Zidane speaks out on facing Chelsea in Champions League semi-final


Zinedine Zidane has warned his Real Madrid team they cannot afford to be distracted ahead of their meeting with Chelsea in the Champions League semi finals while their La Liga fate hangs in the balance.

The Spanish champions advanced to the last four of a competition they have won three times already under the management of the Frenchman.

Leading 3-1 from last week’s first leg clash, Real Madrid survived an early onslaught at Anfield but qualified comfortably after a goalless draw with the Reds.

Chelsea now lie in wait, but with three vital La Liga games to play before the first leg on home soil, Zidane knows his team cannot afford to be sidetracked.

‘We’ve got a number of LaLiga games to play before we face Chelsea, but it’s going to be a very tough tie,’ said Zidane, who masterminded last Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Barcelona.

Zidane has encountered huge criticism this season and was said to be on the brink of losing his job earlier in the campaign with Real lagging behind in the league and on the brink of an embarrassing Champions League group stage exit.

As the season draws to a conclusion, Zidane has his side positioned for the two biggest prizes on offer, but remained diplomatic when asked if had a message for his detractors after last night’s game with Liverpool.

He added: ‘I’m not going to say anything. We’re alive in both competitions, but we haven’t won anything yet. We’ve had tough moments during the season, of course. But we’re still alive. We just have to carry on in this vein.

‘We’ve finished this game in much better physical shape than against Barcelona. This week we’ve had to put a tremendous shift in and we come away from these three games feeling very happy.

‘(I am proud of) the character they have. They are a team who always want more. The more the going gets tough, the more they stick together. We’ve got bags of quality in this side, of course; but the character these players show is the most important thing.’


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