MADRID, March 16― Zinedine Zidane restored old favourites for his first game since being re-appointed coach of Real Madrid as Thibaut Courtois was dropped for Keylor Navas while Isco and Marcelo both returned.
Zidane has also made a big call in goal, with Courtois dropping to the bench after a 4-1 comeback win at Real Valladolid last week and Costa Rica global Keylor Navas recalled. "I have a squad of 23, 24, 25 players and will count on them all", said Zidane, who won three consecutive Champions Leagues with the bulk of his current squad before standing down at the end of last season. Courtois and [Sergio] Reguilon have done well so far. I don't know if we needed a change or not but the club thought it was necessary.
There were two supporters, each related to ultra-groups that are not allowed to access any stadium in Spain, who displayed a banner outside questioning the club's management, but the gesture was reprimanded and censored as they were vastly outnumbered by the majority in attendance. "There are of course those who are sometimes going to be left out, who are not going to play".
"Today Keylor played and Courtois is going to play too". That's three good goalkeepers but Madrid should have three or four great goalkeepers.
The Frenchman is back in charge of Real Madrid and he's already made some bold moves.
It's true that the slump came after a hard spell in the season which saw Real Madrid lose twice to Barcelona before capitulating against Ajax.
On a more personal note, Zidane admitted that it was a positive return to the dugout for him and insisted that he feels at home with Los Blancos.
That battle for the No 1 jersey will resume as the season draws to a close, while Zidane has 10 more games to evaluate his squad before he considers what changes need to be made. I've been involved in nearly every area of the club and I feel fantastic.
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