Zinedine Zidane spoke in press conference before facing APOEL in the first game of the group stage in the Champions League. The champions will try to defend their crown conquered in Cardiff and they have a very challenging group.
The team has been heavily criticized because they’re having difficulties to score some goals recently: “At the end, it’s true that we had Morata and Mariano in the past and now we only have Mayoral, so we can think we are short of a ‘9’. It could be, but we couldn’t make it. I’d have liked Morata to stay, but he wanted to play more and he left. We couldn’t get another player, but I believe in Mayoral. We have Karim, Gareth… we‘re going to handle this with the people we have”, Zidane said.
The manager made many rotations in the last game against Levante and he was criticized because of that: “You are there to do your job and I’m going to do mine the best way I can. Having this squad we can make a lot of things. I’m interested in my players. I respect the things outside, but I’m not going to change what I want to do”.
Los Blancos have not started well La Liga with two draws in a row: “It was the same last year, we’re not worried. We’re not happy with the results, but this is football. We are not going to chance our job, tomorrow we’ll try to play better and win the match”.
Real Madrid start the defence of the two titles won in a row: “We’re happy to be back to this competitions. We are the champions, but everything starts from scratch. We’re hopeful. It’s going to be tough, we’re all aware about this”.
Finally, Zidane spoke about Cristiano Ronaldo, who will be back against APOEL: “He’s very well, very happy to play again. Physically, he’s great, but also mentally, and he’s happy to be back to the pitch”.