Zidane: Copa Del Rey loss his lowest point, focus on Champions League

AP Photo/Francisco Seco

Zinedine Zidane accepted responsibility after Real Madrid was dumped out of the Copa del Rey at the quarterfinals thanks to a pair of away goals from Leganes in what was a 2-2 aggregate draw.

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“I’m not angry with my players, I’m angry with myself,” Zidane said. “They give it their all, run hard… I am responsible. They have to accept a degree of the responsibility because they’re the ones out on the pitch. We’re all to blame, but I’m the one who’s responsible”.

He admitted the loss was his lowest point at the club, though it’s been a managerial run of greatness. Since taking over in 2016, Real has won two UEFA Champions League crowns, two FIFA Club World Cups, two UEFA Super Cups, and a La Liga crown.

But Real is fourth in La Liga this season, 19 points back of Barcelona with one match-in-hand, and now will not have a chance to end Barca’s run of three-straight Copa del Reys.

Zidane admits he must turn his focus to a third-straight Champions League crown, a feat no one’s done since Bayern Munich in 1976. It would also be a fourth title in five seasons, a measure which would only be topped by the five-straight it won to start the competition.

“Of course. We’ve lost one competition and we’re a long way off in LaLiga. Our objectives aren’t what we’d planned for at the start of the season. All we can do now is think about the remaining games, starting with Saturday, and prepare well for February 14.”

That’s when Real opens the Round of 16 with a visit from old foe Neymar and his new club, Paris Saint-Germain.