Banning Real Madrid from the Champions League due to Super League 'absurd', says Zinedine Zidane
Real Madrid manager has responded to UEFA's threat of Champions League expulsion for European Super League clubs by calling the measure "absurd". Real Madrid remain committed to the project in theory despite it largely collapsing when several of its founder members withdrew after a fan backlash to the proposals.
Zinedine Zidane head Coach of Real Madrid looks on during the La Liga Santander match between Real Madrid and Real Betis at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano on April 24, 2021 in Madrid, Spain.
Zinedine Zidane has said that UEFA's threat to ban Real Madrid from the Champions League due to their participation in the European Super League would be "absurd".
The Spanish champions are the record winners of Europe's top club competition, but were among the masterminds of the Super League, which was announced last Sunday with the participation of 12 European clubs, the majority of whom had withdrawn 48 hours later due to a fan backlash.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin hinted that those still theoretically committed to the project could have to serve a ban from European competition, but Zidane was unimpressed by the threat.
"There is a lot of talk from the outside. There is going to be a lot of talk, but as we don't control it, I'm just focusing on the game.
"But my opinion is that we all want to see Madrid in the Champions League."
Looking ahead to the semi-final clash, Zidane was anticipating a tricky fixture against a well-drilled opponent.
"It's a semi-final and it's going to be a tough game," the Real Madrid coach stated.
"I think they're going to be a team that attacks and defends. We have to be attentive, defend well and when it comes to creating chances, do it like on many occasions. We need to be at our best to hurt Chelsea."
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Real are involved in a tight title race in La Liga but the Frenchman insisted that he would not prioritise one competition over the other.
"We are not going to choose. We are alive in both competitions," he noted.
"We've had a lot of difficulties and we've picked things up. We have a month of the season left and we are going to compete until the end no matter what."
Finally, Zidane confirmed that Eden Hazard, who has endured another injury-plagued season in the Spanish capital, would be fit to face his former club after making his comeback at the weekend.
"I don't see him with any doubts [in his mind], and the other day he was very good," Zidane recognised.
"The most important thing was that and now he's ready to go. We're happy, because he's going to give us a lot."