Zinedine Zidane is hoping the Champions League will again bring out the best in Real Madrid as the title-holders prepare to face the formidable Paris Saint-Germain of Neymar in Wednesday’s last 16, first leg.
Real are floundering in La Liga this season, sitting in fourth place, 17 points adrift of leaders Barcelona. For them, it all comes down to what they can do in Europe, where they have enjoyed such success in the past.
Madrid are the record 12-time champions, and winners of the Champions League in each of the last two seasons.
However, their recent domestic form has called into question Zidane’s future as coach, and PSG have been feared in Spain ever since they swooped to sign Neymar from Barcelona for a world-record fee.
“I am not thinking about my future. I am only thinking about the match. I can only control what happens on the field and prepare for that,” a relaxed-looking Zidane told reporters at Real’s Valdebebas training complex on Tuesday.
“That is what is important. My future does not matter much.”
It is hard to imagine Zidane’s future not being tied to the outcome of this tie, with such an early exit from Europe unthinkable for a club who have been European champions in three of the last four seasons and reached…