Zinedine Zidane

AFP

Underwhelming Real held to draw at home by Athletic Bilbao

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid may the favourites for the Champions League but a 1-1 draw against Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday will hardly have struck fear into Bayern Munich.

Zinedine Zidane’s side started complacently at the Santiago Bernabeu and ended frantically, with Cristiano Ronaldo’s 87th-minute equaliser cancelling out a delightful early chip from Athletic’s Inaki Williams in between.

Isco leads Real to Malaga win as Zidane rests Ronaldo and Bale

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Madrid (Spain) (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale were both rested and Real Madrid hardly broke sweat as they beat Malaga 2-1 on Sunday to climb to third in La Liga.

Isco scored one and set up another at La Rosaleda in a comfortable victory for a much-changed Real side, following Wednesday’s last-gasp Champions League win over Juventus.

Isco leads Real to Malaga win as Zidane rests Ronaldo and Bale

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Madrid (Spain) (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale were both rested and Real Madrid hardly broke sweat as they beat Malaga 2-1 on Sunday to climb to third in La Liga.

Isco scored one and set up another at La Rosaleda in a comfortable victory for a much-changed Real side, following Wednesday’s last-gasp Champions League win over Juventus.

Holders Real confident ahead of semi-final draw

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Paris (France) (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid will find out their semi-final opponents on Friday as they continue their bid for a third straight Champions League title, with Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Roma the only remaining challengers to their crown.

Zinedine Zidane’s men came through one of the most dramatic European ties in recent memory to reach the last four as a last-gasp Ronaldo spot-kick finally saw off a valiant Juventus on Wednesday.

Forget Cardiff, warns Zidane as Real face ‘complete’ Juventus

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Turin (Italy) (AFP) – Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has warned that last year’s final win over Juventus in Cardiff will count for little in Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg against the Italians in Turin.

Real Madrid lifted their 12th Champions League crown - and second under Zidane - with a 4-1 win last May, but the Frenchman insisted “ten months ago was a completely different situation”.

Forget Cardiff, warns Zidane as Real face ‘complete’ Juventus

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Turin (Italy) (AFP) – Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has warned that last year’s final win over Juventus in Cardiff will count for little in Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg against the Italians in Turin.

Real Madrid lifted their 12th Champions League crown - and second under Zidane - with a 4-1 win last May, but the Frenchman insisted “ten months ago was a completely different situation”.

Pressure back on as Real and Zidane reunite with Juventus

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Madrid (AFP) – Zinedine Zidane said last week he wants to stay at Real Madrid but how welcome his wishes are will depend on the team’s Champions League tie against Juventus.

Real face Zidane’s former club in the first leg of the quarter-final on Tuesday, knowing their season, and perhaps the Frenchman’s future as coach, hinges on reaching the last four.

Bale puts hand up for Juve selection after Las Palmas double

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Madrid (AFP) – Gareth Bale made a strong case for a starting spot against Juventus by scoring twice in Real Madrid’s 3-0 victory over Las Palmas on Saturday.

Bale’s double in Gran Canaria served as a timely reminder to coach Zinedine Zidane, with the trip to Turin for the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals to come on Tuesday.

Ruthless Real’s work is far from done

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Madrid (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo is setting records again and Zinedine Zidane is back in favour after Real Madrid brushed aside Paris Saint-Germain to reach their eighth consecutive Champions League quarter-final.

After a bruising few months, in which Real have limped out of the running for every domestic honour, they saved their best for the Parc des Princes and what defender Sergio Ramos described as the club’s “favourite tournament”.

Ruthless Real’s work is far from done

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Madrid (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo is setting records again and Zinedine Zidane is back in favour after Real Madrid brushed aside Paris Saint-Germain to reach their eighth consecutive Champions League quarter-final.

After a bruising few months, in which Real have limped out of the running for every domestic honour, they saved their best for the Parc des Princes and what defender Sergio Ramos described as the club’s “favourite tournament”.

Experts give Neymar little hope of facing Real

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Paris (AFP) – While Paris Saint Germain coach Unai Emery contemplates how to replace Neymar against Real Madrid, the Spaniards’ coach Zinedine Zidane is enjoying the luxury of being able to rest his star, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Neymar was all but ruled out of PSG’s Champions League last 16 second leg against Real in just over a week after tests on Monday showed he’d suffered a broken foot and sprained ankle against Marseille on Sunday.

Experts give Neymar little hope of facing Real

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Paris (AFP) – While Paris Saint Germain coach Unai Emery contemplates how to replace Neymar against Real Madrid, the Spaniards’ coach Zinedine Zidane is enjoying the luxury of being able to rest his star, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Neymar was all but ruled out of PSG’s Champions League last 16 second leg against Real in just over a week after tests on Monday showed he’d suffered a broken foot and sprained ankle against Marseille on Sunday.

Zidane hails selfless Ronaldo after Benzema penalty gesture

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Madrid (AFP) – Real coach Zinedine Zidane hailed Cristiano Ronaldo’s selflessness after the forward gave up the chance of a hat-trick by allowing Karim Benzema to take a late penalty in Saturday’s 4-0 thrashing of Alaves.

Zidane restored Gareth Bale to the starting XI to reunite the ‘BBC’ front line of the Welshman, Ronaldo and Benzema, and all three scored in a confident display at the Santiago Bernabeu.

‘Experts’ to the fore as Ronaldo, Messi again rule in Europe

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Paris (AFP) – As the stakes mounted in the Champions League, the usual suspects once more rose to the occasion with Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski starring in the last 16, first legs.

Season after season, these preeminent performers deliver on the biggest stages and administer severe punishment to striving title contenders - including Neymar’s aspiring Paris Saint-Germain.

‘Experts’ to the fore as Ronaldo, Messi again rule in Europe

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Paris (AFP) – As the stakes mounted in the Champions League, the usual suspects once more rose to the occasion with Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski starring in the last 16, first legs.

Season after season, these preeminent performers deliver on the biggest stages and administer severe punishment to striving title contenders - including Neymar’s aspiring Paris Saint-Germain.

Modric the latest to join Real Madrid injury list

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Madrid (AFP) – Luka Modric has become the latest player to join the queue to the Real Madrid treatment room, with the injury problems starting to pile up for coach Zinedine Zidane.

The Croatian playmaker has a thigh injury, meaning he is set to sit out Wednesday’s rearranged La Liga game at Leganes.

James Rodriguez – Bayern Munich’s ‘godsend’

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Berlin (AFP) – Unloved at Real Madrid, yet declared a “godsend” by Bayern Munich, James Rodriguez has rebooted his stuttering career in Bavaria and is set to shine again in the Champions League.

In his preferred attacking midfield role, Rodriguez is set to face Besiktas on Tuesday in the first leg of the last-16 tie at Munich’s Allianz Arena.

PSG coach refuses ‘future’ talk after Real defeat

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Paris (AFP) – Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery refused to “waste his energy” worrying about his job after the 3-1 first-leg last-16 defeat to Real Madrid when questioned on Friday.

One of the sub plots of the “clash of the round” was which manager, Emery or Madrid handler Zinedine Zidane, would lose his job if his side lost.

Real Madrid hoping to thrive on big occasion against Neymar’s PSG

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Madrid (AFP) – Zinedine Zidane is hoping the Champions League will again bring out the best in Real Madrid as the title-holders prepare to face the formidable Paris Saint-Germain of Neymar in Wednesday’s last 16, first leg.

Real are floundering in La Liga this season, sitting in fourth place, 17 points adrift of leaders Barcelona.

Zidane fighting for future in PSG Champions League tie

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Madrid (AFP) – Zinedine Zidane inspired France to World Cup glory as a player, but his extraordinary career has to a large degree been defined by the Champions League.

His magnificent volleyed goal for Real Madrid in their 2002 win over Bayer Leverkusen at Hampden Park in Glasgow is one of the greatest to be scored in a European Cup final.

Ronaldo hat-trick as Madrid warm up for PSG with big win

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Madrid (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo bagged a hat-trick as Real Madrid warmed up for their Champions League showdown with Paris Saint-Germain with a big 5-2 victory over Real Sociedad in La Liga on Saturday.

Zinedine Zidane’s side have not scaled their usual heights this season and this was still not perfect, but they do look to be finding some form just in time for a potentially season-defining tie with the French side.

Ronaldo hat-trick as Madrid warm up for PSG with big win

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Madrid (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo bagged a hat-trick as Real Madrid warmed up for their Champions League showdown with Paris Saint-Germain with a big 5-2 victory over Real Sociedad in La Liga on Saturday.

Zinedine Zidane’s side have not scaled their usual heights this season and this was still not perfect, but they do look to be finding some form just in time for a potentially season-defining tie with the French side.

Pazzini late show sees Real Madrid held at Levante

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Madrid (AFP) – Former Italy striker Giampaolo Pazzini scored a dramatic late equaliser as Levante held Real Madrid to a 2-2 draw on Saturday, leaving Zinedine Zidane’s men 18 points adrift of La Liga leaders Barcelona.

Sergio Ramos headed the visitors into an 11th-minute lead with his 50th La Liga goal for the club, but Levante equalised before half-time through Emmanuel Boateng.

Pazzini late show sees Real Madrid held at Levante

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Madrid (AFP) – Former Italy striker Giampaolo Pazzini scored a dramatic late equaliser as Levante held Real Madrid to a 2-2 draw on Saturday, leaving Zinedine Zidane’s men 18 points adrift of La Liga leaders Barcelona.

Sergio Ramos headed the visitors into an 11th-minute lead with his 50th La Liga goal for the club, but Levante equalised before half-time through Emmanuel Boateng.

Ronaldo leads Real Madrid to Valencia victory

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Madrid (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo converted two penalties as Real Madrid battled to a 4-1 away win at Valencia in La Liga on Saturday, lifting the recent gloom over the defending Spanish and European champions.

The result leaves Madrid 16 points behind top placed Barcelona on 54, Atletico Madrid are second on 43, Valencia third on 40 with Real another two back.

Ronaldo leads Real Madrid to Valencia victory

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Madrid (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo converted two penalties as Real Madrid battled to a 4-1 away win at Valencia in La Liga on Saturday, lifting the recent gloom over the defending Spanish and European champions.

The result leaves Madrid 16 points behind top placed Barcelona on 54, Atletico Madrid are second on 43, Valencia third on 40 with Real another two back.

Valencia threaten more trouble for Zidane’s Madrid

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Madrid (AFP) – A Real Madrid slip-up in Valencia led to Zinedine Zidane being appointed coach, but another setback for the reigning Spanish and European champions at Mestalla this weekend would leave the Frenchman hanging onto his job.

Zidane’s promotion to the role of coach dates back to January 2016, a day after Real had twice squandered the lead in a 2-2 draw at Valencia, costing Rafa Benitez his job.

Cup upset leaves Real with only Europe

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Madrid (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo tweeted his encouragement for his club and their fans on Thursday, hours after Real Madrid suffered a humiliating elimination by lowly Leganes in the Copa del Rey.

“Courage team. Courage Madrid fans. We still have many battles to win,” wrote Ronaldo in his official Twitter account.

Real Madrid out of top four as Villarreal win

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Madrid (AFP) – Villarreal moved above Real Madrid and into the top four after a 2-1 win over Levante that saw them leapfrog the struggling champions and pile more pressure on Real coach Zinedine Zidane.

A 26th-minute penalty from Manu Trigueros and Real youth product Denis Cheryshev’s first league goal in nearly two years saw Javier Calleja’s side, who beat Real at the Bernabeu for the first time ever last week, move up to 34 points and two ahead of Real.

Zidane and Real Madrid under fire after ‘inexplicable’ defeat

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Madrid (AFP) – The Spanish press did not hold back in their criticism of a “shattered” Real Madrid, a team “in crisis” after their 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Villarreal in La Liga.

“Inexplicable” was the front-page headline on Madrid sports daily Marca on Sunday, which remarked that the reigning Spanish and European champions “don’t know what is happening to them” in La Liga.

Second string Real Madrid struggle into Copa del Rey quarter-finals

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid fielded an almost unrecognisable team and struggled into the Copa del Rey quarter-finals on Wednesday after a 2-2 draw against second division Numancia.

Already 3-0 ahead from the first leg, coach Zinedine Zidane could afford to rest his superstars with one eye on La Liga, where they are 16 points behind Barcelona, and the Champions League last 16 with a clash against Paris Saint-Germain next month.

Kane says Spurs need trophies to keep him happy

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London (AFP) – Harry Kane says he is happy at Tottenham Hotspur as long as the club start winning trophies as his manager Mauricio Pochettino warned Spurs cannot force their star striker to stay.

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane hailed Kane as the “complete player” ahead of the clubs’ first Champions League tie in October while Manchester United have also been credited with an interest in the 24-year-old.

Real president Perez insists 2017 a ‘great year’ despite Barca blip

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid president Florentino Perez said on Sunday that the club’s fans have to be proud of their team’s achievements in 2017, despite the 3-0 El Clasico defeat by Barcelona that left them 14 points adrift in the La Liga title race.

The Spanish giants completed a double of Champions League and La Liga titles last season and have since added the Club World Cup trophy and the European and Spanish Super Cups.

Ronaldo retains Club World Cup for Real Madrid

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Abu Dhabi (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo’s second-half free-kick ensured Real Madrid picked up a fifth trophy of 2017 by beating Gremio 1-0 in Abu Dhabi on Saturday to retain the Club World Cup.

A third Club World Cup in four years brings Madrid level with rivals Barcelona as the most successful side in the competition’s history and adds to the La Liga, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Spanish Super Cup titles already won by Zinedine Zidane’s men this year.

Real Madrid

Zidane Issues Hands-Off Isco Warning To Man City

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Isco has been linked with a move away from the Santiago Bernabéu this summer after suggesting that Zinedine Zidane does not have faith in him, but the Real Madrid boss says that is not the case

Zidane says he is certain Isco will remain with Real Madrid after reports of Manchester City's interest surfaced following the Spain midfielder's suggestion that he does not have the confidence of his coach at club level.

Gareth Bale will join Man Utd if Zinedine Zidane keeps Real Madrid job

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Gareth Bale will sign for Manchester United this summer if Zinedine Zidane keeps his job as Real Madrid coach, according to the Daily Mirror. The...

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‘I’m going’ – Real Madrid’s £275m ‘spoiled child’ could join Arsenal or Liverpool

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According to Diario Gol, Real Madrid winger Lucas Vazquez wants to leave the club this summer and could join one of Arsenal, Liverpool or Tottenham Hotspur.

The 26-year-old, who re-joined Real from Espanyol in 2015, has been given a good run in the side lately but feels that won’t last when president Florentino Perez opens the chequebook in the summer.

Eden Hazard rejecting an extended Chelsea contract is just as expected.

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Chelsea's attacking play maker Eden Hazard, the most talented player within our ranks has rejected a new extended contract and if we are honest is to be expected.
There has been so much press coverage of the news within the last 24-48 hours as the players father has spoken out suggesting that the Belgian is holding out to see what happens this summer in the hope that Real Madrid confirm their intention to sign him.

Isco Fires Back At Reports Of Player Unrest With Zinedine Zidane

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Real Madrid star Isco has angrily dismissed reports that he refused to continue warming up during the weekend's el clasico against Barcelona.

Lionel Messi inspired Barcelona to a 3-0 thrashing at the Bernabeu with Luis Suarez and Aleix Vidal also finding the net, a result that all but ended the title race in Spain.

The Rest

Art Of Football Produce Cracking Animated Love Letter To The Beautiful Game, Complete With Commentary From Martin Tyler (Video)

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Photo: Art of Football

Art of Football have forged themselves a well-earned reputation for quality over the past year or two, principally for their rather excellent splotchy t-shirts and prints.

With things continuing to go from strength to strength for the Nottingham-based collective, the Art of Football chaps have gone big to celebrate their four-year anniversary by creating their very first animated short film which they call a "love letter" to the beautiful game.