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Reports: Real Madrid players surprised by Zinedine Zidane’s reaction to Alcoyano defeat

Zinedine Zidane
Zinedine Zidane
ANALYST
Modified 22 Jan 2021
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Real Madrid players returned to training on Thursday morning, expecting a rollicking from manager Zinedine Zidane after elimination from the Copa Del Rey, but they were in for a surprise.

According to Marca, the Real Madrid manager’s response to the shock defeat at the hands of minnows Alcoyano was different from what everyone expected. Instead of admonishing his wards, Zidane simply insisted that there was no disgrace in the loss and that such incidents can occur.

In midweek, Real Madrid took the lead against Segunda B side Alcoyano at the stroke of halftime, only for the hosts to get back into the game in the 80th minute. The visitors were handed a lifeline in the 110th minute when Alcoyano midfielder Ramon Lopez Olivan received his marching orders. However, five minutes later, the Segunda B side took a 2-1 lead and went on to win the game.

Zidane was expected to be furious when the team regrouped at the training ground, but the Frenchman spoke for just two minutes with the Real Madrid squad. The message was plain and simple and quite similar to his post-match reactions. Zidane pointed out that everyone could do a bit more and asked his team to be united as they ride out the storm.

The Frenchman’s second spell at Real Madrid has lacked the conviction and confidence of his blockbuster first term, even though they did manage to win the league last season. Players who have not played regularly under him are frustrated at the lack of chances. Interestingly, even the core group of players who have featured regularly for Los Blancos are puzzled with some of their manager’s decisions.

All’s not well at Real Madrid at the moment

The Frenchman showed an inclination to make full use of his squad at the start of this season. However, he soon narrowed his options down to a small pool of 14 players, leading to much confusion around the backroom. The manager’s approach has been questioned as Real Madrid sit second in the La Liga table at the moment, seven points behind Atletico Madrid at the top who also have a game in hand.

Against Alcoyano, the Real Madrid manager hardly spoke to his wards at the end of 90 minutes and before the start of extra time. Even though he did finally break his silence on the training ground on Thursday, it was far from what his team expected.

Published 22 Jan 2021, 23:13 IST
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