Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane anticipates Barcelona to be just as aggressive under new boss Quique Setien — also takes working in the spotlight is all part of the job.
Former Athletic Bilbao and Espanyol boss Valverde had guided Barca to LaLiga names in each of his two full seasons in the helm and delivered both the Spanish Super Cup and Copa del Rey.
The Frenchman did not wish to get drawn on the background of Valverde’s death — but knows all too well the pressures that a manager of a top club must contend with.
“I am not going to get into whether or not I know it. I am sorry for him. He is a coach who has demonstrated how great he is, and I have a whole lot of admiration for him,” Zidane said.
“As coaches at clubs such as Real Madrid and Barcelona, we all know where we’re at and that is not likely to change.
“If I lose a few games I will get criticised, as I did a month-a-half ago. You can just try to give 100 percent.”
Zidane believes Barca will continue to offer a solid challenge with 61-year-old former Real Betis boss Setien at the helm.
“I anticipate a competitive Barcelona team,” Zidane said in a press conference, reported by Spanish media outlet AS. “They’ll do their job and we’ll do ours.”
Actual are on an unbeaten streak of 16 matches in all competitions, having lost only once in LaLiga so much this year.
Zidane has called for continuing attention after their successful Saudi Arabia excursion.
“We aren’t going to change our mindset because we won the Spanish Super Cup. We’re training and working well since the season is very long,” the Real Madrid manager said.
“we would like to continue to demonstrate what we’re doing on the pitch against a Sevilla team that will make it hard.”
Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui returns to his former team, has substituted Zidane during June 2018 simply to be replaced by Santiago Solari only four months later.
Lopetegui, however, maintains focus should be on the pitch.
“It may be customary for them to recall a coach or a player in their return, but nothing further,” he said, quoted on the Sevilla site.
“The spotlight will be on the match and how the players are displayed on the pitch.”
Lopetegui added, “We’re ambitious and excited to play a fantastic game and go for the three points.”