier League season.

Mohamed Salah

Mohamed Salah of Liverpool celebrates after scoring his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Brighton and Hove Albion at Anfield on May 13, 2018 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Swapsies?

Though, Zinedine Zidane has laughed off suggestions that he would swap Ronaldo for Salah.

“No. I would not swap Cristiano or any of my players. Cristiano is the utmost. He’s the best, so he will be of utmost importance,” he is quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror. 

“I’m always calm because that’s the way I am, that’s my nature. My nature is calm and at the end, it’s better to have Cristiano, better to have Cristiano with you because he proves that every year.

“I believe that a player knows he may have a complex moment but for him, it’s the other way round.

“When he doesn’t score, he still knows he will score three or four times in a row. He knows he will get there, he can handle pressure and knows he will get there.

“Some players cannot handle pressure. For him, it’s the other way round., The more pressure you give him, the more you criticise him, the better he plays.”

Real Madrid’s Zinedine Zidane being lined up for France national team job

Interesting move Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is being lined up for the French national team job with reports suggesting

Interesting move

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is being lined up for the French national team job with reports suggesting that contact has already been made.

The Frenchman is no doubt one of the best managers in world football having won back to back Champions League trophies with Los Blancos.

He is also on the cusp of another one if his side are able to overcome Liverpool in the final on May 26th.

Though, there is already talk of his future if he does eventually leave Real Madrid.

There have been some suggestions that he could go if the club lost in the Champions League final after a lacklustre La Liga season.

Though, suggestions that he could leave the club for the French national team would have to wait until around 2020.

(Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

Contact

That is because 10Sport have suggested that the French Football Federation have contacted the boss to see if he would be interested in succeeding Didier Deschamps in 2020.

The former Chelsea star has a contract until that time and plans are already been made to bring Zidane in after that.

The report also cites information from a Spanish report that Zidane has not shut the door on the possibility of becoming France boss.

Though, they also explain that the priority of Zidane right now is to finish his contract at the club he so dearly loves.

After that, we could see a very interesting change of job from the Frenchman.

Zidane Sidesteps Talk Of Neymar Real Move

Real Madrid’s French coach Zinedine Zidane                             

Real Madrid’s French coach Zinedine Zidane                                                      JAVIER SORIANO / AFP

 

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane on Friday sidestepped talk of a bid for the world’s most expensive footballer Neymar.

“I don’t know, I don’t think so. What we are thinking about at the moment is the Champions League final,” Zidane told a press conference when asked about a possible move for the Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil star.

It’s “normal that people talk,” he added, “but I am not going there, because we are focusing on the season and the rest we will talk about later.”

Zidane’s squad take on Liverpool in the Champions League final in Kiev on May 26, looking to win the trophy for the third year in a row.

Pushed about whether Neymar would fit into the Real setup and would be compatible with Cristiano Ronaldo, Zidane said, “the good ones are always compatible (with each other.”

Real President Florentino Pérez has made no secret of his desire to recruit Neymar, sparking daily rumours of transfer moves for the Brazilian star who played for Spanish rivals Barcelona from 2013-2017 before moving to French champions PSG.

AFP

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Zidane Confident Ronaldo Will Be Fit For Champions League Final

File photo   Zinedine Zidane believes Cristiano Ronaldo will be fit to play for Real Madrid in the Champions League

Zidane Confident Ronaldo Will Be Fit For Champions League Final
File photo

 

Zinedine Zidane believes Cristiano Ronaldo will be fit to play for Real Madrid in the Champions League final. 

Zidane also said on Tuesday that Mohamed Salah deserves great credit for Liverpool’s surprise run in Europe but insisted the match in Kiev will not be a contest of the Egyptian against Ronaldo.

Ronaldo was forced off at half-time of Sunday’s Clasico between Real and Barcelona, which ended 2-2 at the Camp Nou, and Zidane has confirmed the Portuguese sprained his ankle.

There were fears the injury could affect Ronaldo’s chances of facing Liverpool on May 26 but Zidane is confident his star player will recover, along with fellow absentees Isco and Dani Carvajal.

“I think they will all be fine for the final – Cristiano, Isco, Carvajal,” Zidane said.

“The one more injured is Cristiano because it has just happened but it is going well, he is walking normally and he will be fine.”

Ronaldo was hurt during a collision with Gerard Pique just as he bundled in Real’s equaliser against Barcelona.

He played on for 31 minutes until the interval but did not emerge for the second half.

“It is a sprain, but there is no particular damage on the fibula, it is a small sprain and his ankle is stable,” Zidane said.

“Ronaldo, in terms of his injury, is incredible, that’s what he has this guy, he is already on the ground, walking, and feeling positive 48 hours later.

“Even if we do not know when he will resume with the team, the fact that he is already there 48 hours after shows his commitment, his desire to always want to play.”

Real visit Sevilla in La Liga on Wednesday but with the title race settled and their place in the top four safe, the key now is to avoid any further injury scares.

Liverpool, still battling for Champions League qualification in the Premier League, will not have the luxury of resting star players like Salah, who is considered key to them beating Real.

“Salah had a great season and I think he deserves a lot of credit for Liverpool being in the final, that’s for sure,” Zidane said.

“But in the end, I don’t like to call this a match of Cristiano against Salah. It will be Madrid against Liverpool, as always, that is the most important thing.”

AFP

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Zidane: Ronaldo Will Be Fit To Face Liverpool In UCL Final

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo will be fit to face Liverpool in the Champions League

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo will be fit to face Liverpool in the Champions League final.

Ronaldo picked up an ankle injury in the process of converting Karim Benzema’s knockdown which made it 1-1 for Madrid in Sunday’s El Clasico with Barcelona at the Nou Camp.

He was later withdrawn at the break with Gareth Bale rescuing a 2-2 draw against 10-man Barcelona following Sergie Roberto sending off.

Speaking during in his press conference on Tuesday ahead of Real Madrid’s league clash away to Sevilla on Wednesday, Zidane also hoped that Isco and Dani Carvajal would recover in time for the final on May 26.

“They are all going to arrive at the Champions League final,” Zidane said.

“The worst is Cristiano, because it’s just happened, but he’s fine.

“Isco will train with us normally and Carvajal has a little way to go, but physically he is working well.”

“It’s incredible that he’s (Ronaldo) already walking after 48 hours.

“That shows his ambition, his desire to want to play. It would be perfect if he was able to play against Villarreal (Madrid’s last game of the season).

“It’s a sprain, but there’s not damage to the fibula. The ankle is stable.”

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You Have To Suffer, Zidane Hails Real Madrid Win

Real Madrid’s French coach Zinedine Zidane stands before the UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg football match between Real Madrid

Real Madrid’s French coach Zinedine Zidane stands before the UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg football match between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid on May 1, 2018. JAVIER SORIANO / AFP

 

Real Madrid scrapped their way into a third consecutive Champions League final on Tuesday and coach Zinedine Zidane said he would not have wanted it any other way.

After their last-gasp win over Juventus in the quarter-finals, Real were left hanging on against Bayern Munich at the Santiago Bernabeu as Karim Benzema’s double secured a 2-2 draw and 4-3 win on aggregate.

When Joshua Kimmich gave Bayern an early lead and James Rodriguez levelled with 27 minutes remaining, Real looked in danger of surrendering their 2-1 advantage from the first leg.

By the end, Real’s fans were begging for the full-time whistle and if it is to be Liverpool in the final in Kiev, Jurgen Klopp’s men will take heart.

Zidane, however, insists the grit his team have shown to overcome Paris Saint-Germain, Juve, and now Bayern, should not be underestimated.

“In football, you have to suffer,” Zidane said. “You cannot be in the final without suffering, it’s even better, more beautiful when you win like that.

“Madrid never gives up. It is the same in adversity, we believe in what we do and we get things done by believing in ourselves and fighting.”

Real, and Zidane, are now on the brink of a third consecutive Champions League triumph, and 13th overall in Europe’s premier tournament.

Whether it be Liverpool or Roma they face in Kiev, Los Blancos will be strong favourites to lift the title.

“We are only in the final,” Zidane said. “You can be happy, you have to be, it is not normal to be in the final for the third consecutive time.

“But now that we are, what we have to do is try to win. We will fight to defend our title.”

‘Spectacular’ Navas 

Benzema’s two goals were also a credit to Zidane, who had picked the striker despite a poor run of form that had included only one goal in 12 games.

“He never gave up and I’m happy for him,” Zidane said. “I defended Karim as I defend all my players, I defend them until the end.”

Bayern, meanwhile, are left wondering what might have been after dominating large spells of the two legs but paying a heavy price for individual mistakes.

Benzema’s second, which proved decisive, was a gift, with goalkeeper Sven Ulreich making a mess of Corentin Tolisso’s under-hit back pass and allowing the Frenchman to slot into an open net.

“If you look at both games it is quite apparent we were the best team,” Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes said.

“I’m very disappointed in the result. We dominated, I believe, and they should thank Keylor Navas for his performance in goal, he was spectacular, particularly towards the end of the match.”

On Ulreich’s error, Heynckes added: “He had a little blackout, he got confused, he didn’t realise he couldn’t pick it up with his hands.

“It’s terrible for a player to live through such a moment, but nevertheless we did have a lot of opportunities, and all in all our ‘keeper performed well.”

AFP

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Zidane Rests Ronaldo For Leganes Ahead Of Bayern Return Leg

File photo   Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane gave Cristiano Ronaldo a day off on Saturday ahead of Tuesday’s Champions

Zidane Rests Ronaldo For Leganes Ahead Of Bayern Return Leg
File photo

 

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane gave Cristiano Ronaldo a day off on Saturday ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final second leg against Bayern Munich.

Defenders Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane were also rested for the home La Liga game with modest Madrid rivals Leganes.

Isco and Dani Carvajal miss out too as they sustained a shoulder and hamstring injury respectively in last week’s first leg 2-1 win against the Bundesliga champions and have already been ruled out of the second leg.

Real moved a step closer to a third straight European title when substitute Marco Asensio hit the winner in Munich last Wednesday after Bayern had taken the lead through Joshua Kimmich with Marcelo levelling just before the break.

AFP

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Real Must Heed Juventus Lesson To Beat Bayern – Zidane

(Files) Real Madrid’s French Coach Zinedine Zidane OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP   Zinedine Zidane says Real Madrid must heed

Real Must Heed Juventus Lesson To Beat Bayern - Zidane
(Files) Real Madrid’s French Coach Zinedine Zidane OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP

 

Zinedine Zidane says Real Madrid must heed the lessons from their Juventus scare in order to finish off Bayern Munich in next Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final, return leg.

Real took a step closer to a third straight European title after Marco Asensio hit the winner in a 2-1 first-leg come-back victory in Munich on Wednesday.

But having suffered an almighty scare at home in the quarter-finals, when Juventus won 3-1 in Madrid after Real had beaten them 3-0 in Turin, Zidane says nothing is decided despite Real’s slender advantage.

“We will have to fight in the second leg, nothing is decided, that showed in the second leg against Juventus,” said Zidane.

“We will have to suffer again and face Bayern in a different way at home, because if we don’t, we could have a bad result next week,” he warned.

The hosts took the lead at the sold-out Allianz Arena through Joshua Kimmich, but Marcelo equalised just before the break.

Substitute Asensio hit Real’s winner after finishing a counter-attack to seal Real’s sixth straight win over Bayern in the knock-out stages of Europe.

“We can be happy with the result, we had difficulties at the start of the match in imposing our game,” said Zidane.

“It’s not easy to come and win here, we can do better, but we’re happy with the result.”

Zidane pulled a surprise before kick-off by dropping Gareth Bale, but insisted he does not have a problem with the Welshman.

“I have a lot of quality players here, he has been playing well and I know I can count on Gareth Bale the same way I do those others who also didn’t play,” said Zidane.

Toni Kroos was unimpressed with Real’s performance at his former club.

– Wasted Chances –

“It was an average performance from us in the end, we had a lot of work to do, a lot of running,” said Madrid’s Germany midfielder.

“The result is good, nothing more than that.

“Bayern were probably a bit better than us, but we took our chances well.”

Bayern captain Thomas Mueller admits the result does them no favours.

To compound Bayern’s woes, they could have lost both Arjen Robben and Jerome Boateng for the return.

Both suffered leg injuries in the opening half an hour and will be examined on Thursday.

“Madrid is Madrid, we saw them how coolly they took their chances,” said Mueller.

“We need another mentality in front of goal, which could have been very different in my opinion.”

Mueller says last year’s 2-1 second-leg win over 90 minutes at Madrid in the quarter-finals — before Bayern eventually lost 6-3 on aggregate after extra-time — gives them hope.

“We won’t give up, we won there last year, but we need a different mentality and a killer instinct,” he said.

Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes was not happy to see his team throw away the lead and waste a string of chances.

“It was a curious game, we had a lot of chances we didn’t use, so it’s no wonder we lost,” fumed Heynckes

“I’m not accusing anyone, but our defence was poor for the goals they scored — we gave them away.

“What team has so many chances against Real and doesn’t use them?

“We have nothing to lose in Madrid and go there with a free spirit.”

AFP

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Bayern’s James Has Nothing To Prove To Real Madrid – Zidane

  Zinedine Zidane insists James Rodriguez has nothing to prove to him when the Colombian faces Real Madrid with Bayern

 

Zinedine Zidane insists James Rodriguez has nothing to prove to him when the Colombian faces Real Madrid with Bayern Munich in their Champions League semi-final, first leg, on Wednesday.

James has shone at Bayern since Zidane let him leave Real on a two-year loan deal last July at the end of three often difficult seasons in Madrid.

The Colombian attacking midfielder has rediscovered his best form while playing regularly again and has the chance in Munich to show Real and Zidane what they are missing.

“James loves to play football, so of course he’ll want to play well, but not to show me or prove me wrong,” said Real coach Zidane.

“I didn’t want James to leave. He wanted more game time, which I can understand.

“I never had any problem with him, he just wanted to play.”

Madrid paid Monaco 75 million euros ($91.7m) for James after he finished top scorer at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and he made an impressive start in his first season.

However, Zidane’s appointment as Madrid coach in January 2016 set him back as the Frenchman gave him limited opportunities and often left him on the bench.

“The only reason he went was that he wanted to play more football,” said Zidane.

“I never had a problem with James, that was just something you journalists said.

“It’s the same problem every year, there are good players who have to sit on the bench and that’s sad.”

Real trail Barcelona by 15 points in La Liga and so the Champions League, which they have won in the last two seasons, is the last silverware available to them.

‘150 percent ready’

Zidane said Real are relishing the challenge against Bayern as they return to the Allianz Arena, scene of a 2-1 win in the first leg of the quarter-finals last season.

They also handed Bayern a record 4-0 home defeat in the 2014 semi-finals.

“We can’t shit our pants before a game like this, you have to enjoy it,” said Zidane with a grin.

“The players like matches like this, even if we know we will have to suffer to get a win here.

“This is a team which has been fighting at this level for a long time, it’s in the DNA of this club.

“We’ll be at 150 percent, I don’t have any doubt about that.”

Real’s goal-machine Cristiano Ronaldo scored five goals over both legs in last season’s quarter-finals when Real beat Bayern 6-3 on aggregate.

The Germans finished both legs with 10 men.

Javi Martinez was sent off in Real’s 2-1 win in Munich and Arturo Vidal also had two bookings when Bayern lost 4-2 after extra time in Madrid.

However, Real’s Germany midfielder Toni Kroos, who won the 2013 Champions League title with Bayern, says the Bavarians are better than they were 12 months ago.

Under head coach Jupp Heynckes, who also steered them to the 2013 treble, Bayern wrapped up the Bundesliga title three weeks ago and are into the German Cup final.

“They won the (Bundesliga) title very early, but haven’t let up,” said Kroos.

“They are very hungry. Their shape is better than last year, they are in top form and playing more like a team under Heynckes, but we are here to change that.

“This is our last chance to win a title. We are highly motivated, as we have been the whole season long in the Champions League.

“We haven’t taken the easiest route this year with PSG (Paris Saint-Germain), Juventus and now Bayern, but we are on the verge of the final.”

AFP

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Zidane: LaLiga Triumph Excites Me More Than UCL Glory

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane says defending the Spanish Laliga title would have been more exciting for him and his

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane says defending the Spanish Laliga title would have been more exciting for him and his players than retaining the UEFA Champions League.

Madrid could become the first side to win Europe’s elite club competition a record three straight times since it became known as the UEFA Champions League.

They take a 3-0 first-leg advantage into their quarter-final reverse fixture against Juventus on Wednesday at the Santiago Bernabeu.

But in LaLiga, it has been a limp defence of the title they won last season as they are fourth, 15 points adrift of leaders Barcelona, with seven games left.

“Winning the league makes me more excited, it’s the most difficult competition and I also think it’s what the players want,” Zidane told The Sun.

“But if you look at the club’s record in the Champions League you’ll see no-one has achieved what we have.”

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