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3:00 AM UTC Feb 21, 2018
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Real Madrid must keep Zinedine Zidane whatever result vs. PSG - Guti

Get all the stats and storylines from the biggest matchup of the round of 16.
While boos rain down on Karim Benzema at the Bernabeu, the FC crew debate whether Real Madrid are in a position to drop the struggling forward.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first La Liga hat trick since 2016 as Real Madrid easily saw off Real Sociedad in their final test before facing PSG.

Former Real Madrid midfielder Guti has backed Zinedine Zidane to remain as coach no matter what happens against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, but added that he would not turn the job down if offered it.

Guti, the club's under-18s coach, scored 77 goals for Madrid between 1995 and 2010, winning five La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues, and his U18s completed a domestic treble in his first season in charge last year.

He told Marca that failures earlier in the season meant Zidane would be under pressure should his side go out of the Champions League.

"This is Madrid's last bullet [for this season], but I hope this is not Zidane's final [year]," he said.

"We must not forget what he has done. Zidane must continue."

Guti said it would be difficult to say no if club president Florentino Perez asked him to step up, adding: "How would I not want to coach Real Madrid some day?

"If Florentino offered me the first team I would say yes, I am ready."

Zidane, who won the Champions League and La Liga double last season, has made clear that he knows results determine how long a coach stays at Madrid.

And his former France international colleague Robert Pires told AS it was difficult to imagine that a new boss would not be installed should they go out of the Champions League in the round of 16 for the first time since 2010.

"He knows how things are," Pires said. "If Madrid are eliminated, it will be difficult for him to keep his job.

"Everything can happen very quickly, even more in Madrid, where all that counts is trophies."

On the eve of Wednesday's first leg at the Bernabeu, Marca said the players had vowed they would "leave their lives out there" on the pitch and asked fans to believe in them.

Club captain Sergio Ramos has called on supporters to meet up over two hours ahead of kickoff on Wednesday and pull together for the latest challenge.

"Thank you fans -- on Wednesday we will all meet at 18:30 in Plaza de los Sagrados Corazones," Ramos tweeted.

"One heartbeat, one colour, one objective. Together we can achieve the possible and the impossible."

Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan


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