Zidane: Di Maria wanted to stay and fight, Ozil wanted out
Real Madrid sporting director and assistant manager, Zinedine Zidane shared his thoughts on the recent moves and non-moves made by the club at the close of the summer transfer deadline.
In a recent interview with Real Madrid TV, Zidane stated that attacking midfielder, Angel di Maria reacted to the rumours that he could be moved, wanted to stay and was willing to fight for his place, while Mesut Ozil wanted to leave the club, which he did in a €50 million transfer to English Premier League side, Arsenal.
Zidane also praises Cristiano Ronaldo for handling the immense pressure he’s constantly put under and hopes new world record signing, Gareth Bale can do the same.
“The pressure at Real Madrid is huge and it’s going to be that way for Bale. But the best example is Cristiano, who dealt with the pressure supremely with his performances. What Cristiano is doing right now makes him stand out above the rest. Cristiano is the best striker in the world. Now we have creative players like Isco, and other new players like Jesé and Morata are also increasing the competition for places. Some players have responded strongly and want to fight. Everyone reacts differently; Di María reacted and wanted to fight. Özil, who is a great player, decided he wanted to leave.
“I feel that the signing of Bale is very important to Madrid. He’s been the best player in the Premier League for the past two seasons – my comments were misinterpreted. Right from the very beginning I encouraged the president to try hard to get Bale to sign for Madrid. Real Madrid must sign the biggest players; that’s why it’s the biggest and most famous club in the world.”
On the topic of the younger players, Zidane feels there is a healthy mix with the eagerness of youth and the experience of the veterans, which is even more apparent with the injuries the squad has suffered.
“The mix of the older players (veterans) and younger ones is good for us and the team.
“Injuries never come at a good time but you also have to deal with it. The most important thing is that everyone is ready when the important games come around. It’s an important year for everybody.”
Zidane concluded by speaking about life as an assistant manager and his playing days, which helped put him in the position he is now.
“I didn’t imagine it would be so difficult, but that’s logical. You carry the tension inside, but that’s normal. What’s more, the tension is mainly taken on by the coach, and everything he thinks about. I’m here to help him, and I worked with Carlo a long ago. Not only is he a good coach, which everybody knows, he’s also a good person.
“I’m always going to miss being a player, and it’s always going to be that way because it was the best time in my life. But it’s in the past.”