MADRID, Jan 19: Less than a week ago, Zinedine Zidane could do no wrong. Everything was bright as the Real Madrid manager had been damn-near perfect in his first year in charge. But all good things must come to an end, even for a club as revered and successful as Real Madrid.
Sunday saw Real Madrid’s incredible 40-match unbeaten streak come to an end at the hands of Sevilla. It was bound to eventually happen, as slip ups do. The expectation was that Real Madrid would dust themselves off and get back to their winning ways. Except another loss hit them on Wednesday in the first leg of their Copa del Rey tie vs. Celta Vigo.
This time, they lost at home and without the massive pressure of Spain’s longest-running unbeaten streak to fall back on. This time, Celta Vigo plain outplayed Real Madrid in a 2-1 contest. For one of the few times in his career as Real Madrid’s manager, Zidane had to answer the unpleasant questions.
He took the blame for the entire shortcoming.
“I’m the one responsible and I must find the solution,” Zidane said after the match, via Marca. He also admitted that the loss to Sevilla affected the team mentally, but refused to use it as justification for the performance.
“It’s true that upset us and you don’t rest as well afterwards, but there are no excuses,” he said. “The way we competed in Sevilla was good, but it wasn’t so much today.”
Still, Zidane continued to preach his team’s resilience and expects Real Madrid to bounce back. “I’m not worried, although it’s a bad moment. We know that we can overcome it and we are going to overcome it.”
He seems confident. Whether or not his team matches that confidence remains to be seen, but we’ll know soon enough. Los Blancos will get another chance to right the ship this Saturday against Malaga.AGENCIES