Real Madrid host Real Betis tomorrow evening at Valdebebas to kick off a massive couple of weeks for Los Blancos. Los Verdiblancos are first up, before the first leg of their Champions League semi-final with Chelsea on Tuesday evening. Zinedine Zidane’s men then play Osasuna, before the second leg of the game against Chelsea and a pivotal game in La Liga’s title race against dark horses Sevilla.
Zidane spoke to the media pre-game just as news broke that UEFA wouldn’t be sanctioning Madrid for their involvement in the breakaway Super League, and would allow them to compete in the rest of this season’s Champions League.
The Frenchman disregarded chat of the super-controversial Super League, however, preferring, as ever to focus purely on sporting matters. He confirmed that Eden Hazard and Luka Modric would return to the matchday squad but that Toni Kroos would miss the game. Madrid were overtaken at the top of the table by Atletico Madrid last night, with their city rivals now three points clear. Barcelona and Sevilla are close, too.
“We’ve recovered well, as you say we see ourselves as a very good and very solid team that plays very well, but we’re prepared to play a great game too, knowing the situation,” Zidane said in comments carried by Marca. “They’ll all be tough games, and you have to play at a high level. We have the right to play for the Champions League, it’s absurd. We’re going to prepare for it.”
Zidane was also asked about his relationship with Florentino Perez, Madrid’s president and the chief architect of project Super League, as well as his own future. “I don’t know what’s going to happen in [the next few] months,” he said on his future.
“I look at the day to day, [then] we’ll talk about the future and what’s going to happen. [himself and Florentino] talk from time to time, and that’s it. He comes here sometimes to see the team, and nothing has changed. What he wants is for us to focus on tomorrow.”