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Zidane: “I congratulate Chelsea and also my players”

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The coach reflected on the Champions League elimination.

Chelsea v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: Leg Two Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

The Frenchman’s system was brought up at the start of the press conference and Zidane spoke about his tactical idea and, specifically, the unnatural position that Vinícius had to play in. He said: “We played with three at the back and two wing-backs. We’ve played many matches this way. It didn’t work for us and we lacked something. That’s true. But, we tried. That’s football. In terms of Vinícius’ position, it’s a different position from where he usually plays, but we had to have two wing-backs because of the three centre-backs. Vini can do that. That was the plan. I think it was against Getafe that he played there before.”

Questioned on the players who returned from injury and if they were rushed back. He replied: “Every player who played was prepared to play.”

Zidane went on to talk about how the first Chelsea goal hurt Real Madrid mentally. “We fought and our start was good. Them scoring a goal didn’t really change much, but emotionally it can change things. We lacked many things.”

The coach congratulated Chelsea and also his own players for reaching the final four of this season’s competition. He said: “We tried, but Chelsea were better and we have to congratulate them. I also congratulate my players for what we’ve done so far in this season’s Champions League. I’m proud of them. It’s true this was a season of many injuries, but I think we still did good things in this year’s Champions League to come within one match of reaching the final.”

Looking ahead to the rest of the LaLiga Santander season, the coach said: “We now have four league matches left. We have to rest well and then think about Sunday’s match.”