Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane criticised the decision to go ahead with his side’s goalless draw with Osasuna on Saturday amid incredibly difficult weather conditions.
Storm Filomena has left much of the north of Spain and Madrid covered in snow this week. While Atletico Madrid’s clash at home to Athletic Club was postponed due to the conditions, Real Madrid were made to travel north to fulfil their fixture in the city of Pamplona.
However, it is reported that the team plane was grounded for three hours as they waited for clearance to take off from a frozen runway. Meanwhile, groundskeepers worked overtime to make Osasuna’s pitch at El Sadar playable.
A goalless draw means Real Madrid (who forced just one shot on target) remain second in La Liga behind Atleti, who now have three games in hand.
Speaking in his post match press conference, Zidane complained about the situation, insisting what took place was ‘not a football match’.
The coach said, via Goal: “We did what we could do on the field but it was not a football match. The conditions were very difficult.”
He revealed that his team – who play again in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday – were unable to travel home the same night due to the continuing storm.
“Clearly the match against Osasuna should have been postponed,” Zidane said. “The conditions to play football were not met, which in the end is what everyone wants. As much for us as our opponents.”
Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois echoed Zidane’s sentiments after the game, suggesting that La Liga had treated the players like ‘puppets’,
“I want to thank the people of Osasuna for having the pitch like this,” Courtois told Movistar, as quoted by Marca.
“But it is unfortunate what LaLiga have done to us. We know what the conditions were, and of course we were able to play, but taking off with the frozen runway and now we can’t go home. We are human and now a show.”
“We have done what was asked, as if we didn’t come, they would have docked three points from us. But I don’t think it’s safe, we aren’t puppets that always have to play.”