Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Zidane Starts the Real Work

Zinedine Zidane took his first training session in charge of Real Madrid today - and was given an immediate insight into what life is like as coach of the world's biggest club.

Around 6,000 Real Madrid fans turned out to watch the Frenchman in action with his squad for the first time.

The squad played on a short pitch before kicking balls into the stands of the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium at Madrid's training grounds.

Cristiano Ronaldo was in attendance along with his fellow galacticos, and was photographed handing Zidane his practice bib.

The club traditionally opens its doors to the first practice session of the year.

Zidane, a legend at Madrid from his playing days, was named as the new manager on Monday when Rafael Benitez was fired midway through his first season, a day after its 2-2 draw at Valencia.

His first game will be on Saturday at home against Deportivo La Coruna in the Spanish league. Madrid trails leader Atletico Madrid by four points.

The new Real Madrid coach also give his first media interviews.

"I feel great. A coach is never fully prepared, especially one who has never coached. I'm motivated, excited and that is going to stand me in good stead".

Playing style: "It's always been important to play entertaining football here and I think I'm going to continue along that line. Playing a balanced attacking game is crucial. We're going to work in order to do our very best out on the pitch. That's the message".

"The team look excited to me and focused on the job at hand".

"The entire squad are going to be important. James and Isco are two formidable players and they're going to be important to me and everyone else".

Pep Guardiola: 
"I can't be compared to Guardiola. I'm going to do my job as best I can. Guardiola is a remarkable coach but I won't compare myself to him. I didn't as a player and I won't as a coach".

The Champions League: 
"It all becomes very real when you pull on this shirt and winning the Champions League is no less real. I think that winning this competition is, and always will be, a priority here".

"How I treat the players will differ somewhat because these are tried and tested players, but my message will be the same one I gave the players at Castilla. The most important thing is to work hard and remain focused on every game".

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