Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has reiterated his stand to remain on the job, insisting that he would not resign.
The Spanish giants have started the current campaign in disastrous form and currently sit in 4th spot on the league table, seven points behind table-toppers Real Sociedad and have lost three of their nine league games to date.
The story is much worse on the continent and Los Blancos face the genuine threat of dropping down to the Europa League,e their record-breaking run of qualifying for the Champions League knockout rounds for 24 consecutive years.
Real Madrid started their continental campaign in the worst possible fashion, falling to a 3-2 home defeat to a Shakhtar Donetsk side that was severely depleted by several positive COVID-19 tests.
A draw with Borussia Monchengladbach followed but consecutive victories over Inter Milan put the capital side back on track before they fell to another embarrassing 2-0 defeat to the Ukrainian champions.
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This leaves Real Madrid in third place in Group B heading into the final day and they need to get a positive result on matchday 6 against Monchengladbach to progress to the round-of-16.
The club’s embarrassing start to the Champions League, coupled with their poor league campaign has put the future of Zinedine Zidane in doubt and there were reports in Spain that club president Florentino Perez had an emergency meeting to decide on the next step.
It is believed that a new manager is being considered to take the reins before the final game against Monchengladbach, with Mauricio Pochetino and Raul Gonzalez currently being considered.
Pochetino has been without a club since his sack by Tottenham in November 2019 and has constantly been linked with the top clubs on the continent, while Raul currently manages the Real Madrid Castilla team and guided the club’s youth side to their maiden UEFA Youth League.
Zinedine Zidane has been immensely successful since his appointment in the Bernabeu dugout and became the first man to win a three-peat of Champions League titles as a manager, in addition to a LaLiga crown in 2017 before his shock resignation in 2018.
He returned to the club a year later amidst an on-field crisis but stabilized the club enough to win another league title in 2020.
In total, the former France international has won 11 trophies as Real Madrid manager, making him the most successful coach in the club’s modern history but he has come under increased scrutiny in recent months.
However, despite the speculations surrounding his future, Zinedine Zidane remains confident that he is still the right man for the job and ruled out any chance of his resigning from his position.
Speaking after the defeat to Shakhtar, the 48-year-old said:
”I am not going to resign – not at all,”
“We have always had delicate moments. It is true that it is a bad streak in terms of results, but we must continue. Today was a final, we prepared very well, but we know there is a game to go and we have to win and that’s it.”
He also touched on the weekend’s loss at home to Alaves in the league and stated that his side were not good enough on Saturday.
”I believe in the players and of course I have strength. The other day against Alaves we did not deserve to win but today we did. There is no choice but to work and continue so that the good results return.”
Of particular concern to Real Madrid has been their defence and the absence of Sergio Ramos has laid bare the problems at the back, with the Spanish champions now having conceded nine goals fom just five Champions League games, marking their worst defensive return at this stage.
The defeat against Shakhtar means that Real have lost seven of the last nine games they have played without their captain, raising further questions of Raphael Varane’s inability to step up in the absence of his defensive partner.
Zidane is, however, confident that his players can turn the tide around and expressed his unwavering belief in their abilities.
”It is a difficult moment but I am convinced that we are going to bring out our character because we have to win the next game,”
“I am convinced that we can do it.”
Up next for Real Madrid will be a testing trip to the Estadio Sanchez Pizjuan to take on Sevilla before they host Monchengladbach on the continent and both matches could have a direct impact on Zidane’s future at the Bernabeu.
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