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Sunday, July 22, 2018

Real Madrid can pip Barcelona to La Liga title in season finale, says Zinedine Zidane

Real Madrid need to win against Deportivo La Coruna and leaders Barcelona fail to win against Granada to lift first league title since 2012.

By: Reuters | Madrid | Updated: May 13, 2016 8:54:08 pm
Real Madrid, Barcelona, Real, Barca, La Liga, La Liga 2016, Zinedine Zidane, Zidane, Zinedine Zidane Real Madrid, Real Madrid Zidane, Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid, Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid, Champions League, Football Real Madrid play Deportivo La Coruna in La Liga and play Champions League final against Atletico Madrid on May 28 in Milan. (Source: AP)

Real Madrid can pip Barcelona to the La Liga title on Saturday even though their destiny is out of their hands, coach Zinedine Zidane said on the eve of the season finale.

Real need to win at mid-table Deportivo La Coruna and hope leaders Barca, who are a point ahead of second-placed Real, fail to win at lowly Granada to lift a first league title since 2012.

“We have faith in the league, we’ve won 11 games in a row and we’re going to keep believing until the end, until the last minute, until the last second of the game,” Zidane told a news conference on Friday.

“We need to go into the game strong and (it) will be difficult because we’re away from home and Deportivo are a good team, they’ll want to finish the season in the best way possible. They’re going to make things difficult but we’ll focus on what we have to do.”

Zidane said he was not thinking about whether Granada could cause an upset against Barcelona.

“I’m not going to get involved in that, I know what we’re going to do,” he said. “We’ve got a final left to play a good game and try and get three points. There’s nothing else in our heads, we’re just going to try and win our game.

Gareth Bale has returned to training after missing last weekend’s 3-2 win over Valencia with a knee injury and the only player unavailable against Deportivo is winger Lucas Vazquez.

Zidane also indicated that the Champions League final versus Atletico Madrid on May 28 in Milan would not influence his team selection against Deportivo.

“Right now the game of our lives is tomorrow. Then we have another final on May 28,” he said.

The French coach again batted away questions about his future, although he said he had exceeded expectations since succeeding Rafael Benitez in January.

“I don’t know if I’ve earned the right to continue, but everyone has worked well, and that’s the most important thing,” he said.

“There were many doubts, and I understand that, and I haven’t won anything to think I will continue. I’m thinking about the day-to-day. I’m happy here and we’ll see at the end of the season.”

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