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Zidane: “I did not want James to leave”

CD Leganes v Real Madrid CF - La Liga Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane talked to the press ahead of the team’s match against Bayern Munich in the Champions League Semifinals. One of the main highlights of this match up will be James seeking revenge against his former team and coach, even though Zidane himself refuses to admit that he had issues with the Colombian playmaker.

“I did not want him to leave. He wanted to play more often and I understand that. I’ve never had any kind of issues with him, that’s something you guys want to say. He needed to play more, that’s it. The same happened this year with some guys who stayed on the bench and that’s the toughest thing for a coach. He will be extremely motivated because he’s a good player, not because he is going to try to prove something against me. Whoever thinks I have issues with him is wrong. He’s a great player,” said Zidane.

The French coach doesn’t believe that Real Madrid should be considered the favorites to advance to the Final.

“There’s no favorite in this tie. We’re talking about a Semifinal here and what happened last year doesn’t matter anymore. We want to perform well, we’re ready to play and we know that we will have to know how to struggle, but this is football,” said Zidane.

Real Madrid have not competed in La Liga this season but things have been different in the Champions League, where Los Blancos have knocked out two very strong teams in PSG and Juventus.

“It’s been a weird season, a tough one. You have to be extremely focused in La Liga and we weren’t, especially at the very beginning. You also have to give Barcelona credit, we weren’t consistent. Now we have the Champions League in front of us and we’re in good form, but we know we’ll be facing a quality opponent,” explained the French coach.

Lastly, Zidane delivered a strong quote to explain the team’s attitude going into the game.

“We will not shit our pants. We like to play these games,” concluded the coach.

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