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Lopetegui explains Real Madrid’s plans regarding Vinicius

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Real Madrid CF v Getafe CF - La Liga Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui spoke to the press ahead of the team’s visit to Girona this Sunday. Lopetegui addressed the reports saying that attacker Vinicius Jr. will play most of his games for Castilla this season.

“He’s part of the squad. When he’s called up he’ll be in with a chance of playing and when he’s not included, he’ll be able to play for Castilla. However, he’ll be training with us on a daily basis. He’s very young and has just arrived in Europe. He’s really keen to learn and we’ve got to give him the time to settle that every player needs. His performance levels in training have been of the highest quality. We’re keeping a close eye on his progress and when we think that the time is right, he’ll be included in the matchday squad,” said Lopetegui, suggesting that the reports were right.

Real Madrid decided to keep Vinicius this season instead of letting him play for Flamengo another year. They could’ve also send him on a loan deal elsewhere and yet it seems that they thought he was good enough to contribute this season, so this is a bit shocking.

Thibaut Courtois could start his first game for Real Madrid against Girona, according to reports from AS. Still, Lopetegui did not reveal who his starter will be.

“I’m not going to reveal anything, you’ll see the line-up tomorrow. We haven’t decided exactly what we’re going to do. We’ve got some very good goalkeepers here, some of whom have joined us more recently, but they’re all getting up to speed and it’s down to us to decide. The role of goalkeeper is a bit of a different and special one. I’m relaxed because I know that regardless of the decision we take, it’ll be for the good of the team,” explained Lopetegui before announcing that Luca Zidane will almost surely be the starter for Castilla this season.

Real Madrid completed a fine performance against Getafe and will be trying to do the same when the match kicks off in Girona.

“Our preparations for each game are always different. There’s always a differentiating factor in the form of the opposition, regardless of whether you’re playing at home or away. Every match is completely different and that’ll again be the case here. We want to make sure we prepare well so that we head into the game in the best possible shape and try to beat Girona, which is our target,” said Lopetegui.

He was asked about the team’s playing style, which is a possession-oriented system.

“We’re not bothered about having the ball, we just want to win games. The ball is a tool that can help you to do so. There are a lot of factors involved, it depends on the team we’re up against. Sometimes you’re given space and you have to make the most of that. We have to be capable of striking the balance between attack and defense,” concluded Lopetegui.