La Liga

Zidane promises ´beautiful football´ at Real Madrid

Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane has promised the club’s fans “beautiful football” after being appointed on a two-and-a-half year deal at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Club great Zidane was promoted from coaching the Castilla side to replace Rafael Benitez on Monday after the Spaniard was dismissed following a mixed seven months in charge in the capital.

The World Cup-winning former midfielder took training for the first time on Tuesday and, at his first news conference, promised to stick to Madrid’s traditional attacking brand of football.

“Good football is always very important at Madrid – to play beautiful football – and I will continue with that line,” he told reporters.

“It has to be offensive, balanced and nothing else. We’re going to work hard to be the best we can – that is the message.

“I have seen a focused team who are happy and switched on. We’re all happy.

“I want to play, as we can, from the back and to play in opposition half and have possession of the ball. That is my idea of football.

“I want to communicate this as a coach and make sure that the players enjoy themselves on the pitch, as they did for sure with Rafa Benitez.

“I want to take this opportunity I have at the best club in the world. I just want to win trophies with this team.”

Zidane arrived at Madrid from Juventus in 2001 as one of the first Galacticos before going on to win La Liga and the Champions League.

With Madrid expelled from this season’s Copa del Rey due to fielding the ineligible Denis Cheryshev, Zidane maintains capturing league and European silverware is the club’s target for the season.

The 43-year-old also dismissed suggestions his reputation as a player would help him if results did not go Madrid’s way.

Asked if an 11th Champions League title was a realistic aim for the season, he added: “When you play with this shirt, everything is real and to win is essential at this club.

“We’re in the last 16 and the target is always to win. We have two trophies to play for. And we will try to win them both at the end of season.

“It doesn’t matter what happened as a player here. A new stage is starting for me today and the important thing is to win games.

“The rule for the coach is to get results and that’s the same in my case. It’s what happened when I was playing here and now it’s a new stage in my career, one I’m excited about.

“Probably the attitude of the first-team players will be different [to the Castilla squad] because they’re experienced but the message I transmit to my players will be the same as with the second team.

“Hard work and the intensity that we are going to work with in each training session. That’s the message.

“[Former Madrid coach Carlo] Ancelotti always told me that the most important thing in football is to win games and ensure that the players are content.”

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