In the upcoming Clasico fixture between Real Madrid and Barcelona which will be played on Saturday, the pressure appears to be on Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid. The defending champions had a slow start to the season and are currently trailing 11 points behind the table-toppers Barcelona. To remain in the La Liga title race this year, Real have to attain all 3 points and close the gap on their rivals.
But in spite of the huge task at hand, former Real Madrid striker Fernando Morientes said the side knows how to perform under pressure. “Real Madrid have always been a club that copes well under pressure. They know what to expect and they’ve got a team capable of delivering the goods in difficult moments like this one. They go into the match trailing Barcelona, but you never know what’s going to happen. They’re at home and I’m sure they’ll fight to the end,” he said.
The former Spain international further expressed confidence in manager Zinedine Zidane and said he can turn things around for his team. “I think Zidane has what it takes to live with the pressure and turn things around when the going gets tough – he showed that back when he was a player and has done so again as a coach,” Morientes said.
Real’s star forward Cristiano Ronaldo had a slow start to the season but has found form in recent matches. On being questioned whether he can perform on the big stage, Morientes said he could sprung in a surprise in the Clasico. “(Lionel) Messi’s stats are incredible, that’s undeniable, but we also know that Ronaldo is a player who can be a difference-maker even during the most difficult of circumstances. Ronaldo rises to the occasion in high-stakes matches and he’ll do everything in his power to play a pivotal role in this game. He could surprise a few people,” the 3-time UEFA Champions League winner forward said.
Morientes further added that any result in the match will not end the competition this season in La Liga. “The title race isn’t over yet – there’s still a long way to go and Real Madrid always battle to the end. They’re not going to surrender their crown without a fight; they’ll keep going until the very last match,” he said.