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Zidane: “Our focus is on La Liga”

Real Madrid v Paris Saint-Germain - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane talked to the press ahead of the team’s visit to Betis’ Benito Villamarin —Sunday, 20:45 CET—. Los Blancos completed a good performance against PSG last Wednesday and will try to keep that good momentum going in La Liga, even though they are 17 points behind Barcelona in the table.

“We’re used to playing in different competitions. We performed very well the other night and now we’ve got to focus on our bread and butter, which is LaLiga. We haven’t had many days to rest up but that’s just the way it goes. We’re now just thinking about doing a good job tomorrow. Our focus is on LaLiga,” said Zidane, implying that his team isn’t thinking about the return leg against PSG just yet.

“Betis are a very good side and are very strong on their own patch. We know how tough it’s going to be but we’ve got our own weapons. We want to put in a good display and we’re readying ourselves to deliver a good performance. The side that I put out tomorrow will be what I consider to be the most competitive one,” added the coach. It looks like Zidane could make some rotations for this one.

“I trust in every member of the squad. We’ve got a lot of games coming up and we’re going to need everyone. I want all of my players to be ready and they are. We played well against PSG but it was just one game. We’ve got the return leg to come and five LaLiga games before then. It was a good team performance and that was what made all the difference. That win changes everything because it means that we’re virtually not going to be able to train. We can now only focus on recovering and being ready for each game,” said Zidane, who also spoke about Marcelo’s dedication after scoring the team’s third goal last Wednesday.

“It’s very nice to see a player come over and dedicate a goal to me. I know exactly how things work in a dressing room because I was a player for 18 years. I like that connection and it’s what I’m looking for: a good vibe between everyone. I thank the players for what they’ve said. One day it might be Marcelo, the next (Luka) Modric or Sergio (Ramos) or Cristiano Ronaldo… it’s really nice and I’m grateful for it. It’s really good to see that my players understand my messages and I really like that. They’re a very honest bunch,” he explained.

He also had some words to say about Asensio, who impressed off the bench.

“Every time you end up asking me about a different player but we’re all pulling in the same direction. I’m the one who makes the decisions and it’s a difficult job to name my starting line-up and leave seven of them on the bench and three or four at home. The players are ready to play when they have to. In every team there are always some players that play more than others but Marco is important for us,” he concluded.

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