Zidane insists struggling Real and Ronaldo are 'not that bad'


"All that they say about Real Madrid is negative and that is not right, I do not see it that way. They're a positive team and their results reflect that".

Real have endured a disappointing 2017/18 campaign to date and now sit fourth in La Liga, 16 points adrift of arch-rivals Barcelona.

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos turned on teammates after their poor Copa del Rey draw with Numancia. They have not lost many games.

Zidane's Real Madrid failed to beat second division Numancia on Tuesday night although the 2-2 second-leg draw did not prevent them from making it into Friday's quarter-final draw.

Having spent his entire coaching career at the club, being in charge of U19, U23 and reserve sides, Javi Calleja was finally promoted to the senior set-up in September 2017 and he has grabbed his chance with both hands. He has led the club to a record consecutive Champions League titles and a La Liga title since he took over at the helm. With the club having made a decision to cash in on star striker Cedric Bakambu, Calleja chose to recall talented forward Enes Unal from the loan spell at Levante and the youngster managed to score on his return, proving he could establish a very good partnership with Carlos Bacca.

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'We have to be smart in our judgement because they are the same players, the same trainer and the same philosophy'.

Ahead of hosting Villarreal, who have drawn at the Bernabeu twice in the last three seasons, Zidane told the pre-match news conference that he and his players must ignore pundits and reporters saying negative things about the team which were just not true.

Villarreal coach Javi Calleja will be without suspended defender Victor Ruiz for the trip to Madrid, while the likes of Bruno, Roberto Soriano and Andres Fernandez remain sidelined through injury.

"We're going to try all we can to win the game".