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Zidane: “I’m happy, considering the comments that were made about my players in the past few days”

Also gave his verdict on the penalty call

FC Barcelona v Real Madrid - La Liga Santander Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Real Madrid have won the first Clásico of the 2020/21 LaLiga Santander season and Zinedine Zidane has given his thoughts on the win, speaking more purposefully than usual in the post-match press conference and sending a message to all those who doubted his side.

He said: “We had a good game. I’m happy for the players, after all that was said about my players in the last few days. The team was very united. We can enjoy what we did today. I don’t know if what was said in the past few days was fair, but what I can say is that I’m very proud of my team. It may only be three points, but we must enjoy this considering all the comments that were made about the squad in the past few days.”

Zidane was asked if this performance came about as a direct response to the critics. He replied: “It’s not about proving people wrong, it’s about working hard and believing in what we’re doing and being together. That’s what we did. We were strong in defence and midfield when defending. It’s all about having a good game and that’s what we did. “

The penalty that Sergio Ramos won and converted will be a big talking point and Zidane was asked about this. On that foul, he said: “There’s a referee, he went to review the piece of play and decided it was a penalty. I don’t like to speak about refereeing, because it’s difficult work, and I’m not going to start today. Regardless of that incident, I think we deserved to win. We won 3-1 and could have won by more, although it’s true that Barcelona had chances too.”

The coach was also asked about Ramos in general and about how important his return was. He said: “We know what he is like as player, but also what he is for the whole team. We always want him to be in the team. It’s important to have the team playing like they did together, with togetherness. The good things about today are that we secured three points and that Sergio didn’t feel any pain.”

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