Isco, Marcelo ready to compete: Zidane
Madrid, March 16 (IANS) Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has said that Spain midfielder Isco Alarcon and Brazil left-back Marcelo are ready to play against Celta Vigo.
The Frenchman announced his available roster on Friday ahead of the first game of his second tenure at the Spanish club.
His lineup included Isco, Marcelo and Wales forward Gareth Bale for Saturday's home La Liga match against Celta Vigo, reports Efe news.
Zidane, who first led the team between 2016 and 2018, recently replaced fired Argentine coach Santiago Solari.
"A game is not the same as training, but the good thing is that they are all good players and everyone is ready," Zidane said.
"They know that there are 11 games left (in the La Liga season) and I will have everyone available.
"I will count on Isco and other players who are in top form - the important thing is that I saw all the players very involved," he continued.
Isco fell out of favour with Solari, who was fired on Monday, and has played in only 26 matches.
He was out of the squad in four of the most recent five La Liga games, partly due to a back injury.
Real Madrid has opened an inquiry into Isco for refusing to get aboard the team bus before the second leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 against Ajax. Yet, this investigation is a point that Zidane brushed off.
"We are here to work and think only about soccer. The same (goes) for Isco, he wants to play and the inquiry, (is) nothing. We are going to play soccer and that is it. I see him (ready to) play tomorrow," he added.
Zidane also highlighted the fact that Marcelo is in good shape, despite playing as few as 25 matches this season.
In the 4-1 victory over Real Valladolid on Sunday, Marcelo came off the bench and played for just one minute.
"I see that he is well, I had not seen him in a while, but the last three days, I think he is good. Before, he has not played a lot, but he is a professional and surely he has trained well," Zidane said.
Zidane, who quit the club last summer after winning three consecutive Champions League titles with the Spanish powerhouse, returned to Madrid after three defeats in one week - all at their home pitch Santiago Bernabeu and two against top rival Barcelona.
His 1998 World Cup performance as a player cemented him in the minds of a generation of football fans when the underdog French side thrashed Brazil in Paris.