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Zidane ready for pivotal talks with Real after trophy-less season

Zinedine Zidane will head into pivotal talks with Real Madrid “in the next few days” after his team finished the season empty-handed.

A 2-1 win over Villarreal on Saturday was a hollow success, given rivals Atletico Madrid also won to clinch the La Liga title, and Zidane summed up his emotions afterwards by saying: “My mood is screwed up.”

Villarreal have a Europa League final against Manchester United in Gdansk ahead of them on Wednesday, but Real’s season is over.

Zidane is widely expected to leave, but he held fire on confirming his plans in the wake of the Villarreal game.

“We have to be calm. I’m going to talk to the club quietly, but later. Not now,” said Zidane.

“In the next few days, we will talk about it. Soon we will see what will happen, not only with me but also with the club for next season.”

Zidane praised Diego Simeone’s team for lasting the pace in the title race, ultimately finishing two points clear of Los Blancos and seven ahead of third-placed Barcelona.

“We must congratulate Atletico who deserve it, because the team at the top deserve it,” Zidane said in a post-game news conference.

Real finished their La Liga campaign on an 18-game unbeaten run, winning 13 and drawing five in that sequence to apply pressure on one-time runaway leaders Atletico.

That goes down as their best run without defeat in a single league season since Carlo Ancelotti’s Madrid also strung together 18 unbeaten games in the 2013-14 campaign, winning 15 times.

Yet Real finished the season without a pot to their name, after an early Copa del Rey exit to Alcoyano, a Champions League semi-final loss to Chelsea, and a Supercopa de Espana last-four defeat to Athletic Bilbao.

“We have not won anything. We know what we have to achieve,” Zidane said. “The fans are the most important thing here. They have to be very proud of what the players have done. We have given everything.”

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