It could be assumed that the Champions League is where Zinedine Zidane’s heart lies as Real Madrid coach but in fact the Frenchman truly seeks the league title like no other, and he’s determined to keep his squad focused on the banana skin trip to Deportivo La Coruna.
After the thrill of lifting two trophies in their opening two games of the 2017/18 season, Los Merengues return to the competition they conquered last year with a less glamorous fixture, and it’s one that worries Zidane.
Lifting themselves for the big matches is no difficulty so it’s the slog and grind of LaLiga that is the key point of interest given that the squad is at a high point in terms of morale.
“Schoolboy errors will cost us this game,” Zidane warned his charges ahead of travelling to Estadio Riazor, a ground he has suffered his own difficulties as a Real player.
If Madrid play with intensity and carry on from their impressive Super Cup displays, the boss will be satisfied, which means that anything less threatens a return to the sort of pre-season form that troubled him deeply.
Zidane wants six points in the bank before the first international break as Los Blancos begin the domestic campaign with a target on their backs and a lingering awareness that a title challenge could arise from Lionel Messi’s Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, or perhaps even a resurgent Sevilla or Valencia.