Zinedine Zidane has vowed that he will “always” try to rotate his Real Madrid squad ahead of Sunday’s trip to Espanyol in La Liga.
Madrid’s XI is seen to pick itself when everyone is fully fit, but Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale will not be available for selection when Los Blancos take to Cornella-El Prat and Zidane emphasised the need to make everyone “feel important”.
“Espanyol are very good opponents and we know it’ll be a complicated game at a great stadium,” the Coach said at a Press conference.
“We’ve had a good week, there are many games and we’re ready. We’ve rested well.
“You’ll see an XI [on Sunday]. My idea is to always try to rotate the players and that they all feel important, that they all think they can play at any time because you’ll always need a player in a certain match.
“My idea is this, and I always say the same, we’re going to play in 60 games. When I played, there was 30-35 so we’re going to need everyone in order to meet our objectives.
“We’re all excited [about the record]. We want to keep improving. We have another opportunity to pick up three points, which is most important to me.
“I’m the Coach of this team, but I’m not the only one working here. Coaches are also a team, like the players. We’re excited to keep winning.
“I was able to play football. I’m very lucky to have had this life, and now I’m lucky enough to be able to continue my story with Madrid, who for me are the best.
“Our results are the consequence of hard, hard work, not only from me but everyone. This team have personality, character and don’t give up.”
Zidane then gave his opinion on individual players, starting with James Rodriguez, whom the Coach confirmed would start, and then BBC.
“I’ve said two or three times that he’s training very well and James is going to play, he’s important for the team,” he continued.
“I see him to be very well, the same as last season. I won’t say he’s any different. He just wants to play like everyone else and is going to offer us what he has.
“If Cristiano [Ronaldo], Karim [Benzema] and Gareth [Bale] are at 100 percent, the idea is to play them.
“If they’re all available, I’ll play all three, but we don’t have just one game and I have the possibility of playing others, and when they play, they do so well.
“On Keylor, I can’t give any deadlines. He’s improving every day and doing well, but I can’t talk about dates. I hope he comes back soon.
“With Kiko Casilla, we’re very happy, he’s getting better with each day. We knew we could count on him. He was phenomenal as a substitute and now he is as a No 1.
“We’ll see [about Benzema], but he’s okay. The other day was the first time he had played as a starter.”