From the looks of it, the Hot Pants competition between Cris & Sese continues apace this season. Those two just can’t seem to get their shorts short enough. I am not complaining, mind you, I’m just commenting. And good news, Cris is cleared to play tomorrow!
The team had their final session today. Isco trained separately. Fabio worked with the group for the first half and then joined him later. (Training video)
Zidane: “Cristiano Ronaldo is fit and will play against Osasuna”
by Alberto Navarro
“We have to go out and play well because we’re not going to have an easy game”, added the Real Madrid coach.
Zinedine Zidane appeared in the press room at Real Madrid City on the day before the LaLiga clash against Osasuna. The Whites’ coach discussed Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to action: “We’re happy to have him back with us and we’re going to make sure he feels good. It’s his first game of the season, it’s 60 days since he last played, but tomorrow he’ll be with us and he’s going to play”.
“I’ve not agreed anything with him. He’s back after an injury, I’ll try and make sure he’s with us every day and that he’s ready to play. Cristiano Ronaldo is an important player for the team and I want him to be with us at all times. There’s nothing more to it”.
“I have no doubt that the Bernabéu crowd will get behind us. Then it’s up to us to go out strong and get the three points. I’ve heard talk that it’ll be easy but I don’t think so, they’ll try and play and we have to be prepared. I’m pleased that almost everyone is ready and we’ve got some important players back. That’s good news for me”.
The importance of LaLiga
“The league is our biggest priority, but everything is important. It’s what we’re working towards every day, and we know it’s the most difficult because we have to win every weekend. Last year we lost by one point and this year we want to win it, just like many teams in the competition. We’re going to fight to try and do it this year”.
“I’ll try and be as honest as possible with the players. It’s a squad of 24 and there’s only ever going to be 11 who play from the start, and you can only change three. I’ve always said that the group is the most important thing and that’s not going to change. There are some players who will play more than others, but that’s normal at a big club”.
“He’s here with us and he’s happy. He isn’t in the squad for tomorrow, neither are Casemiro or Marcelo. They’ve come back a bit fatigued, we’ve got seven games in 21 days and we’ve got to give everyone a rest. I’m happy to have all the players back here and ready to play. You’ll see the line-up tomorrow, we’ve got players to fill in”.
“Benzema will be with us and that’s important too. He’s back to fitness but I can never say for sure that it might not happen again. He feels as good as ever and that’s the main thing, he’s got no more discomfort. If he’s in the squad it’s because he’s back to 100%. He’s a key player for us, it’s important that he feels comfortable and he can completely forget about his injury. We’ll see with the line-up tomorrow, but the plan is to give him some minutes because he’s ready to play”.
Keylor Navas’ recovery
“I can’t set a date for when he’ll be back in the squad. He’s happy to be back with us and that’s great news, but he’s not quite ready to be called up to the squad. We’ll see how he feels over the next week”.
Coentrão and Isco
“Isco is approaching full fitness. He’s fine, he just hasn’t trained with the group yet, but he’ll do that next week. Fabio is a different case and we’ve got to be a bit more patient with him. He wants to play now but there’s a recovery plan and that has to be respected.
“I don’t understand it. The club tries to do things in the best possible manner. I can speak about my kids, who were born here and have spent their entire lives here. It’s absurd that they can’t play. My kids can’t play and I have to explain to them why not. They’ll have to be patient, we can’t do anything right now. I hope it all gets resolved quickly. I don’t understand the sanction, it’s frustrating and unjust”.
“It’s absurd and the club is going to do all it can to change this. I can’t say anything more. We have to wait because the sanction has only just been imposed. I hope things are sorted out quickly. Talking isn’t going to change anything now”.
How the sanction will harm the squad
“I don’t think the sanction will be too damaging in terms of the squad because I’m very happy with the players I have and it’s a very deep squad. The sanction is what it is, we can’t change that. I’m happy with the group and they’re happy to be here. If we’ve got to continue as we are for two or three years, we’re happy”.
The following players have been called up for the match (Video):
Goalkeepers: Casilla, Rubén Yáñez and Luca.
Defenders: Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Varane, Nacho and Danilo.
Midfielders: Kroos, Kovacic, Modric and Asensio.
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Bale, Lucas Vázquez, Mariano and Morata.
The mothership would like to remind us that not only does Cris love to score against Osasuna, so do our defenders. Works for me!
I’m really looking forward to the return of La Liga (and Cris!) action.