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Zidane: I said what I thought about referees and now it’s done

Ahead of the first LaLiga game of the season, Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane was keen to draw a line under the recent refereeing controversy.

He found himself in hot water somewhat with comments relating to the official in Los Blancos’ first leg win over Barcelona in the Supercopa de Espana.

That game was of course marred by the sending off of Cristiano Ronaldo, with the forward then receiving a suspension for his push on the referee.

“I have no doubts. I do not agree [with that decision] but I said what I thought the other day and that is that,” Zidane told reporters.

“I never complain and I’m not going to start now. I just said that the punishment was a little too much and that was all. Five games is a lot of time to be without Cristiano.

“We appealed and we will appeal again. We’ll do everything we can.”

Although the Frenchman was wary of labelling his side as the best in world football, he is in no doubt that things will be much harder this time around for the reigning champions.

“I don’t know if [this squad] is the best in the world, it isn’t for me to say that. What is certain is that I have a fantastic team and we can always improve,” added Zidane.

“We have very young players here who can always learn. That is our goal because things are going to be a lot harder. As always, hard work will lead us to achieving great things.

“At the moment, we are in a very good spell and we must take advantage of that. This is going to be a very long season and it is just the first of 38 games but working hard will always bring us good things.”

Zidane also gave his take on Marco Asensio and Gareth Bale ahead of a difficult selection decision at Deportivo.

“Everybody knows what [Asensio] can contribute to the team, he is doing it every time he plays,” added the coach.

“[Bale is] good, training well and that’s the most important thing.

“He had few chances last year with four months of injury, now he’s well, he’s enjoyed very good preparation and I hope it’s an important year for him and for us.”

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