Zidane: Real Madrid wanted to do great things after lockdown

By Sports Desk July 15, 2020

Real Madrid's hunger to return from lockdown at their best is what has given them an advantage in the title race, Zinedine Zidane believes.

Madrid can win LaLiga for the first time in three seasons should they defeat Villarreal on Thursday, or if Barcelona drop points against Osasuna.

Los Blancos need only two points from their final two matches of the season to claim their 34th top-flight crown.

Zidane insists there is no complacency within his squad and lauded the desire with which his players returned with following the three-month suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"No, not at all," Zidane said in a news conference when asked if his side already felt like champions.

"The beautiful thing we have is the energy we put in every day, day by day is what motivates us. The rest, we don't know what will happen.

"The players when they get here know the history of this club, what it is, what it wants, the ambition we always have.

"The particular thing about now is that after the confinement, when we returned to work, after staying home almost three months, the players wanted to do great things.

"You could see it in training. You could see it in games, but I see them in training, they trained phenomenally, they wanted to stay afterwards and that tells you everything."

Though his side require only two more points, due to their head-to-head record with Barca this term, Zidane is demanding victory.

"I would not want two draws. It is not what I prefer or not, it is that we are here for one thing, to think about tomorrow's game and win it," he added.

"It is what motivates us. We prepare for that. Villarreal knows how to play, it is a very difficult opponent, as always. I think it will be the most difficult of the last ones we have had."

Karim Benzema's sensational form has been a driving force in Madrid's title tilt, with the Frenchman having scored 19 LaLiga goals this season.

There have been suggestions Benzema should be in the running for this year's Ballon d'Or award and Zidane claimed every Madrid player could be worthy of the prize.

"In football, everyone can have a say. For me, my players are the best," Zidane said.

"Karim is not only this year, he has done very well for many years. The Ballon d'Or is won by only one, and everyone can comment, but for me all my players deserve it."

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