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Zidane calls on Real Madrid to ‘show what they’re all about’

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Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has urged his squad to end their terrible form and show everyone “what we’re all about”.

14th-placed Villarreal will travel to the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday for the first of Real’s final three games of the season.

Undoubtedly, Los Blancos are looking forward to seeing the back of what has truly been a terrible season by their abnormally high standards.

Zidane’s side are a distant third in La Liga, with a gap of nine points to second-placed  Atletico Madrid. While champions Barcelona are a further nine points ahead.

Adding to their misery was an early Champions League exit at the hands of Ajax along with a humiliating Copa del Rey semi-final defeat to Barcelona.

And things reached another low for Real last weekend when they were defeated 1-0 by Rayo Vallecano. Nonetheless, Zidane hopes his players will send out a strong message to their doubters on Sunday.

“There are three games to go and we’ve got to go out and play them. I’m fine, the other day [against Rayo] I was very cross, as were the players,” said Zidane on the club’s website.

“Don’t go thinking that they were fine with things. There are times when nothing goes for you, which was the case the other day.

“The good thing, amongst the bad things we’ve been through this season, is that we’ve got a game tomorrow to show what we’re all about. Nobody will take away our desire to play football away, it’s what the players like doing and we try and do that tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, Villarreal have been on a strong run of form lately with three wins in their last four La Liga matches.

This upturn in results has enabled Javier Calleja’s side to steer five points clear of the relegation zone in La Liga.

“There are many teams that we’ve faced that have a lot to play for. Villarreal are fighting for survival and will come here and be ready and raring to deliver a big performance and come away with something. We’ll have to be ready,” said Zidane.

“All of the teams want to do well against Real Madrid and all the more so when they’ve got something to play for. They’re a good side and one that plays good football and has quality. We’ll have to produce a good performance if we’re to take all three points.”

The Real Madrid and Villarreal match will kick-off at 16:15 (CET) on Sunday. Real Sociedad and Real Betis will come up next for the club’s final games of the season.