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Zidane: “We must respect the fact that Neymar is a PSG player”

Real Madrid Training And Press Conference Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane talked to the press ahead of the team’s home game against Girona, which will be played tomorrow —20:45 CET—. Zidane also had some words to say about Juventus and Neymar.

“I see Juventus being just as strong as they were last year. They’re a competitive side, as they always are, and it’ll be a tough tie. It’s 50-50 at the minute. We go to their place first and we’ll have to see how it goes. I never thought there would be such a thing as hot and cold balls. We’ve been paired with strong opposition, but at this stage of the competition they’re all good sides,” said Zidane when asked about Real Madrid’s opponent for the upcoming Quarterfinals of the Champions League.

The coach played for Juventus before signing for Real Madrid and would’ve rather avoided the Italian side, he said.

“Every time I come up against Juventus, a club where I spent five seasons, it’s emotional. I would have preferred to have avoided them for many reasons, but the draw has paired us with them. I will try to put my experiences there to one side, but they’re always with me,” explained Zidane.

Real’s coach talked about Girona, who are having a phenomenal season.

“Girona are having a really good season. We study the opposition but the most important thing is what we go and do out there. We’ve worked really well this week and are looking forward to tomorrow’s game,” said Zidane.

He was asked about the rumors placing Neymar on Real Madrid’s roster next season but Zidane didn’t want to say much about it.

“The players and I think that he’s a very good player, but he’s not our player, and as a coach I must only speak about my own players. It’s not good to talk about players that aren’t ours and we have to respect the fact that he’s a PSG player. We’ve got some very good players in our squad. When the club signs a player, it knows that the team is above everything else. We just have to remain focused on the run-in,” he said.

And finally, he praised Varane while revealing that the French defender is in good shape.

“When he hasn’t got any niggles in his knee, like at the moment, he gets a good run in the team. He needs to play and when he’s on top form, he’s a terrific player. He hasn’t played the last few games because he has to rest up, just like the rest of the squad, and that also helps him to avoid any fitness issues,” concluded the coach.

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