Zinedine Zidane admits Real Madrid job ‘extremely tiring’
The defending LaLiga champions came into the weekend 17 points behind leaders Barcelona in the title race.
Zinedine Zidane admits being Real Madrid coach is exhausting as he faced further questions about his future with the Spanish giants.
Zidane has won eight trophies in two years since taking the Madrid reins, including back-to-back Champions League and LaLiga titles, but has found himself under increasing pressure following a poor run of results.
Wednesday’s 3-1 European comeback win over much-fancied Paris St Germain earned the Frenchman a bit of breathing space, but he was quizzed once more about his long-term plans ahead of Sunday’s trip to Real Betis.
Asked if he had decided what he will do at the end of the season, Zidane said in quotes reported by the Spanish media: “For me the most important thing is what I’m doing now, the day to day. I’m not looking further than that.
“I want to get to the end of the season. I’m only bothered about what’s at stake and I don’t want to talk about anything else.”
Zidane did concede, though, that managing the 12-time European champions takes its toll.
He said: “It’s extremely tiring, for sure, and all the more so at Real Madrid. Of course the time could come when a change is needed, but that’s the case for everyone, the players too.
“This profession can wear you out but here more than in other places.”
With Madrid lying 17 points adrift of Barca in LaLiga and out of the Copa del Rey , the Champions League looks like their only realistic chance for silverware this season.
Zidane insists they will not take their eyes off their league challenge though, starting with Sunday’s trip to Betis.
The 45-year-old, who is set to be without Toni Kroos for a fortnight due to a knee injury, said: “We performed very well the other night and now we’ve got to focus on our bread and butter, which is LaLiga.
“We haven’t had many days to rest up but that’s just the way it goes. We’re now just thinking about doing a good job tomorrow.
“Betis are a very good side and are very strong on their own patch. We know how tough it’s going to be but we’ve got our own weapons.”
Madrid have found the Estadio Benito Villamarin a happy hunting ground in recent years , winning 5-0 and 6-1 either side of a 1-1 draw in their last three visits, and they have only lost three times to Betis in 30 meetings.
However, one of those defeats came at the Bernabeu in September when Antonio Sanabria’s stoppage-time strike gave Betis a shock 1-0 win.
Betis coach Quique Setien admits a repeat this weekend is likely to depend on which Madrid turns up.
He said: “With opponents of this level you depend on what they do. You must do very well and they have to be below-par (to beat them)
“(Goalkeeper) Adan was our best player (at the Bernabeu). Being realistic, we won’t have the chances they had. Madrid are one of the best teams in the world.”
Betis have beaten Villarreal and Deportivo La Coruna in their last two matches to climb up to eighth in the table, and Setien says the mood in the camp is good.
He told a press conference: “Picking up six points strengthens us and gives us confidence.
“We played very well in those two games. We are in a good moment physically and mentally and hopefully we can take advantage of that and put Madrid in difficulties.”