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Zidane on Bale: “He’s with us and I’m going to count on him”

Real Zaragoza v Real Madrid - Copa del Rey: Round of 16 Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

In his final press conference before the Madrid Derby, Zinedine Zidane spoke to the media at Real Madrid City on Friday.

“It’s a special game because it’s a derby, and we like playing here with them. They always try to support us in every game. We want the fans behind us and that’s how it’s going to be tomorrow. All 25 players are focused and that’s what’s important”.

“We didn’t watch the pre-season match nor the Super Cup match. Tomorrow is a different match for both teams. We cant compare it with any other game. We want to win every game and the fact that we haven’t beaten Atlético at the Bernabéu in the LaLiga since 2012 means we have the chance to change this. Away we have beaten them”.

Zidane also spoke at length about the squad he selected ahead of the game, along with the importance of Ferland Mendy, and Eden Hazard’s impending return.

On Gareth Bale

“He’s with us and I’m going to count on him. I don’t contemplate the possibility of his departure. We’re all here to play tomorrow and he has to be ready”.

On the squad

“I have 25 players and they’re all in very good shape and then I have to choose who plays. The good thing about our team is that they are all involved and the ones who play in the match try to do well and give everything on the pitch. That for me is the most important thing. I can only choose 18 and some of them will miss out and stay at home. That’s the hard part for the coach.”

”The important thing is that everyone is focused and ready. I’m not going to tell you who’s going to play tomorrow. The players have to be ready and everyone is ready. I’ve got the best and they’re all important. There are a lot of games and the good thing is that the players know that”.

On Ferland Mendy

“I’ve known him for a long time because I watch the French League. He’s very hungry for competition and has a lot of quality. He likes to compete, he likes duels and he is showing it. He has just arrived and he knows that little by little he is soaking in what Real Madrid is. He wants to learn and improve and has adapted quickly. I always tell him that he has to improve his Spanish”.

On Eden Hazard’s recovery

“He’s joining in slowly with us. The good thing is that everyone wants to be involved and that’s the most important thing. We’re never going to take chances with a player”.