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Zidane: “I don’t want any more injuries”

The coach analysed the victory over Levante and explained the impact the international break had on the squad.

Real Madrid v Levante - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Real Madrid were able to hold on to grind out a 3-2 victory over Levante on Saturday and Zinedine Zidane was pleased with the result, and for the fact that there were no more injuries. He explained that the fatigue of the international break and the lack of training time for certain players was an obstacle that needed to be overcome this week.

“It’s true that the second half was a bit more complicated for us,” Zidane said as he started his analysis. “When you concede a goal three minutes into the half, it makes it difficult. What we need to do is to play like this for 90 minutes. I think we also had some chances to score a fourth goal in the second half. It might be a physical thing, although I don’t want to make excuses. When there are many international players who return without much rest it’s difficult. In the case of Casemiro, he couldn’t continue because he was fatigued. When you make these changes, the match changes. But I don’t want to make excuses. We know we can improve a lot and we will improve a lot. We’ll concede less and score more. I’m convinced that will happen.”

Eden Hazard made his debut, but he didn’t start and Zidane explained that this was because he didn’t want to rush the summer signing back from his recent injury. “I don’t want any more injuries,” he said of the decision not to start the Belgian, before discussing what he can bring to the team. “He can be very direct and he’s very good with the ball. All he lacks right now is to train more because he was only able to have four training sessions with the group.”

Karim Benzema kept up his scoring form and it was put to Zidane that his countryman is like a fine wine that gets better with age. “I hope Benzema continues like this,” Zidane said in response. “When he plays like this it’s good for us. We’re all very happy with him.”

On the other hand, Vinicius missed further chances and continues to struggle in front of goal. Zidane was asked if he is concerned about the Brazilian’s finishing, but insisted that he isn’t worried. “He is only 18 years and this comes little by little,” he said.

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