Zidane sets Isco challenge

Zinedine Zidane has challenged Isco to score against Malaga when Real Madrid travel to the midfielder’s former club in La Liga on Sunday.

Isco has netted just once in the League this season, with no goals under Zidane as yet, and the Coach claims the only thing missing from his Madrid reign to date is the 23-year-old getting on the scoresheet.

“[On Rafa Benitez’s outburst], I have enough on my plate as it is,” he said at a Press conference.

“We’ve already talked a lot about this issue, so I’m only focused on my team.

“[On Dani Carvajal and Sergio Ramos being a card away from missing next week’s Madrid derby], cards mean nothing.

“If they have to play [on Sunday], they will. It’s true that they won’t be able to play against Atletico if they pick up a card, but these things haven’t crossed my mind.

“The important thing is that I’m happy to be here. I knew that my job would be difficult, but I’m happy.

“The most important thing is to win here, and we’re doing that.

“We know that we don’t have it easy, but the players and I are clear that all we have to do is work hard, and we’re doing.

“We have recovered well [from the Roma game] and are ready.

“[Malaga] are tough and very good opponents. They’re a great team, so we’ll have as difficult a game as the one at Roma, but it’s the same every weekend.

“The important thing is that we’re prepared from the first minute.

“[On referees], I know who officiates every game, but I don’t analyse them. I just worry about my team and our opponents, although my team more so.

“[James Rodriguez and Marcelo] are both perfect. James came off shortly before the final whistle [at Roma] but is fine, Marcelo too. His shoulder [injury] has gone.

“[On Jese Rodriguez], for me, all the players deserve to play, but there’s 22 of them and three from Castilla.

“This is the difficulty facing the Coach because they all deserve to play.

“I have to make decisions and it’s my responsibility [to make the right ones], so we’ll see [on Sunday] who plays from the start.

“It’s important that the players are scoring goals. Now I just need one from Isco.

“The most important thing is the team, but it’s a great feeling for a Coach to see all their players scoring.

“Nacho [Fernandez] is ready. He’s very good player. We have four centre-backs of the same level.

“Nacho competes very well and I’m very comfortable with him.

“[Pepe] is fine mentally and much better physically. There’s almost no pain left.

“The idea is that he’ll continue with the work he’s doing and return to the squad on Tuesday.”

Tags Isco Zinedine Zidane