Real Madrid critics can say whatever they want — Zinedine Zidane

Cristiano Ronaldo smiles as he lies on the ground during training in Madrid on Tuesday

Cristiano Ronaldo smiles as he lies on the ground during training in Madrid on Tuesday

Regardless of your opinion of the event, it does have one inescapable draw: When else are you going to get a chance to watch Moroccan and Mexican teams face off early on a Saturday morning?

Madrid President offered a public vote of confidence to Zidane, nipping the rumours of Zidane's departure in the bud.

Major League Soccer, for example, has yet to get a team into this event via the Concacaf (North, Central American and Caribbean) Champions League.

We already know that nine of the teams who will feature in the last 16 come from Europe's leading five leagues - Spain, England, Germany, Italy and France - and Mourinho's aforementioned trio will be among them.

The Champions League group stage, which reaches its conclusion this week, has once again largely served to emphasise the gulf between Europe's haves and have-nots.

Their performance in the La Liga has been pretty disappointing as they recently played a draw against Athletic Bilbao and earlier, suffered a shocking loss to newcomers Girona.

So if the European champions were to try and steal one of City's star men, who is it most likely to be?

With only one win in their last ten games in all competitions, the pressure continues to mount on head coach Bosz. The game is definitely set to be a thriller. However, the likes of Mateo Kovacic and Dani Ceballos will be hoping for a rare start this season. I was very interested in the project, [but] it did not happen for many reasons. The absentees group includes Mario Götze (ankle), Jacob-Bruun Larsen (knee), Lukasz Piszczek (muscle), Marco Reus (knee) and Jeremy Toljan (suspension). Out of those 14, Real Madrid won 6, while Dortmund won 3.

"I see my team playing well - we could score more goals, yes, and the situation is not the best as we are eight points back [in La Liga]". Playing at the Santiago Bernabeu, Dortmund have never defeated Real, while the Los Blancos have defeated Dortmund 4 times.

As far as results are concerned, I think that Real Madrid will win at home with some ease.

"But we need a win - even at Real Madrid", added the Dutchman, whose demeanour suggests he is feeling the strain.

Dortmund should be motivated for this game despite the fact they are already eliminated from the competition.

It is only four years since Borussia Dortmund lost to Bayern Munich in the 2013 Champions League final.

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