On the eve of Real Madrid’s do-or-die Champions League match against Borussia Mönchengladbach, Zinedine Zidane spoke about the importance of the game – even if this time he never quite called it “a final”. The coach stated: “We want the three points and to finish first in this group. This is a good opportunity to show what we are as a team. All we’re thinking about is going through to the next round, we’re not thinking about anything else. Of course it’ll be difficult, but we’re positive and we’re only thinking about victory.”
Zidane was asked about the team’s hot and cold form and about how Real Madrid have thrived in the biggest fixtures and dropped points in theoretically easier games. On that, he said: “We ask these players to perform every three days, but we have many matches and we’re always playing good teams who also want to win. With Barcelona, Inter and Sevilla, it’s also true that we didn’t have the very best performances. Then we played well in other games and didn’t win. The important thing is to think about tomorrow’s game and to do things as a team.”
Even though Casemiro explicitly talked about preferring a Europa League run over finishing fourth, Zidane claimed that nobody in the club is thinking about that. Answering a question about that scenario, he replied: “I’m not contemplating that. I’m thinking about qualifying and nothing else. The thinking of the players is the same. The media can talk about other things, but we’re not thinking about that.”
Finally, Zidane was bluntly asked if he believes he’ll be sacked if Real Madrid don’t make it to the last 16 and, again, he insisted he’s not thinking about that. “The club will do what it has to do,” he replied.