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Zidane: “Vinicius has to play where he’s more comfortable”

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Real’s coach says the winger has to keep working.

La Liga: Real Madrid Press Conference Photo by Europa Press Sports/Europa Press via Getty Images

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane talked in the pre-match press conference ahead of Betis’ visit to the Bernabeu —Saturday, 21:00 CEST— and was asked some questions about Vinicius, Rodrygo and Bale.

Vinicius will be back with the squad after missing Wednesday’s match against Leganes. the Brazilian attacker has not had a relevant role this season after being one of Madrid’s most encouraging players last year.

“Every player knows they have to be ready. Vinicius Jr. has to keep working hard. He’s most comfortable out on the left wing and at his age he has to play where he feels best. He’s got the quality to play in other positions too. It’s a normal part of the process to not make the squad on occasions and he has to keep working,” said Zidane.

The Frenchman suggests that Vinicius will have a hard time finding consistent minutes when Eden Hazard is available. The winger could also play on the right flank but it’s true that his performances in that spot have not been promising.

Zidane was also asked about Hazard, who hasn’t made a big impact for Madrid just yet.

“We can all see he’s playing better. Perhaps he could score a bit more often but we’re not concerned. We’re happy with what he’s doing on the pitch and he’s getting better every day. Players of his quality can see things that others simply aren’t capable of seeing. I don’t think he’s been timid, quite the opposite. Everyone wants to see him get better and I think he’s improving every day. We’ll all be happy with him but we have to take it easy,” explained the coach.

Betis have not reached expectations so far this season but Zidane knows that Madrid will need to complete a solid performance if they want the three points.

“Every team comes here to play and get a result. That’s to be expected. We have to be ready for it and well aware it’s going to be a tough match. We have to be at our best because every game is different and we know we have to be at 100% if we’re going to take all three points. We try and put in a good performance every time we play and try to keep a clean sheet. That’s important to us and tomorrow we’ve got another chance to put on a good display at home and in front of our fans to pick up three more points,” said Zidane.

Gareth Bale still isn’t available although he is back in Madrid after traveling to London this week.

“It’s old news. He’s here and back out on the pitch working to get fit again. We’re behind him, trying to get him back with the team as soon as possible. He’s here with us and back training. He’s back from his trip and is much better, but he’s still not available for selection. He looks in good shape to me,” concluded Zidane.