With Zinedine Zidane still absent due to COVID-19, David Bettoni will take charge of Real Madrid again this weekend when they take on Levante. This will be their first match at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano since January 2nd and Bettoni is happy to be home.
Previewing the match, he said: “We’re happy to play at home again. The key will be the same as always, to start well and to play with intensity and to play our game. We’ve had a good week and the players are focused. We’re playing a team tomorrow who like to play football well and we also like to play football well. We’re only thinking about this game against Levante and not about the title rivals.”
Bettoni confirmed that Zidane is getting better and better and explained that the head coach has been keeping a close eye on the week’s developments from afar. Bettoni said: “Zidane is with us as he watches training and we discuss it. He’s not here physically, but he’s with us. We had a good week. The most important thing for Zidane and for everyone is the day-to-day work. We’ve had four training sessions this week ahead of this game against Levante. We’ve worked on everything, technically, tactically and physically. I’m happy with the work done and think we’ll present a good version of Real Madrid tomorrow.”
Sergio Ramos was brought up a few times in Friday’s press conference and Bettoni was asked about the captain’s injury and contract situation. He replied: “Sincerely, I don’t worry about [contract matters]. Ramos a great captain and professional. I’ve known him for five years and he has a good heart. Nobody can doubt that he’s a great professional. He’s annoyed right now that he can’t play. Right now, he’s working hard to recover. He’s getting better and better, but we don’t want to risk him. Luckily, we’re only playing once a week right now and we’ll re-evaluate his knee ahead of next weekend’s game. As always, we’re not going to risk players who aren’t 100 percent.”
Luka Jović was brought up too and Bettoni was asked about the Serbian’s recent comments in which he said the language barrier was one of the reasons he struggled to communicate with the coaching staff at Real Madrid. On that, Bettoni replied: “I think there are many people who speak many languages in a coaching staff these days. We can always speak with players. To speak with football isn’t so complicated. We can speak simply. Adapting is complicated for some players, but it’s not about the language for foreign players.”
Finally, he was asked about the last few days of the transfer window and stated: “Until February 1st, anything can happen. We have a squad and we’re happy with the players we have. We’ll see what happens, but I can’t say anything more.”