Friday 30 March 2018

Zinedine Zidane: I want to stay as Real Madrid boss

Zinedine Zidane has put his future firmly in Real Madrid’s hands by stating he wants to remain head coach at the Bernabeu next season.

But Real’s coach admitted his future will depend on results, with his team sitting third in La Liga, 15 points adrift of Barcelona, and relying on the Champions League for a major trophy this term.

Zidane had previously stayed guarded over his desire to remain at the club but declared his hand ahead of Real’s league visit to Las Palmas on Saturday.

“Yes, I would still like to stay as coach of Real Madrid,” Zidane said. “Things depend on the results, it has not changed, it will not change, it is the requirement of this club and I accept it.

“I’ve been here 18 years, I know how Real Madrid functions. I do what I like doing, I do it thoroughly and if the question is, do you want to continue? Then yes I will continue. I do not feel tired, not at all.”

Despite winning the Champions League in each of his two seasons in charge at Real, as well as the La Liga title last year, Zidane has come under pressure in recent months.

A limp defence of their domestic crown, a shock exit to Leganes in the Copa del Rey, and their poor start in Europe, where they finished second in the group behind Tottenham, combined to put Zidane’s position in doubt.

But the mood has changed since Real beat Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last-16 this month and victory over Juventus would only enhance his cause further.

Zidane’s team play Juve on Tuesday in the first leg of the quarter-finals in Turin. First, they face a trip to Gran Canaria and Las Palmas, hoping to close the gap on second-placed Atletico Madrid to one point before Atletico play Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday.

“We hope to take second place, little by little,” Zidane said. “Of course we have our minds on Tuesday but tomorrow we have a match and to execute on Tuesday, we have to execute well tomorrow.”

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