MADRID – Real Madrid’s French coach Zinedine Zidane said on Monday it gave him no satisfaction to see an injury take down Paris Saint Germain’s Brazilian forward Neymar ahead of the two clubs’ clash in the second leg of UEFA Champions League round of 16.
Neymar was forced to leave the field on a stretcher after apparently twisting his ankle on Sunday during PSG’s 3-0 league win over Marseille, which cast doubt on whether the Brazilian star would take the field against Real Madrid on March 6.
“It is no joy at all, I do not like when players get injured and I am not happy with Neymar’s injury. Hopefully he can play the game, because in the end the player must be there, and I have never wished for a rival player to miss a game with an injury,” Zidane said at a press conference a day before his La Liga match against Espanyol.
“I do not like to see players get injured, I have never wished for any player to get injured. I watched the game live and I hope Neymar’s injury is nothing dangerous,” he added.
The French coach downplayed the overall importance of Neymar’s possible absence in the upcoming Champions League match, in which PSG will try to rally back after their 3-1 defeat in the first leg.
“I do not think that one player would affect next week’s match, because there will always be a substitute if Neymar can’t play, and he (the substitute) will be motivated and ready to play the game,” Zidane said.