Real Madrid have one more LaLiga match before the showdown with Barcelona at the Camp Nou and attention turned to next weekend’s match away at Valencia during Zinedine Zidane’s post-match press conference after the 2-0 Espanyol win. Zidane was asked about Casemiro, who is walking a suspension tightrope right now as he is one league booking away from a suspension. “He has to hang on once again,” Zidane said when asked about the midfielder’s situation, smirking.
Another question came up regarding Casemiro, with Zidane asked why he took a direct freekick in the first half and if he decides who should take such freekicks. “Yes, there is an order that is established,” he replied.
In general, Zidane was content and happy to see Real Madrid’s recent run of good form extended, as it’s now seven wins and two draws in the past eight matches. “Espanyol don’t deserve to be where they are in the table and they did well, showing some interesting things,” the Frenchman said as he analysed the match. “It became a bit of a back-and-forth game at points in the second half, but we ended up securing an important result. This result and these three points are very important. We have to be happy because we’ve kept up our good run. Yet we still need to improve and we need to know that this is a long-term thing.”
It was another match in which Vinícius played well and created danger without finishing off his chances and Zidane was asked if he is concerned about the youngster’s lack of goals. The coach explained that he wasn’t, saying: “If you score one goal then you can get on a run. Players always want to score. He did well, especially in the first half when he started well. He had a good game defensively and offensively, like everyone. Although he had been playing less recently, today it was his turn and he did well. Players always have to work and he does that. Goals come from what we all do on the pitch and anyone can score. We now have 15 players who have scored, so I don’t demand that any one player scores goals.”
Finally, Zidane was asked about Luka Modric and his physical condition now that he is 34 years of age. “He hasn’t had many injuries in his career,” Zidane pointed out. “He can cope with many matches because he is physically strong and able to keep playing. I have to make rotations in midfield and he knows that every now and then we will rest him, but it’s not about just resting him. I like all of the players to be ready.”