MADRID, Spain, Feb 5 – Zinedine Zidane said he was angry and asked for respect for himself and his struggling team on Friday in the face of continued speculation about his future, insisting he was not going to leave.
Real lost at home to Levante last weekend and travel to last-place Huesca on Saturday third in the table and 10 points behind leaders Atletico Madrid.
The normally guarded Real Madrid coach became visibly angry as he spoke at his first press conference since returning following a positive Covid-19 test.
He said he was upset by renewed media reports that he is on the way out.
“I’m not happy, I’m angry, yes, because I don’t think I deserve this,” said Zidane.
“One day I’m out or a bit in, then the next day, if we draw or lose, I’m out,” he said.
“I’m very fortunate to be here and I’m going to make the most of it until my final day. Just because people want me to give up, it doesn’t mean I will, and the players won’t either,” he said.
“There’s talk about a difficult situation and we haven’t been fantastic lately but we’re eager to turn our fortunes around.
“Last year we won the league, so we have the right to fight for our title this year, at least this year.”
“Then, whatever happens, happens, but we’ll give it our all as a team.”
Zidane said he was relieved to back after his brush with coronavirus.
“I’ve been locked up for two weeks like a caged lion and I want to come out, to assert myself and to say that we’re going to fight to the end,” he said.
Real will again be without Eden Hazard, who has suffered a thigh injury and is expected to be out for a month, continuing a nightmare 18 months in Spain, ravaged by injury problems and a bout of coronavirus.
“We want to see Eden without any problems or injury trouble but he’s having a run of bad luck,” said Zidane.
“It’s a very tough situation for him because he wants to show what he’s got and play for Real Madrid. He’s a player who, one day, we’ll see back playing well and injury-free.”