While Cristiano Ronaldo was making history in Italy on Wednesday night, his former club were being dumped out of the Copa del Rey at the hands of third-tier Alcoyano.
Zinedine Zidane played a fairly strong side in order to avoid an embarrassing upset against the Segunda B side. Marcelo, Isco, Casemiro and Junior Vinicius all started while the likes of Marco Asensio, Karim Benzema, Eden Hazard and Toni Kroos all came off the bench.
However, the hosts managed to force the tie into extra-time with a goal 10 minutes from time by defender Jose Solbes.
Extra-time would have been the second-last thing Zidane would have wanted with this hectic fixture schedule. The last thing he would have wanted was a humiliating defeat. Both happened.
Despite Alcoyano going down to 10 men with 10 minutes remaining in extra-time, Juanan Casanova struck with five minutes left to send Real tumbling out of the competition.
As the home side went crazy, the cameras panned to Zidane on the touchline. The Frenchman couldn’t help but laugh and smirk. A little reaction but one that said absolutely everything.
Is Zidane’s future at the club now in doubt?
The club currently sit four points off Atletico Madrid in the La Liga table, having played two games more than their rivals. Having crashed out of the Copa del Rey and Spanish Super Cup in the last week, it looks very unlikely they will be landing a domestic trophy this season.
All eggs in the Champions League basket once again, then.
According to Marca, the hierarchy aren’t thinking about making any drastic changes and are willing to wait until the end of the season. However, Zidane’s time at the club is at an end.
Despite the defeat, Zidane insisted that he’s responsible for the loss but claims there is ‘no shame’ in losing to Alcoyano.
“There is always talk whenever we lose,” said Zidane. “I assume responsibility and what has to happen will happen. I am very calm. The players want to win and they give everything to make that happen but sometimes it goes differently.
“We are expected to win because they are a third tier side but these things can happen in football. There is no shame. We are just going to keep working and not be driven crazy by this.:News Now - Sport News