Zinedine Zidane happy to sign new Real Madrid contract

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The Frenchman, who took over from Rafa Benitez in January 2016, has already won the Champions League twice, last season's La Liga title, the Club World Cup and two UEFA Super Cups in his time in charge.

Barcelona, which is in the Super Cup as the reigning Copa del Rey victor, will play its second match since the stunning departure of Neymar after Paris Saint-Germain paid a record 222 million euros ($262 million) to trigger the release clause in his contract.

"Their idea isn't going to change, I said that there was no-one else like Neymar, he's irreplaceable, but there's someone else that will do well for them".

Di Canio loses his mind
Di Canio loses his mind

Real Madrid face Neymar-less Barcelona in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup at the Nou Camp on 13 August. "It's very soon", said Valverde. Luka Modric will not be available as he is serving a suspension for the red card he saw three years ago in the last Spanish Supercup played by Los Blancos against Atlético، so Mateo Kovacic will have his first chance of the season to prove he is ready to fill Modric's shoes.

However, the fixture will be the first major game Barcelona will have played without Neymar Jnr at the club. The series is Spain's traditional curtain-raiser, pitting Real Madrid, the victor of last season's La Liga (Spanish league) title, against Barcelona, victor of the Copa del Rey (Spanish Cup) in a two-legged contest over the next four days. That match, however, was more about paying homage to the victims of the plane crash that decimated Chapecoense past year than warming up for Madrid. Barcelona couldn't count on a suspended Neymar for that match, but Messi scored twice, including a dramatic last-gasp goal, to seal a memorable 3-2 win.

"But on Sunday (today), the real thing starts, with a competitive game and a title at stake against our biggest rivals". "It's an important title and I think that we are prepared".

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