Zinedine Zidane has fired back at Jurgen Klopp’s criticism of Real Madrid’s Alfredo di Stefano stadium after the German called it “a training ground” compared to “a proper stadium” like Anfield.
Madrid enjoyed a 3-1 win Liverpool in their Champions League quarterfinal first leg at the 6,000 capacity venue on Tuesday, with Vinicius Junior netting a double.
“We’ve obviously got used to empty stadiums but this is completely different,” Klopp had said pre-match. “This is a training ground… It’s very different to anything else we’ve experienced.”
Zidane was firm on the ground when asked about it after the game. He said: “This is our stadium. “We play here, and we’re proud to play here at the Estadio Alfredo di Stefano.”
The La Liga giants have been playing at the stadium which forms part of the Real Madrid City training complex on the outskirts of the Spanish capital. Their last game at the Bernabeu, was a 2-0 win over Barcelona on March 1 2020.
The Bernabeu is currently undergoing major, €500 million redevelopment work — including a roof and a retractable pitch — which isn’t expected to be completed until the 2022-23 campaign.
“It must be a really tricky task for Real Madrid at Anfield, with or without supporters,” Klopp said, speaking after the defeat. “This here tonight was really strange, it was really difficult, a different situation with the stadium. Anfield is at least a proper stadium and that will be good for us.”
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Madrid travel to Anfield next week Wednesday for the second leg, after facing Barcelona in the Spanish league on Saturday. And Zidane expects Liverpool to be much improved.
“Liverpool is the opponent and we know they are going to leave all they have on the pitch, I have no question about that,” Zidane said.
“We just need to be ready and it is going to be a very good second leg match. We will need to do the same thing in the second leg.
“We are happy with the result but we have won nothing. We are happy with the performance and what the players have done is huge after a lot of difficulties in our season.
“There is a long road ahead and we are alive. Today is the first leg but we’ll know we’ll have a second leg and our idea is to think that we go into that and the result will be 0-0. For us, we are happy but we have another complicated game for the second leg.