By Tim Stannard
1) Zidane admits reality of being Madrid manager
Friday sees Coach Zizou channeling his inner punk – in the pink-haired Sex Pistols way, rather than Taxi Driver – with an affirmation that there was no future…no future…no future for (him) at Real Madrid.
This is not to say that the Frenchman is planning on doing a Luis Enrique at the end of the season and leaving, it’s just that the next few days are crucial in terms of the destiny of the Real Madrid manager at a team where a coach is only as safe as his last result. “I know what it is like to manage here, both the good and the bad. That’s why I only worry about the next game. I don’t know what will happen further down the line.”
Zidane was speaking some 24 hours ahead of a Derby Day against Atletico Madrid to kick of a week that also sees a Champions League quarterfinal clash with Bayern Munich.
Two wins, and everything is rosy in Madrid’s garden. Anything else? Then take a look at what happened to Carlo Ancelotti when Florentino Perez thought that he no longer had a winner on the Bernabeu bench. Tune into the XTRA at 7PM ET / 4PM PT to hear more from the Madrid manager and also the best Friday highlights from across the world of football.
2) Simeone going for all three points
Unlike Coach Zizou, Diego Simeone is very much a man who sets his own destiny to the extent that he could make millions as the lead grizzled, in charge figure in whiskey commercials.
Indeed, the Atletico Madrid coach, speaking just a few miles away from Saturday’s counterpart, was confident enough to reveal that French striker, Kevin Gameiro would be missing the game through injury and also shared his attitude to playing in the Santiago Bernabeu. “It’s the same as any other ground. We always want the three points.” Tune into the Locker Room at 7:30PM ET / 4:30PM PT for the thoughts and predictions of our crack team of panelists.
There was some worrying off the pitch news from overnight with reports that Atletico Madrid midfielder, Koke, had been robbed at gunpoint having a rather expensive watch being taken off him.
3) Griezmann’s move to Manchester United in jeopardy
Sticking with a Madrid derby theme and Antoine Griezmann’s advisor has admitted that amorous advances have been made from other clubs for a move this summer…but there is bad news for Manchester United.
Eric Olhats, talking to French radio, claimed that the Old Trafford club along with Chelsea, Manchester United, Barcelona “and even” Real have made enquiries. However, it seems that the Frenchman only has eyes for Champions League football next season.
“I had heard that Manchester United was done, was signed, but we don’t even know if they’ll play in the Champions League,” said Olhats. Sorry Jose.
4) Hoffman takes historic lead in US Masters
There was quite the surprise after the first round of the US Masters with 27th ranked Charley Hoffman going into the clubhouse with a four-shot lead over the rest of the pack in a seven-under-par 65 round.
"The putts started going in the hole - as simple as that sounds," said Hoffman. Day two is already underway at Augusta. As expected, world number one Dustin Johnson pulled out of the tournament after sustaining a back injury.
5) Kerber marches through in Monterrey
Angelique Kerber was in impressive form on Thursday night in the WTA Monterrey Open. The world number one reached the quarterfinals with a comfy 6-1 6-3 victory over Mandy Minella.
The German will be back in action live on beIN SPORTS – proud home of WTA tennis – with a big clash against Britain’s Heather Watson. Coverage begins from 8PM ET / 5PM PT.
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