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Zidane: "Ronaldo is motivated when the crowd whistle at him"

SPORTYOU SPORTYOU 09/03/2016 sportyou
Zidane: 'A Cristiano, los pitos le motivan' © Getty Images Zidane: 'A Cristiano, los pitos le motivan'

Zinedine Zidane was happy with the shift put in by his side against Roma. Real Madrid had a few scares when the Italians created some chances before the Blancos got their first goal, but the French coach was not overly worried by that. "In the first half they had their opportunities to score against us, but that is quite normal in a Champions League game against a team like Roma. Here there are no little teams or easy games, and they are a good team, with class players up front" he said after the game.

The Madrid manager said that the Champions League was a "different" competition but that they were not going to turn their backs on La Liga: "There are still a good few games to go and we are going to try to do our best."

Zidane accepted as quite normal that Marcelo was given such a tough time playing against Salah with the gaps he left behind him that helped Roma's counter attacks. "That is normal, a lot of things happen over the 90 minutes of a game. We were facing opponents who know how to play and who have good, fast people up front. All sorts of things happen in football, but we have achieved our objectives."

The Blanco coach also referred to the whistling that part of the crowd singled out James and Cristiano for, and said that, in the case of the Portuguese forward, he is "motivated by it". As for the Colombian, Zidane praised his good attitude in training and the psychological importance of the goal he scored. "The fans are always asking for more, and the players try to give them what they want," he added.

Zidane was also full of praise for Casemiro, especially for his defensive work, but he did not confirm that the Brazilian has now earned himself a place in the starting XI. "There are 26 in the squad, and everyone gets to play", he explained. He also had good things to say about Lucas Vázquez: "Every time he plays, he gives it his all, whether he's on for 90 minutes, 15 or 30. He is always competitive, and that is a good thing for his coach."

Zidane was asked about his attacking strategy, this time with Cristiano Ronaldo playing in the 'number 9' position and with James and Gareth Bale out wide. "That was the initial plan, to start him off in the middle but for him to get into other positions and also for James and Bale to swap sides. I want movement, and for each of them to be able to play in any of the three positions up front." As for Bale's position, coming in from the left side, Zidane said there is nothing fixed about it since the Welshman "is also comfortable playing on the right" but added that he was happy with his contribution from that side: "he created danger and put in some good crosses."

Lastly, 'Zizou' said that he really had no preference for whichever opponent Madrid are drawn against in the Quarter-finals: "Whoever comes out of the pot will be fine with us, we'll see."

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