Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said on Monday he wasn't thinking about the possibility of UEFA imposing sanctions on the club after the failed creation of the European Super League last week. The announcement of the new competition, which had the intention of participating of 12 of the main clubs in Europe, ended on paper after three days before the furious reaction of fans, football organizations and politicians.
Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez was appointed president of the project and appears to have been the driving force behind the tournament, which was reduced to a minimum when most of the clubs withdrew. It has been speculated that UEFA will punish the founding teams for the initiative, but Zidane took away the idea that Real Madrid could be expelled from European competition.
"We have the right to play the Champions League, it's absurd (that we will not be in the Champions League next season), and we are going to prepare for that," he told a press conference before the start of the semifinal on Tuesday, with the first leg at home to Chelsea.
"There has been a lot of talk, but the only thing we can do is focus on tomorrow's game. We are not in control of the rest, so it will always be talked about, but for me, of course, you want to see Madrid in the Champions League of the next season".
Spanish media have suggested that the referees could now treat Madrid differently, but the Frenchman played down those suggestions. "I think there are many things that have been said and we are going to play because we have the right to play and the referee is going to do it as he has always been," he said.
Zidane will not feature injured defenders Sergio Ramos, Lucas Vázquez and Ferland Mendy in the game against Chelsea, or midfielder Federico Valverde, who is self-isolating after testing positive for COVID-19. Better news received Madrid regarding midfielder Toni Kroos and former Chelsea striker Eden Hazard, who are ready for the game.