Zinedine Zidane spoke of being ‘proud’ in his Real Madrid players but accepts ‘Barcelona deserve La Liga.’
The Catalans were confirmed as champions in the final round of fixtures as a Luis Suarez hat-trick beat Granada at the same time a Cristiano Ronaldo brace downed Deportivo La Coruna, but Madrid end the year in second, a point behind La Blaugrana.
“I’m happy and proud of what we have done. We had difficulties but we never lowered our arms, we fought to the end. That was the message to the squad,” Zidane said, AS reports, having been appointed in January to replace Rafa Benitez, with the Champions League Final still to come.
“We have to rest and I’m very proud of everyone in this team. After 38 games we can’t change that Barca are champions. They deserve La Liga, but to my players, chapeau.
“We’re fortunate to have the Champions League Final and we need to rest and prepare well for it. We’re a little disappointed after the effort we made. Now we think only of Milan. The plan is to rest first and then work. We have time.
“The final is 50-50 and that won’t change. The important thing is to have a bit of rest and not think of football for a few days. Then we’ll look forward to properly prepare for the game.”
Ronaldo was withdrawn at half time at Riazor and Zidane explained why, and how he sees Gareth Bale being used.
“Ronaldo has a heavy blow to the foot,” Zizou confirmed.
“Bale? He started on the right and Cristiano on the left and then they moved around. The idea is he plays on the right, where he’s comfortable.”