Soccer-Zenlike Zidane 'only focusing on present' at Real Madrid

Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - Real Madrid v Osasuna - Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano, Madrid, Spain - May 1, 2021 Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane REUTERS/Susana Vera

MADRID (Reuters) - Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane exuded Zenlike calm about his future with the club on Saturday, saying that he is not focusing on the future although at some point he may feel the need to depart for the benefit of everyone.

Real trail La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid by two points with two games to go and have an outside chance of retaining the title, but Zidane did not give any guarantees when asked whether he would remain in charge next season.

"I don't know what'll happen. I'm here, we're playing tomorrow and next week but I don't know what happens after that because this is Real Madrid," Zidane told a news conference ahead of Sunday's trip to Athletic Bilbao.

"I only focus on the present, not the future or the past."

Zidane unexpectedly left the club in 2018 just after winning a third consecutive Champions League crown, only to return 10 months later. He also quit the club unexpectedly as a player in 2006 when he retired from the game.

But the Frenchman said he had made those decisions in the best interests of the club and stressed that his commitment to Real Madrid had never wavered.

"People think I left in the past because I didn't want the responsibility or because things got too difficult. No, never. The only thing is that I work my socks off and there comes a point when it's time for a change," he added.

"But not just for me, for the players and the club, for everyone. I don't leave because it's easier to go. There are moments when you need to be around and moments when the end arrives and you have to make a change."

(Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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