Zidane downplays anti-Real Madrid sentiments

Madrid, April 17 (IANS) Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane on Tuesday tried to downplay the issue of anti-Madrid sentiments by so-called “anti-Madridistias” that have been unleashed in the wake of Lucas Vazquez’s controversial last-gasp penalty, which propelled Madrid into the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals at the expense of Juventus.

Zidane also said he believed the number of Real Madrid fans was on the rise, and that the anger directed at his side was nothing new, reports Efe.

“It has always existed, but I think that every day there are more Madridistas than anti-Madridistas because it is the best club. It is the club with the most fans and this is growing every day. It is better to talk about the positives,” the French coach said.

Looking to settle the issue, Zidane emphasised that he was not interested in defending Real Madrid in every press conference, adding he would only speak out against misplaced criticism of his team.

“If I see something unfair or that we are disrespected, I have to say something. But everyone can have a say in the debate,” he explained.

Zidane said he did not think that the penalty controversy would affect the referees’ decisions in the Champions League semi-final match against Bayern Munich, which will take place on April 25.

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