Zinedine Zidane has said Real Madrid will be “screwed” if they allow the ongoing fallout from the proposed Super League — and threats of punishment from UEFA for the club’s role in the project — to distract them from their Champions League semifinal with Chelsea.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has said that clubs which persist with the Super League plans could face bans from the competition.
When asked if the row would affect Tuesday’s semifinal first leg, Zidane told a news conference: “No, I don’t think so. It depends on us on the pitch. The referee will do his job as always.
“We have to think about playing football. If we start to think that everything that’s being said could damage us, we’re screwed, we’ll get in a mess.”
Madrid president Florentino Perez — who was named as the Super League’s first chairman — has been the most vocal advocate of the scheme, insisting it is only “on stand-by.”
“You’ve asked already and I’ve answered, it’s absurd to think that we won’t be in the Champions League next year.” Zidane said on Monday. “Everything has been said. I’ll only give my opinion, that we want to see Real Madrid in the next Champions League.”
The coach refused to say if he believed the club’s reputation had been damaged by the row, and was also reluctant to offer a public message of support for Perez, saying: “the president knows what I have in my heart.”
Meanwhile, defender Raphael Varane called for “the football world to be united” in dealing with issues such as the congested fixture list.
“We’re in a moment where football faces a lot of questions and things to improve,” Varane said. “In any situation, the best way to face it is united, together. Everyone can have their say, we have to improve things. The calendar is an important question. It’s complicated.”
“He doesn’t look like he has any doubts,” Zidane said about Hazard’s latest return from injury. “The other day he was really good. The most important was he didn’t feel any discomfort. He will bring a lot to the team.”