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Zidane: “Sergio Ramos needs to retire here at Real Madrid”

The coach was full of praise for the captain, whose contract expires in 2021.

Real Madrid CF v RCD Mallorca - La Liga Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Real Madrid have made it four wins from four since the coronavirus pause and Zinedine Zidane is content, pleased to see Vinícius score, pleased to see Sergio Ramos have an impact at both ends of the pitch and pleased that his new BBHV system worked out.

In his post-match press conference, the coach was asked about his decision to start all four of Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, Vinícius and Eden Hazard together. He replied: “The shape and the formation isn’t the most important thing. It’s the actions on the pitch that is the most important. But, I’m happy with what I saw on the pitch. Could we have been better today? Yes. But, to win four in a row is not easy. We didn’t give anything away, while in attack we could have done more and we’ll try to do more in the next match.”

Ramos scored a spectacular freekick in the match, Real Madrid’s first in 528 days since Dani Ceballos netted against Real Betis. Zidane was pleased for the captain and also called for him to stay in the Spanish capital and to finish his career at the club. Zidane said: “He is our captain and our leader. Defensively, he showed us the way. Then, in attack, he contributed. He often practices these freekicks and it paid off. He has been here many years. He needs to retire here. That’s what I think and what I’ll always say.”

Zidane also stated that Vinícius’ excellent finish is the work of lots of practice. As the coach explained: “We often work on shooting in front of goal. With Vini and with everyone. But any specific thing I say to Vinícius stays in the dressing room.”

On the intensity of the schedule, Zidane spoke about just how fatigued his squad is, saying: “We’re going to be quite tired because there are so many matches. Today, we finished a bit more tired. It’s not just a thing here at Real Madrid. We have a very particular situation and it’s happening at other teams too, due to playing every three or four days and doing so in the heat. We need to recover well and think of the next match. We need to pay close to attention to the players and to each of their situations.”

Finally, Zidane was asked about James Rodríguez and his recent quotes wondering why he isn’t playing more. The coach replied: “He wants to play more like all players do, but there are decisions I have to make as coach of Real Madrid. One day it’s James. Another day it’s Bale. Then it’s Isco. You journalists always focus on one. I don’t want to get involved in creating headlines.”