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Zinedine Zidane's Madrid like best Barcelona - Real Betis coach Setien

Real Betis coach Quique Setien has said he believes Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid "are often at the level" Barcelona reached under Pep Guardiola.

Madrid won La Liga and the Champions League last season, and Setien said their approach had changed since Zidane took charge.

With playmakers such as Isco, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos to the fore, Madrid had more of the ball than Barcelona in August's 2-0 Supercopa second leg victory at the Bernabeu.

It was the first time that had happened in a Clasico since 2008, before Guardiola took over as Barca coach.

And speaking at a news conference ahead of his team's trip to the Bernabeu on Wednesday, Setien told reporters he admired Madrid's style.

"I love it," he said. "I remember many Madridistas who were bored in the past when Barcelona would move the ball from one side to the other.

"Now, often, it is Madrid doing it. They are often at the level of Barca at their best, and even overcome them on the physical level.

"You like watching them play and combine. They have dropped a bit [in recent games], but everyone is happy with the football they are playing."

The game on Wednesday will be Cristiano Ronaldo's first of the Liga campaign after his suspension for pushing the referee in the Supercopa first leg at the Camp Nou.

And Setien warned: "Cristiano is a voracious player in front of goal -- everyone wants to stop him but nobody can.

"Every time you face him you run the risk that he will score, as he has a very high percentage compared to others.

"He will be very motivated after missing those games. I hope he's not at his best, but maybe he will be."

Madrid, meanwhile, go into the game seven points adrift of table-topping Barcelona.

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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