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Zidane: Barcelona’s UCL exit doesn’t make Madrid’s better

Real Madrid CF v Athletic Club - La Liga
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Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane reckons it’s no consolation to them seeing their great rivals Barcelona exit the Champions League.

Barcelona blew a 3-0 aggregate lead over Liverpool to go crashing out of the semi-finals following a 4-0 thrashing in the second leg at Anfield on Tuesday.

It put an end to both the Blaugrana’s treble hopes for this season and a first Champions League crown since 2015.

For Zidane, however, it provides no comfort at all that Real’s sworn rivals have suffered such a blow over the past week.

When asked about this, he replied on the club’s website: “No, not at all. We’ve had the season that you’re all aware of and there’s no changing that.”

Meanwhile, Zidane’s Barcelona counterpart Ernesto Valverde has been subjected to some rather strong criticism following their mid-week disaster.

Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman has reportedly been linked with Valverde’s job at Camp Nou for next season.

“He’s done a tremendous job so far. I’m nobody to say whether it’s justified or not,” Zidane said on Valverde.

“He knows how things work. I sometimes read things here and you’ve got to accept them… that’s the way it goes”.

Los Blancos had hoped to win a fourth successive Champions League title this season, but went crashing out to Ajax in the last-16 stage in humiliating fashion at home.

Having been knocked out of the Copa del Rey semi-finals by Barcelona, the sole thing left for Real to fight for is second-place in La Liga. Although, they won’t have it easy with a six-point gap to city rivals Atletico Madrid ahead of the final two games.

“Nobody can take what we did in the Champions League in the last few years away from us,” continued Zidane.

“The Champions League, as we’ve seen this year, is really tough. It’s a competition where anything can happen. It was a real struggle to win it and that’s win we place such value on these four Champions League crowns”.

Zidane will now turn his focus towards Real’s trip to Real Sociedad on Sunday for their penultimate La Liga game. Kick-off will take place at 18:30 (CET).

BARCELONA, SPAIN – AUGUST 13: Head coach Zinedine Zidane (L) of Real Madrid CF smiles next to Head coach Ernesto Valverde of FC Barcelona during the Supercopa de Espana Supercopa Final 1st Leg match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid at Camp Nou on August 13, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)