Zidane takes charge of his first game since making an astonishing return to Real Madrid on Saturday (March 16) against Celta Vigo, It could be a de facto audition for next season for many of the team’s underperforming players.
But Zidane made it clear in his presentation that sweeping changes must be made for his second coming to be a success, meaning many in his squad will be playing for their futures against Celta and in the other 10 remaining league games.
With Real out of the Champions League and Copa del Rey and sitting third in La Liga, 12 points behind leaders Barcelona, the only purpose for the remainder of the season is for Zidane to assess which players he wants to keep as he plots the team’s comeback in the next campaign.
Veteran defender Marcelo and Wales forward Gareth Bale are the most high profile names whose futures look uncertain under Zidane, while Dani Ceballos, Marco Asensio and Toni Kroos all have points to prove to their returning coach.
Asked about persistent reports about the signing of PSG’s Kylian Mbappe, Zidane said he would welcome “all good players,” adding he has not asked the club’s president to bring him to Real.
(Production: Guillermo Martinez, Anna Valderrama)