Zinedine Zidane has said complaints about refereeing decisions involving Real Madrid are “annoying” after Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman criticised the failure to award a handball penalty to opponents Eibar at the weekend.
The ball hit the elbow of captain Sergio Ramos inside the box as Madrid led 2-1 at Ipurua on Sunday, but play was allowed to continue and they went on to win 3-1, leading Koeman to say that “if you ask 10 people if yesterday’s incident was a penalty, nine would say yes.”
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“It’s annoying,” Zidane said when asked about the controversy in a news conference. “I never get involved with referees. They’re a part of the game. They get things right and wrong, like the players, like everyone in life.
“That’s why I don’t get involved. It’s a difficult job. I won’t say anything about Koeman’s words… People talk a lot about certain moments in a game, that’s part of [Real] Madrid. But I don’t focus on that. What interests us is the game tomorrow.”
Real Madrid are level on points with rivals Atletico Madrid at the top of the La Liga table, although Diego Simeone’s team — who visit third-placed Real Sociedad on Tuesday night — have two games in hand.
Madrid will then host Granada on Wednesday in their last match before a week-long Christmas break.
Midfielder Luka Modric, who has been an ever-present in Madrid’s recent five-game winning streak in all competitions, will miss the game with a muscular problem.
“He has some discomfort,” Zidane said. “He didn’t train this morning. We hope it isn’t too much, but as always we won’t take any risks.”
The club also announced on Tuesday morning that Zidane’s former teammate and fellow club legend Iker Casillas would be returning to take up a role with the Real Madrid Foundation as assistant to its director general.
Casillas retired from football in August this year after suffering a heart attack in May 2019.
He was a Real Madrid youth product who spent his career at the club, winning five La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues, before joining Porto in 2015.
“We know the person Iker is and what he has done,” Zidane said. “It’s good news that he’s back at the club. I’m happy for him.”
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