Sports

Zidane – Coaching Barcelona? I have a white heart

As Zinedine Zidane prepares to set up his side without the crocked Gareth Bale, he admitted he had no answer as to why the Welshman has been so unlucky with injury.

Following an impressive performance recently in the Champions League against Borussia Dortmund, his progress has been halted after sustaining another knock.

Zidane insisted that the forward will not be rushed back from injury and isn’t too worried yet about the persistent fitness problems the player is suffering from, while also brushing off suggestions that he should have been sold in the summer.

“He is okay and is doing better every day,” he said to reporters at his pre-match press conference.

“He was very good in Dortmund but felt some pain in his calf and that worsened after he met up with Wales for international duty.

“I can’t say if he will be back in a week or 10 days, we just have to wait and see, but he is determined to return as soon as possible and that’s good.

“Now we have to be calm and exercise patience with him. I don’t know why he has been injured so much because I’m neither a doctor nor a physio.

“I have confidence in the people who work here but I can’t do anything about it. Bale is the man who is most disappointed because he wants to be out there playing.

“I don’t think about anything like whether or not he should have been sold, you have to live in the present.”

On Saturday, the Frenchman celebrates his 100th game in the Real dugout and revealed what his happiest moment so far has been as well as pondering what he has learned during his time in charge.

“I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is that you must take advantage of things and you must do that by working hard every single day you are here,” he added.

“The most beautiful moment for me so far here has been winning LaLiga.

“You fight for that every day, it is a tremendously difficult thing to do and winning it is the ultimate feeling.”

Asked if he ever regretted not coaching Barcelona or any other side, Zidane’s response was unequivocal.

“I have a white heart,” he said.

“I’m here now, I only think about what I’m doing now, and playing was the same.”

Atletico Madrid take on Barcelona in the game of the weekend, but the Frenchman isn’t interested in the goings on elsewhere.

“I want to win our game,” he explained.

“I don’t want any result in particular, I just want to win.”