Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane answered questions from the media on the Open Media Day held at Valdebebas. Los Blancos will be facing Juventus in the UEFA Champions League Final next Saturday and every player was able to complete the training session, including Dani Carvajal, Gareth Bale and Pepe, who missed the last few La Liga games.
Will Isco start the game ahead of Bale? That was the main question Zidane had to answer.
"The decision is difficult because everyone is available and I will have to choose between the entire squad. It’s normal to have the debate because they are two very good and important players. What the press says will not influence me. We know what we’re going to do and the important thing is to be prepared and focused," said the coach.
"Both are very good players and they’ve also played together this year in 16 games. They can play together and the important thing is that they come in to this final stretch of the season in very good shape. Bale has had less minutes but is already recovered from his injury and we already know the player Isco is. The most important thing is to see the players on top form."
Bale will be back with the squad and it looks like he's ready to play and contribute.
"We’re happy that Bale is with us because he is an important player. I'm glad to see he’s recovered. We’re going to prepare for the match together, as always, and we’re all prepared. Gareth doesn’t have to say anything to me. He’s ready, with us, and really excited. Playing at home and that’s that," said Zidane.
When asked about whether Isco deserves a starting spot in the Final or not, Zidane was clear.
"He deserves it just like the rest. There are players who are not going to be called up and that is what bothers me the most because they are all important. I have to think about the line-up and the bench because there are players who have had an extraordinary year and are going to miss out on the squad. That's the hardest thing for me," said the coach.
Zidane praised Juventus and acknowledged that it won't be easy to beat them.
"They’re a solid team and they know how to play both ways. What interests me is trying to cause them problems. We’ll see on Saturday. Juventus have got a lot of good players, but in offensive terms Dybala is one of the best. Higuaín and Alves are also good. The same goes for Real Madrid. They’re all good."
"The pressure is more noticeable, for sure. In a normal press conference there’s 25 of you and today there’s a lot more. That says a lot about this game but everyone likes to play in finals. Everyone likes them. We are in another Champions League final and it’s very nice. We're going to prepare well for it". "It’s the last game of the season and as it’s the last one, it’s the most important one, but we’ll prepare it like the rest of the games because we’ll not change anything what we do and more so now," said the coach.