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‘Strong’ Zidane eyes European recovery

Madrid (AFP) – Zinedine Zidane insisted Friday he was “strong enough” to drag Real Madrid out of their worst crisis since he was appointed manager in 2016.

The reigning Spanish and European champions travel to Valencia this weekend where defeat would leave the Frenchman hanging on to his job after the midweek Copa del Rey knock-out.

“I know it’s all a bit up and down but we have to learn from this,” Zidane told reporters with his team now out of the Cup and languishing 19 points behind leaders Barcelona in La Liga.

“I might be the only one seeing things positively,” said the former world class midfielder. 

“If I thought there was a mental problem I’d leave tomorrow, but Wednesday was a very, very bad moment,” Zidane said of the quarter-final loss to Leganes.

“I feel strong enough to change the situation.”

“We can and will do absolutely everything to win the Champions League,” insisted Zidane, who can make Madrid only the third club to win the competition three consecutive times since Bayern Munich (74-76) and Ajax (71-73).

“We are not obsessed with it,” said Zidane before mentioning the date of the first-leg away at Paris Saint Germain which falls on February 14.

“We are just lucky to have a Champions League last-16 game, but we also have 18 league games and I’m sure better days are ahead.”

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