Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane talked to the press ahead of the team’s match against Numancia, which will be played this Thursday at 21:00 CET in Los Pajaritos, Soria. Zidane explained how and when Benzema got injured, given that he appeared to be just fine during El Clasico and then the team published a medical report on him just before Madrid’s first training session after the Christmas break.
"I found out after el Clásico. He picked up a niggle. I trust my players and that’s it. It’s not nice to see a footballer injured. It was after el Clásico, not before. Those who say it was before are lying. He went on holiday and did what he had to do but he's still not right,” said Zidane. "He's was injured when he went away. He picked it up during el Clásico but we didn’t think too much about it at the time. We thought he was a little bit over-loaded, but then something else showed up on the scan.”
He also had some words to say about Numancia, who should be considered the underdogs in this match and also in the tie.
"Numancia are doing very well in the league and in the Copa del Rey they’ve knocked out Málaga, a team from Primera. We will respect our opponent. We know the importance of the first match being away from home and we’ll try to put in a good performance and respect the opponent,” added the coach.
Real Madrid will have to do their very best in the Copa del Rey if they want to win a domestic competition this year given that they’re already 14 points behind Barcelona in La Liga. Los Blancos are reportedly planning on signing Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga but Zidane didn’t want to talk about that matter.
"I talked with the president and we looked at everything. We could speak about reinforcements, but there will be no signings at the minute, although anything could happen before the end of January. Of course, I don’t want any of the squad to leave. I don’t like to talk about players who aren’t Real Madrid players. I’m only thinking about my goalkeepers,” explained Zidane.