Zinedine Zidane: Barcelona will challenge for everything

Zinedine Zidane has played down the severity of the situation at Barcelona and insists they will challenge for all trophies this season.

The Blaugrana replaced boss Ernesto Valverde with Quique Setien last month and currently trail Madrid at the top of La Liga by three points.

The situation on the pitch for the Catalan giants has worsened in recent times with the news that star attacking players Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele are unlikely to return to action this season due to injuries.

The club sold youth graduates Carles Perez and Abel Ruiz last month as their attacking numbers have dwindled, leaving their squad stretched for the final three months of the campaign.

“They will compete until the end of the season and they have no obvious weaknesses,” Zidane told reporters on Wednesday, as cited by Marca.

“They will do very well. Not a minute we think about them as we can only focus on ourselves. We have not won anything and they will compete until the end. The good teams are always good.”

Zidane also responded to Saturday’s Madrid derby result – Karim Benzema’s second half goal was the difference as Los Blancos defeated Atletico de Madrid 1-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The French boss very rarely makes changes at half-time but he did on Saturday, although he played down the significance of this: “The games are won by the players. I don't make changes to point out anything with the players. In the first half things didn't go to plan, but you don't have to exaggerate. It's not easy to compete every three days.”

Zidane then went on to address the situation with a number of key players.

“Eden Hazard? Tomorrow you will see if he is available to start. We are glad Eden is with us. His injury has been bad. Little by little he is better. We want to enjoy him for many years.

“Vinicius Junior? I am generally happy with all my players. Vini is the same. He is a young player who has quality and has to work hard. But yes, we are happy. He has my confidence and I give it to all my players. This will never change.

“Fede Valverde? He has to improve in everything. He is very young and is showing that he has a place at Madrid, but he has to improve in everything. He is very good and we are happy to have him.

“Luka Jovic? We try to help Luka. He feels better, comfortable within the team. It may cost him, but it is a normal adaptation process. Patience, work and work. There is no more you can do.”

Tags Zinedine Zidane