Courtois corner decision was his own, explains Real Madrid boss Zidane

By Sports Desk December 16, 2019

Thibaut Courtois made the decision himself to go up for the late corner that saw Real Madrid snatch a last-gasp draw with Valencia, according to head coach Zinedine Zidane.

Madrid were staring down the barrel of a second LaLiga defeat of the season courtesy of Carlos Soler's 78th-minute striker at Mestalla.

However, Belgium goalkeeper Courtois saw a late header saved by Jaume Domenech and Karim Benzema lashed home to ensure Madrid returned to the capital with a point.

"He decided to go up and this shows that we wanted more, that we never give up," Zidane told a news conference.

"The equaliser is something that we put a lot of effort into. This is Real Madrid, a team that never gives up. They believed they could do it and they did.

"With everything we did, I think we deserved to score a goal that compensated with the effort of the team.

"Football is like this and you can't complain. You have to accept what football gives you. A point is little reward. 

"In the end, we got a big result, but it's a shame because we had a very good first half. They were better going forward in the second half and it was even."

Madrid were without Casemiro, who was rested against Valencia - likely due to the defensive midfielder being one yellow card away from suspension ahead of a midweek Clasico against Barcelona.

Zidane explained: "He wasn't meant to play and those that did did very well. Casemiro had played lots of games and I'm very happy that we did everything without him.

"We drew, but I think we deserved a bit more. He'd played 21 matches and he had to rest, but I was only thinking about the Valencia game."

Related items

  • Rumour Has It: Haaland, Mane top targets for Real Madrid Rumour Has It: Haaland, Mane top targets for Real Madrid

    Real Madrid are reportedly preparing for a rebuild and Erling Haaland and Sadio Mane are their top transfer targets.

    The LaLiga club appear set for a busy close season amid links to numerous players.

    While Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is said to be a target, it seems Madrid have other priorities.

     

    TOP STORY – HAALAND, MANE TOP TARGETS FOR REAL MADRID

    Borussia Dortmund forward Haaland and Liverpool star Mane are Real Madrid's top targets, according to the Daily Express.

    The report says Aubameyang is also wanted at the Santiago Bernabeu, but is behind Haaland and Mane.

    Real Madrid were two points behind LaLiga leaders Barcelona when the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    ROUND-UP

    - Staying at Real Madrid and the LaLiga giants are tracking Sao Paulo midfielder Igor Gomes, according to AS. A Brazil youth international, Gomes, 21, has been compared to former AC Milan star Kaka.

    - Ousmane Dembele is seemingly unwanted at Barcelona and could be set for a move. Sport reports Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp want Dembele, who has struggled with injuries since joining the LaLiga club.

    - Barcelona are continuing their bid to land Lautaro Martinez. Sport claims left-back Junior Firpo could be part of a deal to bring the Inter star to Camp Nou. It says Inter, and Roma, are interested in the left-back and Barca would want the €18million they paid Real Betis for Junior last year.

    - Manchester United could be set to make a big move this close season. The Daily Star reports the Premier League club are confident of landing Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez for a club-record £135m (€150.8m).

    - Perhaps Manchester United had another target. However, Sport says Real Madrid have told United that midfielder Federico Valverde is worth his incredible release clause – £448m (€500m).

    - Henrikh Mkhitaryan is loving life in Rome. The Daily Mail reports the midfielder, who is on loan at Roma from Arsenal, wants to stay at the club and hopes they can agree to a €11.2m (£10m) deal.

  • Sergio Ramos turns 34: What has the Real Madrid & Spain star achieved so far? Sergio Ramos turns 34: What has the Real Madrid & Spain star achieved so far?

    Sergio Ramos has won it all for Real Madrid and Spain.

    From the World Cup to the Champions League, the Madrid and Spain captain has a full trophy cabinet.

    As Ramos celebrates his 34th birthday on Monday, we look at what the former Sevilla defender has achieved since moving to the Santiago Bernabeu in 2005.

     

    1 – Ramos helped Spain win their first World Cup in 2010. Playing as a right-back, with Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique the centre-back pairing – Ramos was crucial in Spain keeping five clean sheets in South Africa. It is his only World Cup title to date.

    2 – Spain's most-capped player has two European Championship trophies to his name – Euro 2008 and Euro 2012. Ramos returned to the heart of Spain's defence for their title defence in 2012, partnering Puyol. Ramos also has a pair of Copa del Rey (2011 and 2014) successes.

    4 – Not many can boast four Champions League winners' medals, but Ramos can. The face of Madrid, Ramos hoisted the coveted piece of silverware aloft in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018. Ramos forced extra time in the 2014 decider against Atletico Madrid as Madrid claimed 'La Decima'. He also scored in the 2016 final versus the same opponent, captaining Madrid to a remarkable three successive Champions League crowns. Just like Europe's premier club competition, Ramos has celebrated four LaLiga triumphs. He won titles under Fabio Capello (2007), Bernd Schuster (2008), Jose Mourinho (2012) and Zinedine Zidane (2017). He has also won as many Club World Cup (2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018) and Supercopa de Espana (2008, 2012, 2017 and 2019-20) finals.

    3 – Ramos and Madrid dominated the UEFA Super Cup between 2014 and 2017, winning the trophy three times. He scored in the 2016 final against former club Sevilla.

    21 – The amount of trophies Ramos has won as a Madrid player. Paco Gento holds the record at the Bernabeu with 23.

    170 – Ramos is the most-capped player in Spain history. He surpassed former Madrid and international team-mate Iker Casillas in October after earning his 168th cap.

    640 – Since swapping Sevilla for Madrid, Ramos has appeared in almost 700 games for the capital club. He is fifth on the all-time list, behind leader Raul (741).

    20 – Ramos holds the all-time record for most red cards in LaLiga. In total, the Spaniard has been sent off 26 times across all competitions. He has four dismissals in the Champions League – equalled for the competition's record.

  • Don't confuse F1 with karting – Benzema shoots down Giroud comparisons Don't confuse F1 with karting – Benzema shoots down Giroud comparisons

    Real Madrid's Karim Benzema said "don't confuse Formula One with karting" as the exiled French striker dismissed comparisons to countryman Olivier Giroud.

    Benzema has not played for France since October 2015 – head coach Didier Deschamps refusing to call up the Madrid star, instead turning to Chelsea's Giroud.

    Asked about the comparisons with Giroud, Benzema used a motorsport analogy to shoot down the question via social media.

    "Don't confuse Formula One with karting, I'm Formula One," the 31-year-old said on Instagram Live.

    Benzema has scored 27 goals in 81 international appearances for France, while Giroud is third on the all-time list with 39 from 97 matches.

    Prior to coronavirus postponing the likes of LaLiga, the Premier League and Euro 2020, Benzema had scored 19 goals across all competitions for Zinedine Zidane's Madrid in 2019-20.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.