Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
Sport | By Scott Davis

Cristiano Ronaldo ready for Real Madrid return - Zinedine Zidane

Cristiano Ronaldo ready for Real Madrid return - Zinedine Zidane

I don't think football-wise or tactical-wise there will be many changes, I think it is about mentally being where we are now. "We can not talk about a dependency, but I always want him to be with us".

Those worries got worse on Saturday when Karim Benzema limped out of the 1-1 draw against Levante with a knee injury that will keep him out of action for around six months.

"The same thing happened last year, so we're not anxious at all", said Zidane, who is the first coach to retain the Champions League in its modern format and has won seven trophies since taking charge of Real in January last year.

He also scored after coming off the bench in his side's 4-1 victory over Juventus in the Champions League final last season, and has since gone on to establish himself as a mainstay among Real Madrid's multitude of star names to begin the 2017/18 campaign. Zidane said that Madrid were now a No. 9 light after a summer in which they sold Alvaro Morata to Chelsea, and were heavily linked with Kylian Mbappe only for the Monaco striker to instead join Paris Saint-Germain.

"Now we need experience", he said of their attempt to match the likes of Madrid. In the end we were not able to bring in another player. "He was an important player for them and [the fact] that they could not keep him is a little odd".

Zidane admitted his side felt pressure as favourites aiming to be the first team to win three consecutive European Cups since the 1970s but his side were used to knowing they had to win each and every game.

Asensio said that the Frenchman has compared him to Messi, who is arguably the best player in the world.

"He's going to play tomorrow, but we're not going to have him on Sunday".

In team news, centre-back Raphael Varane is available again following an adductor muscle issue, while emerging star Marco Asensio is a doubt with his own new injury problem.

Like this: