Real Madrid return to action on Saturday and they have a very tough fixture away at Villarreal. For this match, Los Blancos have doubts over various players and saw Sergio Ramos and Raphaël Varane return from international duty with injuries.
Speaking about those injuries in his pre-match press conference, Zinedine Zidane admitted his frustration. He said: “It’s true that we have some good news this week, but it’s also true that we have some bad news. I was watching the [Spain and France] matches and it’s always bad news to see a player get injured. But, as always, we’ll just think about this match and we’ll try to have a good game. That’s all we’re thinking about.”
When asked about specific players, Zidane was vague and kept his cards close to his chest. “You’ll see tomorrow as I’m not going to talk about the team I’ll put out there,” he said.
Zidane was also asked about the packed schedule in general. He replied: “I’m not going to get into that debate, but what I can say is that the footballing calendar is too much. I see that and I think about the health of the players. We have all the matches we have, they never stop. I’m not only speaking about my players. Many other players are going through this too. I’m worried about it. I can give my thoughts, but there are other people, in the end, who make the calendar. But yes, I’m worried about the calendar and all the matches we have. The coaches need to feel like we’re being listened to. Today, I’ve told you what I think, but there are other people to decide what to do. I’m just thinking about the health of the players and also the quality of the football in our matches.”
Sergio Ramos’ contract situation was also brought up, but Zidane didn’t want to get too involved in that. He said: “I hope it gets solved quickly for the good of everyone and for me, as the coach.”