Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane appeared in the press room at Real Madrid City to preview his side’s third league match of the season, which takes place on Sunday evening against Villarreal, at the Estadio de la Cerámica (21:00 CET).
The French manager started his press conference by sending his condolences and a message of encouragement to Luis Enrique and his whole family on behalf of everyone at Real Madrid.
“I’d like to say a few words before we start. I want to send my best wishes and all my support and that of the team to Luis Enrique and his family after the terrible news about his daughter. A difficult moment, we are thinking of him and his family.”
“We’re going to approach the game as if it was the most important of the season, the most important is always the next one. Of course points are really important at the start of the campaign, we’ve worked hard this week, with some good training sessions and we want to put that in practice tomorrow.”
“Villarreal are good in possession, they haven’t picked up good results so far, but they can impose plenty of problems. They’ve got some talented players, so we prepared well for the game.”
“Keylor Navas is going to be with us tomorrow, and we’ll have to wait and see up until the 2nd of September. Anything is possible, but he’s part of the team and we got a big game coming up, and my sole focus is on that. It is possible for Navas to leave, it could happen, but he’ll be with us tomorrow and our sole objective is to win.”
“In the end this is the squad that I have and these are the players at my disposal. I’m proud of these players and, for me, they’re the best. The important thing is that when the season starts you’re at ease, and I am. Things can still change until the deadline, but I can’t complain with this squad and any coach would want to train this team.”
HIS ROLE AND RELATIONSHIP WITH FLORENTINO
“My job is to make decisions on the pitch. I’ve always had a very good relationship with Florentino, he signed me back then to play for this great club and I’ll never forget that opportunity. Everyone is free to read into things as they like. I’ve got a good relationship with him and what people say outside of here isn’t something that I can control and it doesn’t bother me. What I’m bothered about is our daily work and the opportunity that I’ve got to coach at this great club.”
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FAVOURITES
“That doesn’t matter, we’ve got to get over what happened last season. We believe in who we are and what we want to do in this competition and are relaxed.”
“Hazard can travel with the Belgium squad but he’s not fit to play right now. We know that, he knows that, and hopefully he rests for the benefit of everyone involved.”
“I can’t be happy when players get injured. Sadly, these things happen, but it happens everywhere, at other clubs too, there are lots of players out injured. Everyone is doing their best to recover them quickly.”
“Anything can happen until Monday midnight. One bomb, two bombs [smiles], but like I said, the most important thing is Sunday’s game.”
“They’re a really competitive side, despite having some absentees. They’ve got an excellent squad and it’ll be a tough competition. It’s a really attractive game to be involved in. It’s the first group-stage game and it’ll be a marvellous contest.”