The Uefa Champions League returns on Tuesday with Real Madrid facing APOEL off a run of bad form that sees them 10 points behind arch-rivals Barcelona.
The team fell further behind after a 0-0 draw with city rivals, Atletico Madrid on Saturday. They sit third behind Barcelona and a rejuvenated Valencia.
This has not fazed the team coach Zinedine Zidane as he insists he remains “optimistic” as he prepared his team for the game against the Cypriot side. A victory would assure the team of a place in the next round of the competition.
The team has performed under par since the start of the season, winning just one of its last four games, losing leads and being adversely affected by the poor form of its front three; especially Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema.
however, it must be said that Ronaldo’s poor goalscoring form only happens in the La Liga as he already has six goals in this edition of the champions league.
“I am immensely lucky, first of all to be in good health and secondly to be making a living from my passion. I like what I do,” he told a press conference in Nicosia ahead of Tuesday’s game.
“There are more difficult jobs. But whatever happens, I am remaining optimistic. There might be times when some people worry. Not me, never,” Zidane said.
“We are one step away from qualifying. We are Real Madrid and we know that people will always want more from us.
“We can’t say we have been playing badly, but we need to get our confidence back in front of goal. If we can get one or two goals then more will follow,” he added.
A point might suffice for qualification if Borussia Dortmund do not win their game against visiting Tottenham Hotspur who are themselves smarting from losing the North London derby to Arsenal on Sunday.