Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane didn’t mince words during the pre-match press conference this Saturday. Most of the questions were about the controversial penalty call against Juventus and not about Sunday’s match against Malaga. Zidane isn’t happy with the whole “robbery” talk.
“Everyone is entitled to have their opinion as to whether it was a penalty or not. But there are people out there talking about it being a robbery...I’m angry with that. We can’t change it, but that’s just what I think. I’ll defend my players because they put in a massive performance and there’s no question that we deserved to progress. People are entitled to their opinion, but we did very well and are through to the semi-finals. It’s shameful to talk of it as robbery. I’m disappointed with what’s being said. You can talk about whether it was a penalty or not. I believe that it was, whilst others think it wasn’t. But then you’ve got all of this talk about it being a robbery... now come on! I can’t believe that people have been saying that,” said Zidane.
The Frenchman shouldn’t have called the performance of his players “massive”, but other than that he’s absolutely right with his assessment of the call.
“There may well be anti-madridistas out there but nobody is going to change. We need to just keep on doing what we’re doing and work hard. Nobody is going to change this club’s history, which is the best in world football. We can’t go from being the best team to suddenly becoming a side that has robbed. I never let myself get too high or too low, we always keep ourselves level. We did very well in the two games and deserved to progress. What’s being said isn’t true,” added the coach.
Zidane was clearly angry and tried to defend the honor of his players but also the club’s reputation as they prepare to face Bayern Munich in the Semifinals.
“We face a very strong side. If there’s any advantage it’s because we play the return leg at home, but it’s very much 50-50. They’re performing better this year and they’re a side that compete well. We know just what a fine club it is and I’m sure they’ll make things very tough for us and perhaps more so than ever. They’re a stronger side this year, they don’t concede many and are on good form,” explained the coach.
Los Blancos visit Malaga this Sunday and rotations should be expected given that they have nothing to play for in La Liga. Zidane will try to keep his players fresh for the crucial games against Bayern and that will be Madrid’s main focus.
“We know that we go there to win the game, although it’ll be a tough match against opposition that’ll give their all. We’ll have to be ready to try and get something from it and continue our good run,” concluded Zidane.