Sports

Zinedine Zidane happy to sign new Real Madrid contract

Zinedine Zidane happy to sign new Real Madrid contract

Zidane insisted it would be foolish to write Barcelona off as Madrid head into the midweek Clasico without Cristiano Ronaldo, who was hit with a five-match ban for pushing referee Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea.

Within the 20 minutes that Ronaldo played on the field, there was a different style of play, nearly as if he had changed the pace of the game, something that Barcelona didn't realize happened.

Ronaldo gave the referee a push in the back after seeing the red card that meant he will miss Wednesday's return leg at the Santiago Bernabeu.

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Zinedine Zidane happy to sign new Real Madrid contract

They never have been and never will be, and this first leg of the Spanish Super Cup between Barcelona and Real Madrid was no different. A clause in the new contract which the 25-year old signed stipulates that if a club has to pry him away from the Spanish giants, they will have to activate his buyout clause worth a whopping €700 million. Ronaldo scored twice in the 4-1 win over Juventus in the European Cup final and netted in the final round of the Spanish league to secure the title by beating Malaga 2-0.

Appointed to succeed Rafa Benitez in January 2016, Zidane opened his tenure with a Champions League triumph. "If we think it is going to be easier tomorrow we will be mistaken".

One bad season should not be enough to write Barcelona off completely, though the loss of one of a handful of true superstars in their ranks has certainly rocked them on the eve of the campaign, with Neymar departing for Paris Saint-Germain in a record £198 million transfer.

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Marco Asensio is a special, special player and he provided further evidence last night against Barcelona. That match, however, was more about paying homage to the victims of the plane crash that decimated Chapecoense previous year than warming up for Madrid.

Rafinha would looking for a Barca comeback while newbies Gerard Deulofeu and Nelson Semedo will be expecting to donn the purple-blue jersey for the first time in official encounter.

Barca have been heavily linked with moves for Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele of Borussia Dortmund and coach Ernesto Valverde.

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For the entire 90 minutes, Barcelona had most of their shots blocked and saved, and the one goal they managed to score was from a penalty.

You can watch the match on ESPN at 3 p.m. CT.

Valverde replaced manager Luis Enrique this summer after four noteworthy seasons in charge of Athletic Bilbao. However, the Los Blancos aren't much of a fan of Camp Nou.

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The prolific Portuguese forward had scored his side's second goal with an emphatic strike moments earlier, and that goal was followed by an equally brilliant Marco Asensio effort late on.