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Zidane: “We didn’t lose because Kroos didn’t play”

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Real Madrid will face a season defining match with El Clasico tomorrow.

Real Madrid Press Conference Photo by Oscar J. Barroso / AFP7 / Europa Press Sports via Getty Images

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane talked to the press to preview Sunday’s El Clasico against FC Barcelona. Los Blancos are coming off a very disappointing 1-2 loss against Manchester City in the first leg of the Champions League’s Round of 16, so their chances of winning a title this year go through El Clasico.

“We’re going to play a beautiful game of football and we have a chance to play a good match. There are three points at stake but we know it’s a different game. We’ll be playing at home and we will do our best to win,” said Zidane, who was asked about Wednesday’s defeat against City.

“What happened is football. We went through it and we will try to make right what we did wrong. We played against a very tough opponent and this can happen. What’s important is how we bounce back from it. We have to play like we did during the first 78 minutes. We have an opportunity to change things,” explained the coach.

Zidane was asked about his decision to bench Toni Kroos for Wednesday’s match and he delivered a clear answer.

“When a bad result happens people try to find something. Toni is a regular, and given that he didn’t play and we lost...But we didn’t lose because he didn’t play, these things can happen any time, we chose to do that and that’s it. The other players played at their best and that was just a decision, there’s nothing else,” he said.

Real Madrid have not secured good results at the Bernabeu lately but Los Blancos will try to turn things around.

“It’s a tough moment because we have not won at home for our last three games there, but we know that it can happen. We have to stay positive and together because we will pull it out. We don’t have to pay attention to what’s being said,” he added.

Zidane said he isn’t worried about how his team has been playing lately.

“I’m not worried because we won many games for four months. It’s important to have balance and then we know we can score. As always, I just have to manage my squad list and that’s it,” he explained.

Zidane concluded the press conference talking about the importance of Messi in Barcelona’s system.

“We know how important he is for them. He’s a key player but they’re good anyway, they play very good football. We’re only worried about what we are going to do tomorrow and we’ll face a good opponent, we know who we’re facing,” concluded the French legend.