Sports Monks

Dani Ceballos makes shocking confession regarding Zinedine Zidane

Dani Ceballos, the 22-year-old midfielder signed by Real Madrid from Real Betis last summer has admitted that he would have departed from the current UEFA Champions League winners had Zinedine Zidane continued as the head coach.

Ceballos struggled to notch regular playing time, and he was quite critical of Zidane regarding the same.

He started only 4 matches in the La Liga last season, despite having been met with much fanfare upon his arrival at Real Madrid.

However, Ceballos is certainly more positive regarding the prospects of working with Julen Lopetegui, who coached the Spanish national team before his unceremonious sacking just ahead of the World Cup this year.

When speaking on Zidane, Ceballos remarked, “It's something for him to explain, why I didn't get opportunities. I worked, I tried to make [his decisions] difficult for him, but a moment comes when you see it's impossible.

'I scored two goals in Vitoria and the next game I played one minute against Dortmund. When you spend weeks not feeling important, it's more difficult.

'There was a moment in which I gave the season up. We were 15 points [off the top] in LaLiga and only had the Champions League left, but I didn't enter into the dynamic.

'I hired a personal trainer in January, because I wasn't playing Wednesday and Sunday and I lost that intensity. I was looking to be fit for pre-season.

'If Zidane had continued, I would obviously have looked for an exit, but everything was different with Julen's arrival.'

Zidane was much applauded at Real Madrid for his excellent man-management skills. However, a fair share of players, including the likes of James Rodriguez, Alvaro Morata and Ceballos has been miffed by the Frenchman’s methods as such.

However, with the current crop of players at Madrid’s disposal, it would be difficult for Ceballos to find a breakthrough somehow.

Further speaking on Zidane’s management of fringe players (eg: Ceballos), the 22-year-old said, “I followed him from when I was little and he was always a star wherever he played, so maybe he didn't know how it feels for a player to be on the bench.”

The former Real Betis player is a dynamic young midfielder who can create and score goals, using his vision and the knack of being at the right place at the right time.

Zidane’s departure certainly means that the midfielder could get his chances in the upcoming season or so. However, Ceballos needs to ensure that he works hard on the field to earn his place in the starting lineup.  He was even given his first senior call up by Luis Enrique for the Spanish national football team.

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