Zidane: Madrid almost perfect

Zinedine Zidane hailed Real Madrid for an “almost-perfect” performance against Sevilla but warned the tie “is still up for grabs”.

James Rodriguez’s brace, sandwiched by a Raphael Varane header, gave Madrid a 3-0 lead in their Copa del Rey last-16 tie against Sevilla on Wednesday, and Zidane admitted he “couldn’t have dreamt” of a better way to mark one year at the helm.

“I’m very happy because we gave a complete performance, especially in the first half,” the Coach said after the game.

“We started very well and managed to score right away. That gave us a lot [of strength].

“Then, in the second half, we continued. I’m happy with what we did in general.

“It’s not easy what we’re doing and I must congratulate the players, all of them. We were almost perfect. For 45 minutes, we were spectacular.

“Do games like this reinforce particular players? That’s how I see it and what I try to tell the players, that they’re all important.

“Of course, there are players who are more important than others, but we want them to show that they feel important, and they’re doing phenomenally well.

“The good thing is that we’re all in it together. Absences aren’t very noticeable and it’s important for the group.

“Will Ronaldo rest more often? No, no, not at all.

“Is the tie over? No, there’s a second leg. It’s not a League game, it’s a cup tie so it’s important not to concede, but that doesn’t assure you of anything. We have to go there and play our game. It’ll be difficult.

“I’m in the game too, as are the players, I don’t know if that was the best 45 minutes I’ve seen from the team, but they were very good and for the whole game.

“Not conceding a goal? It’s always important and not only for the defence and goalkeeper, but also everyone.

“It shows that we did our jobs very well. Scoring three goals against Sevilla isn’t easy, but we have a second leg still to play and the tie is still up for grabs.

“Set-pieces? We know we’re good at them, we’ve worked a bit on them and ultimately, having these players who are very good with their heads, we scored another goal from a set-piece and it’s important.

“A year as Madrid Coach? I couldn’t have dreamt of anything better than this, but we must continue.”

Tags Zinedine Zidane