Zinedine Zidane says he can't be compared with Pep Guardiola, talks about Gareth Bale's future
After taking over as Real Madrid manager following the sacking of Rafa Benitez, Zinedine Zidane held his press conference following a training session with the first team. A club legend in his own right and manager of Real Madrid Castilla, Zidane was presented with arguably his biggest undertaking as he looks to improve the club’s form after the Blancos fell to third in the table.
When he was asked about what he told the players, Zidane said: “My first words were important for the players, bearing in mind that we trained in front of the fans. They were simple: I was really happy to be with them and a new adventure was starting.
“We have great goals but we will do everything to meet those goals.”
Zidane was then asked what kind of football the club would play during his tenure and he said it would be ‘beautiful attacking football’.
“This is very important for us, for me, for the team, for everyone,” Zidane said.
“The important thing is to motivate the players. We have to appreciate that their work with Rafa Benitez was very good and I’d like to say good luck to Rafa in everything you’re going to do now.
You can’t compare me with Guardiola: Zidane
Pep Guardiola had also taken over the Barcelona senior team after coaching the Barcelona B team for a year. And the Catalan boss had tremendous success in his first season, leading the club to a treble. When Zidane was asked whether he could also be headed down the same path, Zidane did not want to compare himself with Guardiola but he did praise him.
“You can’t compare me with Guardiola,” Zidane responded. “I’ll try to do the best possible job but Guardiola is a wonderful coach and what he is doing is amazing.
“But I won’t compare myself, I never did that as a player and won’t do it as a coach. I’m going to do everything possible so that me and this team work together well.
“Winning is key at this club. We are in the Champions League round of 16 and it was always the goal to win the Champions League. Everything is possible this season.”
On Gareth Bale’s future
It was earlier reported that Gareth Bale was devastated with the sacking of Benitez and could look to leave Madrid as a result. The Spanish manager was trying to build a team around Bale and the Welshman had scored nine goals and grabbed seven assists in the league this season.
However, Zidane was quick to reassure that Bale would get the same treatment he got under Benitez.
“Gareth was disappointed with the sacking of Rafa because he was an important coach for him but I will treat him the same way Rafa did.
“He is an important player and a key player for the squad. He’s phenomenal and we’re going to give him all the care and support he needs.”
When asked if he would play the trio of Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo together, Zidane said: “Yes. I’ll play with all three. Clearly that’s the idea.”