MADRID – At a press conference ahead a key La Liga away match against Levante, Real Madrid’s head coach Zinedine Zidane shrugged off speculation that his future at the club depended on its success in the Champions League and insisted that he would take each match as it comes.
La Liga title defender Madrid, due to travel later in the day to Valencia for Saturday’s match against Levante, was recently knocked out of the Copa del Rey by neighboring minnows Leganes and currently trailed its arch-nemesis Barcelona by 19 points in the Spanish top-flight league.
“I’m not thinking about what is going to happen next year,” Zizou said when asked whether his future as head coach hinged on winning the Champions League, in which Madrid is due to take on Paris Saint-Germain at the Bernabeu in the first leg of the round of 16 on Feb. 14.
“I am here to think about the day-to-day, about each match. They say the league is over, but I don’t believe that. We will keep working our hardest,” he said, adding that the players should avoid thinking too much about the game against PSG and instead keep focused on the league.
Real Madrid was currently in fourth place in La Liga, two points behind Valencia and eight behind second-placed Atletico Madrid, another perpetual rival.
A win against Levante would keep Madrid afloat above Villarreal, which is hot on its heels just one point adrift, although the Spanish capital’s club has a game in hand.