Zinedine Zidane has been saying that many of Real Madrid’s games recently are like finals,but Tuesday night’s clash at home to Inter could go some way to determining whether Los Blancos reach the knockout stages of the Champions League or not.
Real Madrid lost to Shakhtar Donetsk in their group-stage opener and then salvaged a point away at Borussia Monchengladbach after a last-gasp comeback. “We know our opponents and it’s complicated,” Zidane said during Monday’s pre-match press conference. “They are a good team and very physical. And they play good football. Another difficult game for us. It is a final.”
Zidane lined up his first-choice front three of Eden Hazard, Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio against Huesca at the weekend, with the three already being named as the HBA, but can they reach the heights set by the BBC of Gareth Bale, Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo. “The players who are here always want to make history,” Zidane explained. “Those three [Hazard, Benzema and Asensio] that you just said are important and they are sure to do important things. I know that there is talk of having to change things in the squad, but what I see from the inside is that everyone wants to win and that is very good for the coach, which is me at the moment. “I enjoy all of my players and we are going to try with everyone to achieve the objectives.”
Luka Modric has seen himself alternate between the bench and a starting spot of late, but Zidane is clear that it is not an easy decision for him to make.
“Nothing has changed with Luka, we know what he’s like for us,” he said. “There are a lot of games and we are going to rely on all of the players. Luka does well every time he plays. “For a coach it’s the most difficult thing, especially with players like Luka. Choosing and playing, sometimes not playing… But Modric is very important for us.”
Barcelona’s humiliation in the Champions League last season and Real Madrid’s slip-ups so far in this season’s edition have caused some to state that Spanish football is no longer as dominant as it once was, but Zidane believes that this is due to teams being better than they were before. “Football is becoming more and more equal,” he noted. “There are no small teams. Football is becoming more difficult and more beautiful. “Today, anyone can win. That is why we are happy every time we win.”
A topic that never seems far away is that of the Frenchman’s future, yet he claims it is far from his mind. “I don’t think about that, only about giving my all tomorrow against Inter,” Zidane stated.