“Mariano got his chance to play and he’s scored twice, I’m happy for him”, said the coach.

Zinedine Zidane spoke to the press in the media room at the Santiago Bernabéu following the win over Villarreal. The coach assessed his team’s performance: “We played much better than the other day and I feel much happier now, as do the players. We won the game at our ground and I’m pleased. It was a rather end-to-end game and when you’re 3-1 up you shouldn’t be letting them score, but we did. It’s a variety of things, tiredness, the heat… but we didn’t finish the game brilliantly”.

“I won’t discuss next season. I’m happy with Brahim’s performance because when he picks up the ball, he heads straight for the opposition goal. He might play better or worse, but he’s a player who is always in search of space. With the first goal, for instance, he did a great job with his pressing after we’d lost it. They give it away, Brahim pounces on it and we get the goal. I’m delighted with his display and to have got the win because the players needed it”.

Vinicius Jr.
Vinicius Jr. played 20 minutes and after three months out he has to work hard. We’ve got two games to go and that’ll be it. Our thoughts will turn to next year. As for the Copa América, that’s down to Tite. We’ll see what happens”.

“Of course he’s not had too many opportunities because he’s been injured, he’s been out for a long time. Mariano got his chance to play today and he’s scored twice, I’m happy for him”.

Why was Courtois picked today?
“Because I have to pick one goalkeeper from the three I have available. So today, I chose Courtois”.

“I’m the coach, I have to pick and team, and that’s all there is to it. You can interpret it as you wish. I need to pick a squad of players and some are going to miss out”.