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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 16, 2006

Hat-trick hero ZZ predicts Real revival

MADRID, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Zinedine Zidane says his hat-trick in Real Madrid's 4-2 win over Sevilla on Sunday was proof that both he and the team are recovering their form after a disappointing start to the season.

'You can see that little by little we are getting better and we are on our way to being the old Real Madrid,' the Frenchman was quoted as saying on the club's website on Monday.

'We are working together like a team - what happened before wasn't normal. We still have to improve, we can't say that everything is now alright just because we have won a league game.

'Personally I feel better. Physically I note that I'm in better shape and all I'm thinking about now is working hard and playing well.'

Zidane had a difficult start to the season with a string of injury niggles disrupting his progress at Real, but the Frenchman was in upbeat mood after his first ever hat-trick.

'It's the first time in my career that I've scored three goals and it's not bad to do it when I'm almost 34 years old,' he said. 'I've never thought about it as a challenge but more important is the fact that we won the game.

'The team is on the right track and now we've got to keep winning games.'

Real, who secured a place in the quarter-finals of the King's Cup with a 4-0 win over Athletic Bilbao on Thursday, turned in one of their best performances of the season against Sevilla.

Sunday's victory pushed them up into fourth place in the Primera Liga, three points behind Valencia, but they remain 13 points adrift of leaders Barcelona.

They play Real Betis in the first leg of their Cup quarter-final in Seville on Wednesday.

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