Ceballos: Neglect from Zidane was a blessing in disguise

 

Real Madrid showed great confidence and determination in their first match of the La Liga Santander season, winning with a brace in the game which featured Daniel Ceballos, a 22-year-old Spanish footballer who had less time during Zinedine Zidane’s reign as coach.

Daniel Ceballos.jpg

Image: Daniel Ceballos

Ceballos said he was excited for the opportunity to prove himself, adding that his relegation to the bench during Zidane’s time eventually prove beneficial because he considered it as a necessary challenge for personal development.

Speaking to reporters in a post-match interview, the central midfielder said: ‘Zidane helped me find maturity. There’s nothing to complain about him.

‘It was hard—and would be for anyone—after spending nearly a year on the sidelines…My performance was a result of hardwork.

‘I am very happy and couldn’t be prouder than I already am.’

Ceballos was rated one of the top performers alongside Bale, Asensio and Carvajal.

Coach Lopetegui acknowledged that Ceballos played amazing football until he was subbed for Luka Modric in the 71st minute, a necessary strategy adopted to control the game after Bale Carvajal (20’) and Bale (50’) scored for Los Blancos.

Lopetegui, a former Porto coach, has managed Spanish youth teams and is renowned for his remarkable successes at grooming young players. Helping Ceballos find the right balance and stay on top of his game is one of the manager’s biggest tasks.