Zinedine Zidane says it ‘bothers’ him that Ronald Koeman feels the need to get involved in Real Madrid’s business after the Barcelona manager was critical of the officiating in the side’s 3-1 nervy win over Eibar at the weekend.
The major talking point of Sunday’s La Liga clash came in the 84th minute as Yoshinori Muto headed against the elbow of Sergio Ramos with the scoreline at 2-1, but referee Jose Luis Munuera Montero was happy for play to continue.
Lucas Vazquez went on to put the game out of sight with a smart finish in the 92nd minute and the victory ensured the Spanish champions kept pace with Atletico Madrid at the top of the table.
A frustrated Koeman – speaking shortly after his side’s 2-2 draw with Valencia at the Camp Nou – had been keeping a close eye on proceedings in Eibar and made his feelings known on the handball incident involving Madrid captain Ramos.
‘I don’t understand. As I said that day against Madrid, I do not want to repeat it. 9 out of 10 people in Madrid would have called a penalty, but the referee did not,’ the Dutchman told reporters.
‘For my part I think it is a penalty, but that is all.
‘The referee and his VAR team decided otherwise, and I respect that. But yes, if they ask me then yes, it’s a penalty.’
Asked about Koeman’s comments ahead of Madrid’s clash with Granada, Zidane said: ‘It bothers me as I never get involved with referees.
‘The referees are part of the game. They can make mistakes, like the players and like all of us in life.
‘With respect to the comments from Koeman, I’m not saying anything as I’m just thinking about tomorrow’s game.’
The Frenchman added: ‘It is true that there is a lot of talk when there is something specific with Madrid and the referees, this is what Madrid [must deal with].
‘It’s a bit annoying talking about this, we are interested in tomorrow’s match.
‘We have to be focused.’
‘He has some discomfort and let’s hope it’s not much,’ he continued.
‘But as always we’re not going to risk him, and we’ll see if we can get him back during these days of rest.’