In the final press conference before Real Madrid’s match against Sevilla at the Bernabeu on Saturday, head coach Zinedine Zidane tried to keep everyone focused on the task at hand, without getting anyone carried about with the recent SuperCopa results.
“We must not change our mentality. We have to continue with what we’re doing, nothing is going to change because we won the Super Cup,” Zidane said. “We are good, prepared, the season is very long and we know the difficulties that the team coming tomorrow will pose, but as always we want to continue with what we’re doing and keep on showing what we are showing on the pitch. That’s not going to change”.
“I’m not going to tell you what we’re going to do. We all want to be involve, but the important thing as always is to be ready and you will see the players available. We’ve had some problems, but you’ll see tomorrow how we’re going to play. We’re going to play against a team, which is one of the best in our league and we have to be ready to put in a great performance”.
Zidane also spoke about Ernesto Valverde’s dismissal, and the fact that his own job security gets affected when things don’t go his way:
”I feel sorry for him because it’s not a good feeling,” ZIdane said of Valverde. “He’s a very good coach and I have enormous respect for him. For the coaching position, we know where we stand. Madrid, Barcelona are big clubs and nothing is going to change. I know that if we lose two matches they will criticise me in the same way as two months ago. I know where I am. What we want to do I know it’s complicated, we can’t always play well. What we’re trying to do is give 100 %. Then it’s up to you to talk about whether it’s been done right or wrong”.
Zidane was asked about Sevilla’s decision to give Real Madrid a guard of honour, as well as the return of Julen Lopetegui to the Bernabeu.
“I don’t know if it helps or not,” Zidane said of the guard of honour. “Everyone has their own customs and if they give us a guard of honour, we will accept it. That’s all, it’s a Super Cup, we’ve won it, but they’re going to come here tomorrow to play a good game of football and they’re only going to think about picking up the three points. We have to concentrate not on what’s going to happen before the game but during the game. We’re going to be prepared for a tough game against a very good opponent who has shown that all season long”.
Speaking about Lopetegui, Zidane said: “Every moment you have to live it and do what you have to do. He’s wanted to do it big, he’s a great coach and he’s always shown it. I don’t want to talk about his time here at Real Madrid, but what I can say about this coach is that he is very good. He has always proved it and he is proving it now. I hope, that he will get a good reception, because Lopetegui is from the house. He played here and people here always receive their people well. I hope, that will happen”.
And finally, on ‘black magic’:
“I’m a lucky man in life every day. That’s why I have to thank life for what it has always given me, as a player, a coach, as a person... because I try to do well and I work for it. You may think I’m a lucky charm, but if I am, it’s nothing more than that...You may think so, it’s okay”.