MADRID: Zinedine Zidane has played down again reports that he will leave Real Madrid at the season’s end or earlier.

In January, after the club’s latest Club World Cup victory, the Frenchmanto extended his contract until 2020 but league results have been disappointing and Madrid are not even certain to secure a Champions League slot from LaLiga.

Tonight Madrid face Leganes in a match postponed from December and Zidane told a press conference: “”I’m here, well and happy abd always passionate.

“I know the requirements at Real but I want to fight on and stay as long as possible.”

Zidane took over, with no previous senior coaching experience in January 2016, and has enjoyed remarkable success, winning two Club World Cups, two Champions Leagues, two European Super Cups as well as the club’s first Spanish league title in five years.

Criticism was quelled by last week’s 3-1 home victory over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League second round first leg then renewed after a comment by captain Sergio Ramos that Zidane could ”¬†surprise¬†” the press and go to the top if he wins a third Champions League in a row next May.

###############