Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane talked to the press in the pre-match press conference ahead of te Round of 16 meeting with Zaragoza in the Copa del Rey —Wednesday, 21:00 CET—. Zidane talked about Zaragoza and said that it will be a tough game for Los Blancos.
“It’s a very difficult game. Zaragoza are a historic team, they are competing for promotion and look in great shape in Segunda División, so they will be tough to beat. We know their players and we have to go into the game with the utmost focus and discipline. Before you attack, you have to defend well, and we’re doing a great job in that aspect,” explained Zidane.
The French coach also discussed the status of his players, mainly Mariano —who didn’t train with the squad today— and Bale, who participated in the training session and could return to the squad.
“You’ll see tomorrow when I announce the squad. Everyone wants to be fit to play and without any discomfort. That’s the most important thing for the coach, and almost everyone is back in top condition. Mariano isn’t available, he’s got a small injury and it’s better not to take any more risks,” said Zidane.
Real’s legend also said he likes the new format for this Copa del Rey, featuring single-elimination games throughout the first rounds of the competition.
“I like this format. You know it’s a case of one game, and that’s it. We adapt to whatever we’re given. It’s a single-game tie and that’s great. I’m used to the French Cup which is like that as well,” he said.
Zidane also said that “anything can happen until January 31st” when asked about whether Real Madrid will make a signing or sell some players before the transfer window closes.
He was also asked about Real Madrid’s recent lack of success in the competition.
“I don’t think it’s due to a lack of motivation, Madrid have a big history of success in every competition. We respect every tournament, we have to accept that Real Madrid have 13 Champions League titles and that’s just so hard to achieve, but we do want to change our history in the Copa del Rey this time,” concluded Zidane.