x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 18 October 2017

Real Madrid's Zidane still motivated ahead of 100th game as club's manager

Madrid take on Getafe in Primera Liga, with Frenchman focused - as always - on winning titles

Zinedine Zidane has enjoyed plenty of success in such a short time as Real Madrid manager. Paul White / AP Photo
Zinedine Zidane has enjoyed plenty of success in such a short time as Real Madrid manager. Paul White / AP Photo

On the eve of his 100th match in charge of Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane insisted he maintains the same desire to succeed having already won seven trophies in his short coaching career.

Zidane's Madrid became the first side to retain the Uefa Champions League in May, whilst he also ended a five-year wait to win the Primera Liga title last season on top of two European Super Cups, a Club World Cup and Spanish Super Cup.

"I still have the desire I had for the first game, that is the most important thing," Zidane said ahead of Saturday's trip to Getafe. "That desire is our engine. The desire we put into every training session, every game."

Zidane had no previous managerial experience at senior level having only coached Madrid's youth team Castilla before taking charge in January 2016.

However, Madrid president Florentino Perez's trust in his ability to turn his supreme talent as a player into management has been richly rewarded.

"Zidane is pure talent, but also shows hard work and sacrifice in his persistent search for perfection," Perez wrote in an open letter to Zidane in sports daily Marca. "He is insatiable in his hunger for victories, titles and he always shows respect and humility."

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Madrid have though endured a more difficult start to Zidane's third season in charge as they trail Barcelona by seven points at the top of the Primera Liga after just seven games.

Saturday presents a perfect chance to gain ground on at least one of their title rivals as Barca travel to face fourth-placed Atletico Madrid, who sit a point ahead of Real Madrid.

"I want to win our game and then we will see what happens between Atletico and Barcelona," Zidane added. "I don't want one particular result, but just to make up ground."

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Zidane will have to do without Dani Carvajal due to illness and the injured Keylor Navas and Gareth Bale for the short trip across the Spanish capital to Getafe.

Bale looks set to miss a reunion against old club Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League on Tuesday.

But Zidane claimed he couldn't set a return date for Bale from the latest in a series of calf injuries that impeded him for playing for his country as Wales' attempt to qualify for a first World Cup since 1958 fell short this week.

"I can't say when [he will return], but he is getting better every day," Zidane added. "He is the first one annoyed by it. He doesn't want to be out of the team, but these things happen and we have to accept it."