European Champions decine? Real Madrid decline due to transfer activity?

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Zidane had a longer than usual talk with his players before training yesterday, saying it's his responsibility to keep them motivated despite the team's struggles in the Spanish league.

But his chance to prove there are more strings to his managerial bow than commanding the respect of a collection of Galacticos thanks to his own stellar playing career will now be put to the test.

Although Madrid are nearly assured of progressing to the last 8 of that tournament following a 3-0 win in the home leg, Zidane was speaking just 48 hours after another disappointing display saw Madrid drop two further points in Vigo to all but drop out of the league title race.

"I do not want anyone, as I am happy with my squad".

Talking about the title challenge, Zidane said: "If we lose points every week, we cannot get close. I think he'll play more and the idea is for him to have continuity".

"To be very clear I do not want any [new players]".

A new year seemingly brings us all the opportunity for a fresh start - and Real Madrid are in desperate need of one. Until the 31st we will see, but not at the moment, why?

Denis Doyle  GettyImages
Denis Doyle GettyImages

The weekend setback, coming in their first league game since the demoralising 3-0 home loss to Barcelona previous year, reignited talks of a crisis at the Spanish giant. I can't imagine myself as a coach in two, three years, because things are not like that. Real Madrid is above me, above everybody.

"Zidane has preferred to not anticipate risks and has bypassed any uncomfortable diagnosis, no matter how obvious", it said.

"But when a team is going [on] a bit [of a] bad [run], as can happen sometimes, there is talk of transfers".

Along with winning two Champions League trophies, the pressure of defending the coveted trophy has increased as they face French giants Paris Saint Germain in the round of 16 UCL stage.

Llorente could be another to benefit from another starting opportunity against second-tier Numancia, and Goal hailed his powerful display in the first leg, when he completed 95 percent of his attempted passes.

Celta Vigo took the lead at the half-hour mark through Daniel Wass, but, Gareth Bale turned the game around on its head before the halftime, with 2 stunning strikes.

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