Zinedine Zidane’s reinstation as the Real Madrid manager has certainly lifted the spirits in the Spanish capital and players are looking up once again.
Real Madrid youngsters have expressed a sense of excitement after the re-appointment of Zinedine Zidane as the manager. Asensio hasn’t kicked on after breaking out under the Frenchman. Ceballos, on the other hand, was deprived of minutes by Zidane in his previous stint. However, the former Real Betis man believes things might turn out differently this time around.
Ceballos: He has assured me of opportunities
“The return of Zidane can only be positive news following our poor season up to now,” he explained to ‘El Larguero’ of Cadena SER. “He has always been very clear with me regarding my role in the team. We all know the importance of him to our team. While speaking to me recently, he told me that he’d been following my matches and that he wanted me to keep playing to the same level. He told me that I’d be given the same opportunities as my teammates and that put me at ease.”
“I don’t think you have seen the best Ceballos at Real Madrid just yet. My dream is to be a success here and that is something that nobody can take away from me. I see someone like Vinicius who struggled for form at the start of the season. But now he is one of the highlights of the campaign.”
Zidane to Asensio
Zidane also seemed to have work his magic on Marco Asensio. The Frenchman was the one who gave Asensio his opportunity at Real Madrid. Now, three years later, one of Zidane’s first acts upon returning was to have a face-to-face chat with the 23-year-old. “You’re going to be fundamental in this team and I want you here with us,” Zizou told him.
The heir to Modric’s throne? – Analysing Dani Ceballos
Dani Ceballos is the closest thing in Madrid’s ranks to the mercurial Luka Modric. Ceballos was awarded the Player of the Tournament at the u21 European championships in 2017 despite failing to find the net even once. Interesting, Marco Asensio was also a part of the squad and finished second in the Golden boot race.The Spaniard is a No.8 (his own admission), who’s ability to link play and carry the ball through the thirds is reminiscent of Modric’s. The ability to hold on o the ball in tight situations was hailed by former Betis coach, Victor Sanchez. “He is really talented, has impressive confidence and is capable of getting out of situations that would be impossible for a normal footballer.”
Perhaps, one of the downsides of Ceballos’ game is his ability in from of goal. While making 97 appearences in la Liga for both Betis and Real, the 22-year-old has managed a miserly 6 goals. Off the pitch, Ceballos has flaws that have possibly held him back. He has been unnecessarily vocal about political issues on social media, which have landed him in hot water. “I find the whistling of the national anthem a disgrace. A bomb needs to fall on the stands and kill all the Catalan and Bizcayan dogs,” he once tweeted.
However, he accepted at the beginning of last season that the time had come for him to focus all his energy into football and avoid the distractions. “I spoke with my parents. They told me to focus only on football, and to forget everything else,” he remorsed.
Technically, Dani Ceballos is as good as any young midfielder in Europe. If he can concentrate on improving his game and tone down his off-field frenzies, there is no stopping Real’s No.24. Asensio had a lull after starting brightly for the Spanish side. The underlying numbers (xG-3.12; xA-4.04) suggest that he might have been unlucky to only boast a goal and couple of assist. The Royal Whites will hope that a combination of Zidane’s trust and continued game time will help Ceballos fulfil his potential.