MADRID, April 17 — Real Madrid’s Zinedine Zidane joked that he was “not a disaster” as a coach and said he was not bothered by the fact that he had not yet been given a new contract with the club.
Despite a remarkable trophy haul in his time in charge of Real, the Frenchman has frequently been dismissed by some sections of the media as a lucky coach who lacks the tactical knowledge or leadership skills of his contemporaries.
He has earned more respect though after transforming Real’s season and revitalising their La Liga title hopes while guiding the side to the Champions League semi-finals after knocking out Liverpool last week.
“I’m very lucky to coach Real Madrid—but I don’t think I’m a disaster either,” Zidane told a news conference ahead of his side’s league game at Getafe tomorrow.
“I also don’t think I’m the best coach. The important thing is I know the club I’m at, and I’m very passionate about my job. But the most important people are the players.”
There were calls for Zidane to be sacked after a defeat to Levante at the end of January, but his side responded by winning 11 of their next 14 games in all competitions.
They moved to within one point of La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid after beating Barcelona 2-1 last today and overcame Liverpool 3-1 on aggregate to set up a Champions League semi-final meeting with Chelsea.
Real were dealt another injury setback today though when French defender Ferland Mendy sustained a calf strain, leaving Zidane without any of his first-choice defenders for the short trip to Getafe.
Captain Sergio Ramos, plus right backs Dani Carvajal and Lucas Vazquez, are injured, Raphael Varane has COVID-19 and versatile defender Nacho is suspended.
Zidane’s contract with Real runs out next year but he has made it clear that he is not fretting about his future.
“I don’t know what will happen next. No-one does,” said Zidane, who resigned as Real coach in May 2018 only to return 10 months later.
“I never look to the future. I’ve never discussed it, even when everyone was saying I had to go. You can have a contract for five years and then leave tomorrow, or you can take it year by year and stay even longer. Contracts don’t mean anything.” — Reuters