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Zidane: “Modrić is 35, but he doesn’t look like it on the pitch”

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Here’s what the coach said about the last 16 victory.

Real Madrid v Atalanta Bergamo - UEFA Champions League Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Zinedine Zidane was delighted with Real Madrid’s performance in their second leg against Atalanta, as they won 3-1 on the night to make it 4-1 on aggregate against the Italians. The coach was particularly pleased with the defensive effort against a team known for scoring so many goals.

He said: “I’m happy for the players, who had a good performance from start to finish against a team who demand a lot from you physically. We needed to defend well and do the same with the ball. We did that, so we can say this was a complete performance. They didn’t have many chances. They’re a team who usually create so many chances, but we didn’t see that tonight. Then we had good attacking pieces of play.”

Luka Modrić was so impressive in the game and Zidane has special praise for the Croatian in his press conference, saying: “With Casemiro, we can play in a different kind of way, but Luka and Toni Kroos are phenomenal as a double pivot. Luka may be 35 years of age, but he doesn’t look like it on the pitch.”

Finally, he had praise for Vinícius and Marco Asensio after the Brazilian won the penalty that Sergio Ramos scored for the second goal and after the Spaniard rounded out the win. On the two wingers, the coach said: “I’m happy for Vinícius because he’s the one who wins the penalty. He won it with his speed and we know he can make life difficult for defenders. [With Marco Asensio], he was able to go on and score and that’s good for him and for us.”