MADRID – Zinedine Zidane insisted that it is “absurd” to think that Real Madrid will not compete in the next Champions League and discarded the conspiracy theories that point out that the referees will try to harm his team in the tie against Chelsea as punishment for try to create a European Super League outside of UEFA.
A rumor has spread from the white club that UEFA could exclude them from the Champions League in retaliation for Florentino Pérez’s attempts to lead a new European Super League. UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin dropped last week that clubs that insist on the Super League could face sanctions.
However, the white coach thinks that such a punishment would not make sense and made it clear that his head is only set in the first leg of the semifinals against Chelsea.
“You have already asked me and I answered. It is absurd to think that we will not be in the Champions League next year. All is said. There is a lot of talk about that topic. We have to be aware of tomorrow’s game. As it is not something we control … We want to see Madrid in the next Champions League ”, declared Zidane in the press conference prior to the match against the Londoners.
The French coach also dismissed the conspiracy theory that points, again from within the club, that one of those reprisals by UEFA could come in the form of damaging arbitration in the game against the blues.
“I don `t believe. In the end it depends on what happens on the field. The outside … The referee is going to do his job, as always. If we think that everything that is going to happen we are screwed. We are going to play and the referee is going to do his job from minute 1 to 90 ”, said a Zidane quite uncomfortable by the question.
Madrid is only two games away from being able to play another Champions League final and Zidane preferred to focus his speech on the match against Chelsea on Tuesday.
In this sense, the white coach admitted that he recovers Toni Kroos but that Ferland Mendy “lacks something” to be able to return to the pitch.
Zidane will also not be able to count on Sergio Ramos and Lucas Vázquez, who continue with their recovery processes, nor on Fede Valverde, who continues to be affected by COVID-19.
Regarding Hazard, who seems recovered from his injury, Zidane admitted that he is perfectly fine and that, after participating in the last leg of the game against Betis, he is already one more.
Hazard is fine. I do not see it with doubts. The other day he played a few minutes and I saw him well. The important thing is that you feel good and, from there, to throw. He contributes a lot to the team, we have to continue ”.
Amid so much extra-sporting mess and injuries, Zidane wanted to base his speech on the importance of focusing his mind solely and exclusively on tomorrow’s match, as it is a different match.
“The Champions League is something special. We have had other very important games and we are going to take it as a semi-final of the Champions League. We are ready, we are going to give everything ”.
Zidane also had good words for Chelsea, highlighting its youth and its balance in all lines, and denying the possibility that it is a team that can come to Madrid “to lock up.”
“I do not think it is a closed team. Attack well and defend well. We have to be vigilant and defend well. We have to see the best version of our team to hurt Chelsea, ”Zidane said of Thomas Tuchel’s.
Real Madrid comes into the game after two draws against Getafe and Betis and an away win against Cádiz in the last ten days. The Frenchman removed iron from the setbacks, but warned that the fact of facing a team that has less experience than them in the Champions League is not an advantage.
“The present is the present. It is a team that has done its job at UCL. It is a well deserved semifinal for both. It is a completely different match than what each one has played so far. Chelsea also has experience in all competitions. We have to play two very good games to get through and we prepare for that ”.
VARANE AND ITS RENEWAL
Raphael Varane has made it clear that he is “100% committed” to Real Madrid but threw balls wide about his future during the press conference prior to the first leg of the Champions League semifinals against Chelsea.
The French center-back ends his contract with the white club in June 2022 and several media have reported in recent weeks that Madrid could consider its sale during the next summer market if Varane does not agree to renew.
Manchester United has always been very aware of Varane’s future and, from England, they point out that Chelsea himself could also enter the bid if Madrid agrees to negotiate his transfer. But Varane is only focused on trying to help his team fight for the Champions League and La Liga at the end of the season and threw balls out when he asked, up to two times, if he wants to continue at the Santiago Bernabéu.
“My future is clear. I am focused on the end of the season. We are in an intense moment and we have to be focused on what lies ahead. That is the most important thing,” Varane said in the previous game against Chelsea.
“It is normal to have the focus on the end of the season. The message to the fans is that I am 100% committed to the team. We have challenges that encourage us a lot. I am focused on giving everything on the field.”
On the other hand, Varane said that the white dressing room does not fear arbitration against in the match against Chelsea after Florentino Pérez’s attempt to create a European Super League outside of UEFA.
“No, we are focused on what we control. We have to concentrate on our efforts. Find the best way to win the game. That is what we care about, we do not control the rest,” said Zidane.
The 28-year-old center-back spoke in a similar vein about the possibility of UEFA leaving Madrid without playing the next Champions League as punishment. “I am focused on the end of the season. I have won four Champions League and it is a competition that makes me very excited,” he limited himself to saying.