Real Madrid CF

Zinedine Zidane hits back at Jurgen Klopp's 'training pitch' jibe

Jamie Spencer
Apr 7, 2021, 10:15 AM GMT+1
Zinedine Zidane says Real Madrid are 'proud' to play at the Estadio Alfredo di Stefano
Zinedine Zidane says Real Madrid are 'proud' to play at the Estadio Alfredo di Stefano | GABRIEL BOUYS/Getty Images
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Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane insists Los Blancos are ‘proud’ of playing at the Estadio Alfredo di Stefano following dismissive comments from Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp that it is a ‘training pitch’.

Real have been playing at the Valdebebas training complex, which is usually home to Castilla, because of renovation work being completed at the Santiago Bernabeu, which has coincided with fans being unable to attend games because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Real are playing at the Di Stefano while fans cannot attend games & renovation work starts on the Bernabeu
Real are playing at the Di Stefano while fans cannot attend games & renovation work starts on the Bernabeu | Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Klopp is reported to have told one media outlet when Liverpool arrived at the complex, “This is a training pitch”, implying it isn’t good enough to host Champions League games.

But Zidane has hit back after Real won the first leg 3-1 and take a huge advantage into the return leg at Anfield next week.

“I’m not going to discuss what he said. This is our stadium. We play here and we’re proud to be playing at the Alfredo Di Stefano,” Zidane said, via RealMadrid.com.

On the game itself, the Frenchman commented, “We managed the game really well right from the off. We struggled a little bit at the start of the second half because there’s another team out there and with just one chance they scored, but ultimately tonight's 3-1 scoreline is deserved.”

Vinicius Junior & Marco Asensio scored the Real goals
Real won the quarter final first leg against Liverpool 3-1 | Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Vinicius Junior was the hero of the night, scoring two goals either side of one from Marco Asensio, with Zidane pleased to see the Brazilian youngster adding goals to his game, having scored only four times all season in his 36 previous appearances prior to kick-off.

“I'm not sure whether that was Vini Jr.’s best performance for us, but to get two goals in a quarter-final is very significant for him and the team. He's working really hard, just like all of them, and it's always important for a player to score goals,” Zidane explained.

“We know just what a good player is when he's given space, like on his first goal. I'm delighted because perhaps the one thing that was missing in his game was goals.”

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