“They scored seven goals, it can’t happen.”
These were the words of a shell-shocked Zinedine Zidane in his post-match press conference after the Real Madrid manager watched his side lose 7-3 to rivals Atletico Madrid in the International Champions Cup on Friday night.
The French coach named a strong starting line-up in New Jersey - including Sergio Ramos, Isco, Vinicius Junior and summer signings Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic - but was powerless to prevent his team slumping to an embarrassing defeat.
"What happened is that we entered the game very badly. A high-level competition, we entered very badly,” Zidane was quoted as saying by Goal after the match.
"At eight minutes we were down 2-0. There was no response from us to change something. The first part was difficult. We never entered the game. We have lacked everything. Especially intensity."
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He added: “You don't have to spin it over. It's a pre-season game. They've been better at everything. There is nothing more to talk about.
"We are preparing a season and being calm. We have to be on August 17, with the first league game. For now, we have lacked things for sure tonight."
Real Madrid’s inauspicious pre-season campaign continues, following a 3-1 defeat against Bayern Munich and a difficult penalty shoot-out win against Arsenal.
After spending so much money this summer, this was not the pre-season that Madridistas expected.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, there’s been a backlash against Zidane on social media in the aftermath of this eyebrow-raising defeat.
The 47-year-old legend, who returned to the Bernabeu for a second spell as manager last season with the club in disarray, has been blasted by fans and non-fans alike.
A lot of people now think it’s possible that we might see Zidane sacked by Real Madrid at some point this season.
Many others, meanwhile, believe that Zidane is struggling during his second spell as manager because he hasn’t got Cristiano Ronaldo.
Here are just a handful of tweets expressing this opinion…
Ronaldo obviously played a massive role in the huge success that Zidane enjoyed as manager between 2016-2018.
The Frenchman won a host of major honours during that time, including La Liga and three successive Champions League titles.
Will he prove this season that he can enjoy success without a superstar like Ronaldo - or is he about to be found out?
Time will soon tell.News Now - Sport News