Real Madrid took a big step towards the last 16 of the Champions League by defeating Inter 2-0 on Wednesday night and Zinedine Zidane was, logically, pleased with the performance. Analysing the game, he said: “We had a great match. We knew these were three important points and that this was a final, like always. We played with character and heart and deserved the three points.”
Asked if this was the most complete performance of the season, though, Zidane dismissed that notion and said he wasn’t sure if that was true.
Lucas Vázquez had a very good game and Zidane was asked about his current form and his contract situation, with his deal due to expire next summer. On Lucas, the coach said: “He’s an important player for us, for the team dynamic. He always goes out and plays hard from the first to last minute. We’re happy with what he’s doing. He is a youth graduate and he has Real Madrid in his heart, giving all when he goes out there on the pitch. We’ll see further down the line, but I don’t think [a lack of a new contract agreement] will happen. Players like him deserve to stay.”
Throughout the press conference, Zidane was fairly reserved. As he explained to the media, the death of Diego Maradona had left a sombre feeling throughout the stadium.
On Maradona’s death, he said: “We heard this and it was a sad piece of news, not only for the football world but for the entire world. I remember him, especially in the 1986 World Cup when I watched him as a 14-year-old. My idol was Enzo Francescoli, but I think we all also wanted to emulate Maradona. He was spectacular. It’s sad and I send condolences to his family. May he rest in peace.