On the eve of his 100th match in charge of Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane insisted he maintains the same desire to succeed having already won seven trophies in his short coaching career.
Zidane’s Madrid became the first side to retain the Champions League in May, whilst he also ended a five-year wait to win La Liga last season on top of two European Super Cups, a Club World Cup and Spanish Super Cup.
“I still have the desire I had for the first game, that is the most important thing,” Zidane said ahead of Saturday’s trip to Getafe.
“That desire is our engine. The desire we put into every training session, every game.”
Zidane had no previous managerial experience at senior level having only coached Real’s youth team Castilla before taking charge in January 2016.
However, Real president Florentino Perez’s trust in his ability to turn his supreme talent as a player into coaching has been richly rewarded.
“Zidane is pure talent, but also shows hard work and sacrifice in his persistent search for perfection,” Perez wrote in an open letter to Zidane in sports daily Marca.
“He is insatiable in his hunger for victories, titles and he always shows respect and humility.”
🔙 We return to LaLiga action tomorrow!
— Real Madrid C.F.🇬🇧 (@realmadriden) October 13, 2017
Madrid have though endured a more difficult start to Zidane’s third season in charge as they trail Barcelona by seven points at the top of La Liga after just seven games.
Saturday presents a perfect chance to gain ground on at least one of their title rivals as Barca travel to face fourth-placed Atletico Madrid, who sit a point ahead of Real.
“I want to win our game and then we will see what happens between Atletico and Barcelona,” added Zidane.
“I don’t want one particular result, but just to make up ground.”
Zidane will have to do without Dani Carvajal due to illness and the injured Keylor Navas and Gareth Bale for the short trip across the Spanish capital to Getafe.
Bale looks set to miss a reunion against old club Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League on Tuesday.
But Zidane claimed he couldn’t set a return date for Bale from the latest in a series of calf injuries that impeded him for playing for his country as Wales’ attempt to qualify for a first World Cup since 1958 fell short this week.
“I can’t say when (he will return), but he is getting better every day,” added Zidane.
“He is the first one annoyed by it. He doesn’t want to be out of the team, but these things happen and we have to accept it.”
Provided by AFP Sport
Luis Figo believes Cristiano Ronaldo’s return from a five-match ban can help kick-start Real Madrid‘s season.
After seven games, the defending champions are fifth in La Liga, seven points behind their rivals Barcelona.
Ronaldo has served his five-match suspension after pushing the referee in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup in August and Figo feels his return can get Madrid’s season back on track.
“Of course, he’s a very important player for the team,” Figo told Omnisport.
“He was out five games and the team missed his goals and his contribution.
“Now everything is settled and I think the team is going for the goals they had in the beginning of the season.
“They started well, they won two competitions (the Supercopa and UEFA Super Cup) and now in the league they’re trying to come back from some draws and (recover) some points to Barcelona.
“The season is long, to win the league you have to be really consistent.
“Of course, all the teams have their ups and downs and I’m looking forward to seeing Madrid in the top (places).”
Luka Modric is one of the best central midfielders in the world. He's won everything in club football at Real Madrid and is an iconic figure for Croatian football.
However, the diminutive playmaker's path to football stardom has been long. And as is the case with most heroes, his origin story stems from adversity.
Forced to flee his home at the age of six, Modric honed his skills in a parking lot of a hotel where he lived with his family as refugees.
His rise to the top has been an inspiration and the video above charts his journey.