Madrid being axed from UCL ‘illogical’ – Zidane

Zinedine Zidane has dismissed talk of Real Madrid being thrown out of the Champions League over the club’s involvement in the Super League as “illogical” and “absurd.”

UEFA’s executive committee discussed the proposed breakaway league on Friday, confirming that it was looking at “the options available to UEFA and the steps it is considering taking,” although it is not thought expulsion from this season’s competition is under consideration.

Stream LIVE games and replays on ESPN+ (U.S. only)
– Hunter: Super League leaves La Liga title race as an afterthought
– Marcotti: What the Super League means for UEFA, leagues

Three of this season’s four Champions League semifinalists — Real Madrid, Manchester City and Chelsea — signed up for the Super League, although both Premier League clubs have since announced their intention to withdraw.

“[It’s] illogical,” Zidane said in a news conference on Friday ahead of Madrid’s La Liga game with Real Betis. “We’ll play in the Champions League, we have the right to play in the Champions League. It’s absurd… We’ll prepare to play the Champions League semifinal.”

Madrid will face Chelsea in the first leg on Tuesday, April 27 at the Alfredo di Stefano stadium before the return leg at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, May 5.

Club president Florentino Perez — who was named as the Super League’s first chairman — has been the most visible face of the project since it was launched on Sunday night, defending the plans in two lengthy broadcast interviews on Spanish television and radio.

“We talk from time to time, as always,” Zidane said when asked if he had discussed this week’s developments with Perez. “He comes here to see the team. Nothing has changed. What he wants as president is for us to focus on tomorrow’s game.”

Real Madrid are the only one of the 12 clubs initially involved in the Super League not to release a formal statement explaining where the club stands now, although Perez admitted on Wednesday night that the project was “on stand-by.”

“It doesn’t worry me,” Zidane said, when asked if the row could impact this season’s Champions League and UEFA’s treatment of the club. “A lot of things were said, we’ll play our semifinal, we have the right to play it. I think the referee will do [his job] on the pitch as always for the good of football.”

Real Madrid host Real Betis in La Liga on Saturday three points behind leaders Atletico.

Zidane confirmed that both Eden Hazard and Luka Modric would be in the squad, while Toni Kroos is unavailable with a minor muscular injury.