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Zidane on third-party bonus payments: "I don't know what you're talking about"

SPORTYOU SPORTYOU 13/05/2016 sportyou
Zidane, sobre las primas a terceros: 'No sé de qué me estás hablando' © Getty Images Zidane, sobre las primas a terceros: 'No sé de qué me estás hablando'

Zinedine Zidane ducked the questions and suspicions concerning possible third-party payments and how competitive Granada, whose top-flight status is secure, will be against Barcelona. "I'm not going into that. The only thing I can talk about is what we are going to do. Tomorrow's game is a final for us, and we have to be at our best game so can take all three points. That's the only thing on our minds. As for the rest of it... I'm not going to say anything. Our game tomorrow is the one that's in our own hands. If we get all three points, we have hope. Nothing more. As for the rest of it, I'm not concerned", he said, and then reiterated the same idea: "I don't know what you're talking about (referring to third-party payments). I know this is the last league press conference of the season and there will be questions asked. But all we are focused on is our football and what we want to do tomorrow", he said, putting an end to the question.

The last attempt on the part of the journalists was to ask him if he had been aware of these issues in his playing days: "I can talk to you about real things: that we can earn the points, that we can continue with our work... but I can't tell you anything about any other club. This isn't any strategy, what I'm thinking about now is the most important thing. I can tell you about what I do here. I have the good fortune to be the Real Madrid manager, and I'm concerned about what we can do. It's easy to say what Granada might or might not do... But what interests me more are our things" he ended by saying.

He will not be kept informed of what is happening in Granada, because he only wants to focus on his own game. "I'm not going to find out (about Granada) until the end. It does not depend on us, but we have to think about our own game and getting the three points" he said.

Zidane's future

After reiterating what he always says in pre-match press conferences (that his team must be focused and start strongly against Deportivo), he was modest when asked about whether he is the right man to stay in charge of the team next season. "I don't know whether I have won that right. I can tell you about the work I have been doing, and not just me, the work of the players too. There were a lot of doubts, and I understand them, but I haven't won anything yet to make me think I'll continue. I'm happy with what I'm doing, but I just think about the day-to-day work, which I like, and we'll see at the end of the season. We are facing two important finals and up to now the work that has been done has been phenomenal", he said.

The Deportivo clash is the first of the two finals Real Madrid have before them, and for Zidane it is more important than the game against Atlético de Madrid in Milan. "The game of our lives is tomorrow's, because there is a title at stake. The three points are important for what we are doing. Then, after tomorrow's game, the next one will be important. Both teams want to win. The game on May 28th is at 50/50, and if anyone says anything else, they're lying" he concluded.

Asked about the fitness of his players, he said that they were in better shape and that the injuries are now in the past, for which reason he hopes to have both Bale and Cristiano available and fully fit. As for James, whose future at the club is in doubt, Ziudane said that he asks the same of him as he does "of all the players, and he is giving it. I'm not going to get myself into any unnecessary problems, I have 23 world-class players and in the end I have to choose who plays. I've got James, and I've got Isco... that's the life of a professional footballer."

During these last few months in charge of the Real Madrid squad, Zidane says he has learned a lot, such as "playing important matches every three days... It was not easy at the start, because there is a lot of pressure, but every day I am more comfortable and more at ease. I've learned a lot over these last few months. It's not the same thing to manage Castilla in Segunda B [Spain's third tier] as it is to manage this team. But I like it a lot" he said.

As for his immediate future, Zidane said that everyone at Real Madrid is confident of winnng the league title. "We have faith in the Liga, why not? we've won 11 games in a row and are just a point behind. We are going to keep believing until the last dying second of the game. I'm not going to say what the percentage chances of winning the league are, because I don't know" he finished.

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