'I don't think about the Europa League' - Real Madrid 'know what is at stake' against Gladbach, says Zidane

Zinedine Zidane Real Madrid 2020-21
Getty Images
The Blancos boss says his players are determined to play a "great game" when the German outfit arrive at Santiago Bernabeu

Real Madrid "know what is at stake" against Borussia Monchengladbach, according to Zinedine Zidane, who says has not contemplated the possibility of his team dropping into the Europa League.

The Spanish side face the distinct prospect of missing out on qualifying for the last-16 stage of the Champions League after a 2-0 defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk last week saw them slump to third place in Group B. 

Madrid's loss was their second in the competition this season - they have never lost three times in a single group stage.

Article continues below

Their worrying lack of form in Europe had coincided with a tricky start to their La Liga title defence too, though the pressure on Zidane was eased somewhat by Saturday's 1-0 win away at Sevilla. 

Still, the Frenchman knows the importance of Wednesday's home game against Gladbach, who start the final round of fixtures sitting pretty in top spot.

"It is a different game because we know the situation," Zidane told the media.   

"We want to add the three points and finish the round on top [of the group]. We have all that in mind. All the games are important, but it is a good opportunity to show what we are as a team." 

Asked if he feared for his job if they fail to make it through, he replied: "The club will do what it has to do, as always. I only think about Wednesday's game." 

There remains the prospect of Madrid dropping into the Europa League if they finish in their current position, though Zidane insists his players are used to the pressure that comes with playing for the club. 

"I don't think about the Europa League, I don't contemplate anything else. The players are the same. You [the media] can think and give your opinion, it's your job. We only think about playing a great game," Zidane said. 

"All the players and the club are used to playing under pressure. We are used to playing games like this. We know what is at stake.  

"We have to manage our emotions and above all prepare things well. The important thing is that inside we prepare the game well."

In his 13 seasons in the Champions League as both a player and manager, Zidane has only been eliminated at the group stage once, which was with Juventus back in 2000.

Gladbach know a draw will be good enough to send them through to the knockout stages, while Shakhtar and Inter also remain in with a chance of progressing from a tightly contested group.

Close