MADRID (Reuters) – Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane would not be drawn on his future ahead of the side’s final La Liga game of the season against Villarreal on Saturday.
Should Real win and city rivals Atletico fail to emerge victorious away to Valladolid, then Zidane’s side will be crowned champions.
The Frenchman, whose future has come under intense scrutiny in recent weeks in what could be a trophyless season, batted away questions if he will remain at the helm, insisting his only focus was on toppling visitors Villarreal.
“It’s not important if I am here or someone else is, the important thing is the team and what we want to achieve,” he told a news conference.
“For us the only thing on our minds is the game. We play tomorrow and now isn’t the time to talk about it (his future). All my energy is focused on tomorrow.
“It’s been a tough campaign but we are excited by the chance of being able to win La Liga.”
There was good news as Zidane confirmed the return of club captain Sergio Ramos for the game against Unai Emery’s side. However, Eden Hazard’s name was on the growing absentee list which already features Dani Carvajal, Toni Kroos, Lucas Vazquez and Ferland Mendy.
“Hazard’s got something. It’s small, but we don’t want to risk anything. He wasn’t in training because he’s got an issue and tomorrow he won’t be available,” Zidane said.
(Reporting by Joseph Walker; Editing by Christian Radnedge)