Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said a poor record in recent meetings between the clubs will not affect Bayern Munich’s players for the second leg of their Champions League semifinal at the Bernabeu on Tuesday.
Aiming for a third successive victory in the competition, Zidane’s side have a 2-1 first-leg advantage from the first meeting in Munich last week, when Bayern created more chances over the 90 minutes but were unable to make them count.
The result at the Allianz Arena means that Madrid have won their last six matches against Bayern, scoring 15 goals and conceding five, and the Bundesliga side’s honourary president, Franz Beckenbauer, worried that maybe his club now have a “complex” against Madrid.
Zidane said at a pregame news conference that he did not believe that for a second, and that his side would have to be ready to match a “great team” if they are to make the final against either Liverpool or Roma in Kiev, Ukraine, on May 26.
“Bayern will not be concerned,” Zidane said. “They will come here to play a great game. They are a big club, [a] great team, so we must be ready, more than ever, to play a good game ourselves. If we do that, we can do great things. But I have no doubt that Bayern will come here without complexes to play a great game.”
Madrid sat deep for long stages of last week’s first leg and hurt Bayern on the counter-attack. Zidane said his team would not play similarly in front of their own fans in the return.
“We must just think about going out to win the game,” Zidane said. “Not sit back, not do something strange. We must go out to score quickly, which is what we will try to do. We did very well in the first game. The return is now, and we must show that we want to go through.”
Isco and Nacho Fernandez have returned to training following shoulder and hamstring injuries, respectively, but Zidane would not say whether either would be ready for Tuesday night’s game.
“They have trained with us, both of them,” he said. “Now we have a bit of time before tomorrow’s game to think about what we will do. We will see. But as you know for us, it is important that the players are at 100 percent. If they are both on the bench, it is that they are ready.”
Asked if Isco might take a painkilling injection in his shoulder, Zidane did not rule out the possibility.
“Isco knows what he must do,” Zidane said. “We all want to be there — him too. If he is a problem and must be there, we will do everything possible for that to happen, but without taking risks.”
Barcelona have already secured the La Liga and Copa del Rey double, leading to discussion over whether the achievement would be overshadowed should Madrid win a third consecutive Champions League trophy next month.
“In La Liga, clearly Barcelona have been deserved champions,” Zidane said. “We should congratulate them. We have a chance to make a final [but are] not there yet. They have won two things already [and] had a great season.
“We take nothing away from Barcelona, but what we are interested in is what we do tomorrow.”
Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan