Real Madrid’s duo Isco and Bale have been included in the squad to face Celta Vigo in what will be Zidane’s first match in his second tenure as the club’s manager.
Zinedine Zidane said he is willing to turn to Isco and Gareth Bale during the final matches of the season ahead of Real Madrid’s match with Celta Vigo on Saturday.
Zidane spoke in his first pre-match press conference since returning as Real manager on Monday. “The players, inc those who have played less, are committed, which is most important.
Then it is true that a game is not like training. The important thing is to all be ready, we have 11 games left, and I will count on everyone, including Isco and all the others.” “We are here to work and to think about football, only. Isco the same. He wants to play and we will not worry about [disciplinary cases]. Just play football, that’s all.
The Spaniard was an anonymous figure during Solari’s four months at the helm, starting just three matches for him. In the Argentinian’s final match in charge, a 4-1 win against Real Valladolid, Isco was left out of the squad entirely despite Vinicius Jr., Bale and Lucas Vazquez all being absent. However, per Gracenote Live, only Vazquez made more appearances than Isco’s 114 during Zidane’s first spell at the club, so the Frenchman’s return bodes well for him. Zidane on Bale: “I don’t want to talk about his season, only about the 11 games he has left. We all know the player Gareth is and I am counting on him like everyone else.”
Given his relationship with the manager, Bale’s long-term future in the Spanish capital looks to be in jeopardy, but that may not be the case if he’s given the opportunity to impress in the coming weeks and takes his chance.
Zidane said he is not considering transfer plans yet, per Corrigan: “We are thinking about ending the season well, they should not think I am looking at who will go, who will stay. The players all have contracts here, then we will see what happens for next year. But for them it is about ending the season well.” The coach also addressed Real playing against Leganes on Monday, April 15, the day before the second legs of the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals commence.
Zidane asked if Madrid fixed for Monday night game a ‘humiliation’ to emphasis they are out of UCL: “We have to just accept we are playing on Monday. I’d prefer to play Saturday or Sunday but I am not one to give opinion on this.” His immediate focus is on beating Celta Vigo, though. Their opponents sit 18th in La Liga with one of the worst defensive records in the division—only Rayo Vallecano and Levante have conceded more than their 45 goals.
Celta are also winless in five matches, so Real should be capable of beating them comfortably on Saturday. Zidane will need a response from his players to engineer that, though, because even in their win over Valladolid, they were second-best for much of the contest.