Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane talked in press conference ahead of Saturday’s away match against Alaves —13:00 CEST—. The Frenchman was mainly asked about Vinicius Jr., who isn’t getting the minutes most fans and analysts predicted, especially after his brilliant debut season in the club last year. Some reports suggested that the Brazilian wonder kid could leave Madrid on a loan deal but Zidane promptly denied those rumors.
“Vinicius will not go on loan. We’re 26 players and it’s true that he hasn’t played much, but he will. Now it’s not his time, but that can change very quickly. He doesn’t have a problem, the thing is that there are other players in the squad list who are playing, like Rodrygo. That happens when you have so many players. He needs to stay ready,” said Zidane.
Vinicius completed great performances for Real Madrid last season. When asked about what has changed, Zidane was fairly clear.
“What has changed is that we now have Hazard and Rodrygo. He’s training properly and last year he did very well, but the thing is we have other players and I am the one who has to choose. That’s my role and it’s not going to change,” said the coach.
The same is happening to Eder Militao, who signed for Real Madrid last summer but hasn’t been playing much.
“He has great future ahead of him and it’s true that he hasn’t played a lot. He’s the third central-defender on our squad and I will count on him. Now we have four central defenders available and we’ll see what happens tomorrow,” explained Zidane, potentially suggesting that minutes are coming Militao’s way soon.
Hazard was forced to leave Tuesday’s match against PSG but Real Madrid’s medical report leaned towards a return before El Clasico. Zidane didn’t want to confirm that much, though.
“I can’t say whether he’ll be ready for El Clasico or not. It will all depend on how much progress he makes on a day to day basis. It’s a big contusion and a very small sprain, not a big deal, but it will depend on how much pain he feels. We’ll see if he can be ready next week, we have to take it day by day,” said the coach.
Zidane wrapped up the press conference by answering a question about Gareth Bale, who continues to be whistled by Real Madrid’s fans.
“We’re with him and I think people support him too. It will keep being this way because what happened doesn’t have to change how he plays. This is just part of life as a football player,” concluded Zidane.