Real Madrid midfielder Zinedine Zidane believes that league leaders Barcelona may have peaked too early and warned the Catalan side that a lot can happen in the remaining months of the season.
“Right now there is a big difference between the two teams and there is no doubt that Barca are playing much better than us,” the Frenchman told a news conference on Wednesday.
“But last season we were going very well and then fell apart in the last two months and the same thing could happen to them.
“What’s more, they are only using 13 or 14 players and that doesn’t help. We have to be close to them in the table so that we can take advantage if they slip up.”
Real trail Barcelona by seven points after 13 games. Last season Real led the table for 17 games, but imploded in the latter part of the season, losing six of their last seven matches to finish in fourth place in the table.
“It could be us who end up finishing the strongest this time, just like Barca did last season,” said Zidane.
“I’m convinced that we’ll do something important this season and end up with a trophy.”
Asked whether the current Madrid side are growing old, Zidane replied: “I don’t think that’s the case.
“All that can be said is that we aren’t playing as well as we did a year or two ago, but we haven’t finished a cycle.
“There are only two or three players in the squad who are over 32, others are only 28 or 25 … In any case I’m the oldest and it isn’t time to get rid of us yet.
“We aren’t in the position we would like to be, but we’ll finish the season playing 100 percent. If we don’t win something then changes will have to be made, but I’m convinced we’ve still got a great team.”