Zinedine Zidane spoke in press conference before the game against Napoli in the Last 16 Round of the Champions League. The manager is ready to play the clash and try to win back-to-back titles in the competition: “If you go through one knock-out stage you can’t think you’re going to win the Champions League. It’s a tough and long way, and we are in that way. We have all the players back and it’s going to be complicated to make the list, but I’m happy for them”.
Zidane was asked about the presence of Maradona in the stadium: “With all due respect to Maradona, who I saw him playing when I was 14 and he’s been one of the best, perhaps the best one, but I fear more the players in the pitch rather than Diego. We also have our weapons”.
The Real Madrid coach wanted to flatter Maurizio Sarri, Napoli manager: “Sarri makes the team playing and he’s doing great and obtaining results. He plays beautiful. Italian football has a good level with young people showing quality”, Zidane declared.
The French also spoke about the lack of experience of Napoli: “If you are focused in the team I don’t think the atmosphere affects a lot. They have a lot of intensivity, speed, small players, what I don’t like, technically really good, but we can punish them. They are dangerous in the front… We are going to suffer sometimes because they are a very vertical team”.
Speaking about particular players, Zizou was asked again about Karim Benzema: “Every one can say what they want, the most important thing is that I see him very focus and I’m happy with his job. People can demand more from Karim”.
Zidane confirmed that Bale won’t be available: “This is the first week he’s training with the group and he’s well, he doesn’t have pain and that’s important. We’ll see when he can be in the list because we know he’s been out for three months and we have to go slow with Gareth”.
Finally, Zidane gave one of the key questions for the fixture: “It’s a tie and we know there is a second leg game, so at home the most important thing is not conceding any goal, but I want us to be focus on what we have to do. It’s a tie with 50% probabilities, we know we can hurt them but also they can. We’re ready to play”, Zidane finished.