Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Zinedine Zidane Reportedly Shocked by Real Madrid Fitness After Rafa Benitez Era
According to Fernando Baquero of Spanish newspaper Sport, the Frenchman believes the players should be a lot fitter for this stage of the season, and he's formed "a work plan that will allow the team to recover."
Midfield pair Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez, along with right-back Danilo, are alleged to be the biggest culprits in the case, but Zidane has the means to pull Los Blancos back level with their Spanish peers.
Spanish website Fichajes recently linked Kroos and Rodriguez with moves away from the Bernabeu, illustrating their downward spiral in form at the club (h/t Metro's George Bellshaw). An extract of Baquero's report read:
Zidane thinks the lamentable physical condition of his team is the worst thing he has inherited from Rafa Benitez. Kroos and James are the worst off. The German didn't take care of himself from when pre-season started and is paying the consequences.Benitez had to leave him on the bench on more than one occasion. The Colombian, it seems, has become too much of a fan of Madrid's nightlife and doesn't look anything like the player we saw last season.
Zidane is one who should know about stamina, longevity and the sacrifices it takes to succeed at the top level, having made 227 appearances for Los Merengues in his five years as a Real Madrid player.
During that spell, Zidane won a La Liga title, a Champions League crown, two Spanish Supercups and more, not to mention earning 103 caps for France, with whom he won the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship.
According to Baquero's report, Zidane doesn't feel his side are currently able to contend with the likes of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, who sit two and four points in front of Los Blancos, respectively.
It's taken the former Galacticos superstar just four training sessions to get to grips with who among his players is and isn't ready to compete, and the club's official Twitter account chronicled his start to life as a manager: