Pressure rises on Zinedine Zidane as fans vote for Jose Mourinho to replace him at Real Madrid
Former Real Madrid playing great Zinedine Zidane says he refuses to back down, despite rising pressure and a recent poll that voted Jose Mourinho as the fans' favorite to replace him.
Mourinho topped the poll – run by Spanish newspaper MARCA – with 44% of the vote, ahead of Max Allegri (23%) and Raul (21%), with 12% voting for "other".
Zidane has failed to galvanize Real after returning to the club to take over from Santiago Solari last season. Despite being given the last few games of the campaign, plus a full pre-season, to put his stamp on the side, the Frenchman has struggled to produce the desired results.
Zidane's arrival didn't come cheap, either. He spent in excess of $330 million on new players, including Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard, while falling out with another of the team's talented big-name players, Gareth Bale.Also on rt.com Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid return feels increasingly inevitable
But despite the growing rumors linking former Bernabeu boss Mourinho with a return to the club, Zidane is remaining steadfast in his refusal to stand down from his post.
"If I read the press, it says I'm gone," he said during the club's weekly press conference.
"I feel strong. I have learned to never back down and to keep working until the very last moment.
"I'm not thinking about leaving. I'm only thinking of winning tomorrow. The difficulties that they speak of on the outside are something we can't control.
"I made the decision to come back because I liked the look of the new project. Now I am here, I will try. We have to be together to achieve our objectives."
And on the topic of the speculation linking Mourinho with a return to the club as his replacement, Zidane was dismissive as he bemoaned the knee-jerk mentality at the club.
"It doesn't bother me to hear about Mourinho," he said.
"It is what it is. Here, you lose one game and you have to change everything."Also on rt.com Jose Mourinho ‘ready to step in’ if Real Madrid sack Zidane – reports