MADRID, April 26 (Xinhua) — Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane on Monday said it was “absurd” to think that his club might not play in next season’s UEFA Champions League as a punishment for their involvement in the failed breakaway Super League project.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez was one of main promotors of the Super League, and his continued insistence that the project is not dead has led to speculation that UEFA could sanction the club next season.
When asked about a possible ban in his press conference ahead of Tuesday night’s Champions League semifinal first-leg tie at home to Chelsea, Zidane said, “it’s absurd to think we are not going to be in the Champions League next season.”
“What we have to do is focus on tomorrow’s game, because if we don’t control that, people will talk about that instead,” he added.
Some pro-Real Madrid sectors of the Spanish sporting press have even speculated that referees will attempt to prejudice Madrid because of their involvement in the Super League – despite the fact that Chelsea also formed part of the project.
“We have to think about what we do. The referee will do his job and all we have to do is think about our football,” commented the Real Madrid coach, who called Chelsea “a complete side that attacks and defends well. We have to concentrate and be at our best.”
Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel was also asked about tomorrow’s officials and replied “I have 100 percent confidence in referees and in UEFA. They are going to choose the best for these games and I can’t imagine a team could have an advantage or disadvantage because of politics.”
“If there are problems in politics or in the office, that is where those issues have to be resolved,” he replied.