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Zidane: “I’m sure Hazard, Benzema and Asensio will achieve important things”

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Also spoke about his relationship with Antonio Conte and about Luka Modrić’s playing time.

Borussia Moenchengladbach v Real Madrid: Group B - UEFA Champions League Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Real Madrid have a massively important Champions League group match against Inter on Tuesday, a game Zinedine Zidane described as “a final” in his pre-match press conference. The Frenchman said: “We know that this is a difficult match because we’re playing a very good and physical team that can play good football. It’s our next match and it’s a final. We’re going to try to take the three points. There’s a final here every day. Every thing we do is a final. Every match we have is a final. We know that and we’re going to focus on what we have to do tomorrow. Whether it’s a friendly, a training match or whatever, we always want to show that we’re good. We always aspire to win the Champions League. It’ll be difficult, but we’ll fight for it.”

It was put to Zidane that his job could be at risk if Real Madrid lose to Inter, but the coach said he isn’t thinking of his future. He replied: “I don’t think about that. I think about tomorrow’s game, where we’re lucky to be able to play a Champions League match. All we can do is prepare the match and give our all.”

Zidane finally has Eden Hazard, Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio all available and was asked if he thinks they can define an era of Real Madrid’s history, just like the BBC did. The coach said: “The players here want to make history and want more. I think these players are important. I’m sure they’re going to achieve important things. Training with my players every day, what my players want is to compete, play and win. That’s really good for the coach, which right now is me. I enjoy being with them and we’re going to try to achieve our objectives with all our players, not just those three.”

Luka Modrić was also brought up and the coach was asked about the Croatian’s minutes and if anything has changed this season with respect to the midfielder. He explained: “Nothing has changed with him. We know how important he is. There are many matches and we’re counting on all our players. Every time he plays he does well. For a coach, picking players is the most difficult thing. Especially with a player like Luka, who’ll play sometimes and who won’t play sometimes.”

Finally, Zidane was asked about Antonio Conte and his relationship with the Italian, who he played with at Juventus for five seasons. Zidane replied: “I’m not in regular contact with him, but we played together and he was my captain. It doesn’t surprise me that he became a coach. The relationship is good, even if we don’t talk regularly. I remember when I was preparing to become a coach, I went to Juventus and was talking with him and that was fantastic. The relationship is very good.”