‘Only Complacency Can Stop Us’

Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane repeated the mantra ‘we still have not won anything’ over and over again in his pre-match press conference on Wednesday.

He knows only complacency can stop his Real Madrid team winning La Liga now.

He also knows that if he guides Real Madrid to what would be only their fourth league title in 12 years, he might just finally get the recognition that the three Champions League successes never brought him.

“I have experienced this as a player,” he said. “We have won nothing. Nothing. And the players know that.

“We know that the recuperation will be even more important now that we have the heat. It’s not just a case of resting a bit between games,” he added.

Madrid have returned in better form than even Zidane could have imagined. They are the only team to have won every match they have played since the restart so far.

Zidane has incorporated everyone, even given minutes to James Rodriguez and Gareth Bale.

He doesn’t need to just call on his past experience as a player to try to protect the players from complacency—he can cast his mind back to March when Real Madrid came out of a 2-0 win over Barcelona, with all but the crown on their heads.

Things soon changed when they were beaten 2-1 away to Betis in their next game and Barcelona moved back to the top. Now he wants no more slip-ups.

Those who saw him post-game in the Real Madrid dressing room after they beat Eibar in the opening game back say he was uncharacteristically agitated, having seen the way his players switched off in the second half.