Zidane takes Madrid training after self-isolation, Perez positive for COVID-19

By Sports Desk February 02, 2021

Zinedine Zidane led a Real Madrid training session for the first time since contracting coronavirus, while club president Florentino Perez has tested positive for COVID-19.

Madrid head coach Zidane was forced to undergo a period of self-isolation and has not been in the dugout since the shock 2-1 defeat to Alcoyano in the Copa del Rey two weeks ago.

Since then, Los Blancos have beaten Deportivo Alaves 4-1 and suffered a surprise 2-1 loss against Levante in LaLiga.

Madrid have slipped to third and sit 10 points adrift of leaders Atletico Madrid, who still have a game in hand, but Zidane has a full week to prepare for their next outing against Huesca on Saturday.

Although Zidane was back on the training pitch, Sergio Ramos, Lucas Vazquez, Rodrygo and Federico Valverde were only with the group for part of the session.

Dani Carvajal trained indoors while Nacho Fernandez remained at home after testing positive for COVID-19, a fate shared by Madrid president Perez.

A brief club statement read: "Real Madrid would like to inform that our president Florentino Perez has tested positive in the COVID-19 tests that he periodically undergoes, although he is not showing any symptoms."

Related items

  • Klopp latest to question Barcelona transfer policy as Kounde remains unregistered Klopp latest to question Barcelona transfer policy as Kounde remains unregistered

    Jurgen Klopp admits he does not understand how Barcelona have been able to conduct their high-spending transfer plans, and has cautioned that the club may face irreparable damage down the line.

    The Catalan giants have bolstered their ranks with a slew of major recruits ahead of the new campaign, including Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Jules Kounde.

    But the club's long-documented financial struggles has seen them forced to sell off non-playing assets and activate various 'levers' in order to register them in line with rules laid out by La Liga.

    Even then, the Spanish giants have not been able to get all of their new faces on board, with Kounde still waiting for sufficient cap space to be made in order to include him in Xavi's squad.

    President Joan Laporta previously hit out at comments by Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann over their transfer dealings, but Liverpool boss Klopp concurs with his compatriot over their dealings.

    "No, [I do not understand] for various reasons," he was quoted by Bild. "One reason is that I'm not a financial expert.

    "[But] the second [is] if you tell me I don't have any money, then I don't spend anything anymore. I'm watching this like a football fan, I don't understand."

    Barcelona have sold part of their stadium in order to secure the deals, effectively ransoming their future if their gamble fails to pay off.

    Klopp speculated that such a move could lead to bankruptcy, and drew parallels to Borussia Dortmund, who sold their stadium rights and narrowly avoided financial ruin after Hans-Joachim Watzke took over in 2005.

    "The only club I know that once sold the stadium and other rights in advance was Borussia Dortmund," he added. "Aki Watzke had to come at the last second and save the whole thing.

    "I don't know if there is an Aki Watzke in Barcelona."

  • Minnesota United and Real Salt Lake collect tough away wins Minnesota United and Real Salt Lake collect tough away wins

    Minnesota United lived up to their terrific away record with a 2-1 win against Nashville SC at Geodis Park on Sunday.

    At home, Nashville were the betting favourites in the contest, but perhaps that should not have been the case as they entered the match with the worst home record in the Western Conference, collecting just 14 points from 12 matches.

    On the other hand, Minnesota are the West's third-best team away from home, with 19 points in 13 matches, and while they have been strong recently – with only one loss from their past 10 games – Nashville have only one win from their past 10.

    The road team took the life out of the crowd when Franco Fragapane put Minnesota ahead 1-0 in the 27th minute, getting on the end of a terrific ball from Emanuel Reynoso after a costly turnover in Nashville's defensive half.

    Nashville would find the equaliser in the 61st minute, with Hany Mukhtar converting from close range on a sharp angle, but less than 15 minutes later Minnesota grabbed the winner.

    It was another move orchestrated by Reynoso, finding substitute Joseph Rosales overlapping down the left-wing just two minutes after his arrival into the game, and his low cross made its way through a sea of legs to reach Alan Benitez for a tap-in at the back post.

    The result keeps Minnesota in the Western Conference's top-four, while Nashville are now clinging onto the seventh and final playoff spot.

    On the other side of the country, the Seattle Sounders had 69 per cent of the possession against Real Salt Lake, but could not make it count, ultimately going down 2-1 at home.

    Salt Lake only had 36 per cent possession in the first half, but they created the only two shots on target, resulting in the game's opening goal when Sergio Cordova got over the back of the Seattle defense in the 32nd minute. 

    Although Cordova's first attempt was saved, he was able to dance around a couple of defenders after the rebound came back to him and find the bottom corner.

    A 62nd minute equaliser from Albert Rusnak had Seattle fans dreaming of a comeback win, but that was extinguished just two minutes later as Andrew Brody re-established the Salt Lake lead, which they defended stoutly until the final whistle.

  • 'The Real Madrid shirt is heavy' – Ancelotti wants more from Tchouameni and Camavinga 'The Real Madrid shirt is heavy' – Ancelotti wants more from Tchouameni and Camavinga

    Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga failed to show the quality they have done in training during Real Madrid's 2-1 win at Almeria on Sunday, according to boss Carlo Ancelotti.

    Madrid fell behind to Largie Ramazani's early strike at the Power Horse Stadium in their opening LaLiga game of the season, but they drew level thanks to Lucas Vazquez's goal in the 61st minute.

    They then sealed all three points with 15 minutes remaining when substitute David Alaba curled a sumptuous free-kick past Fernando Martinez from 25 yards with his first touch.

    Tchouameni, who joined from Monaco in June for a fee that could rise to €100m, and Camavinga started alongside Toni Kroos in midfield, but both struggled to make an impact.

    Camavinga was replaced by Luka Modric at half-time, while Tchouameni did not last an hour before he was substituted for Eden Hazard.

    Neither player made more than a single key pass – well short of the team-high four that was achieved by three other players – with Ancelotti suggesting the pressure of playing for such a prestigious club affected the pair.

    "For me, [Antonio] Rudiger played a good game," he told Movistar.

    "The youngsters didn't play like they usually do. For what they do in training they deserve to play. They haven't done anything wrong, but they can do better.

    "They are young and the shirt is heavy. It is a toll we pay, but we pay it with pleasure.

    "I removed Camavinga because he had a card and could be a danger in a team that played on the break.

    "It was normal to suffer, because we've complicated the game with a defensive error. From then on it has cost us a lot."

    Hazard has endured a torrid time with injuries since he joined from Chelsea in July 2019, but the Belgium international is hoping to play an important role this season. 

    Ancelotti is not sure where his best position will be, given Vinicius Junior's continued brilliance on the left of the front three, but the Italian expects him to feature regularly. 

    Asked where his best position is, Ancelotti said: "I don't know, I have to think about it. Hazard is a midfielder. We have to bear in mind that Vini really likes the wing.

    "Today he tried to find a lot of the right central defender, where the spaces were very small. Hazard when he came on was good, he's training well and I think he's going to have minutes this season."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.