Real Madrid are just over 24 hours away from their much-anticipated return to UEFA Champions League duties with a clash against Atalanta lined up in Bergamo. The Blancos recently emerged victorious over Real Valladolid with a significantly depleted squad due to injuries, and while the cavalry might soon return to training, their squad is near identical to that of their previous game.
Ahead of their clash against Gian Piero Gasperini's men, here is some of the latest Real Madrid news.
Vinicius Jr reveals immense support from Real Madrid
Real Madrid forward Vinicius Jr talks about the immense support he's received from the club amidst a difficult period. The Brazilian has faced criticism for his displays this season and has often been linked with moves away from Los Blancos. However, he revealed that he has the trust and support of Zinedine Zidane and co, and even thanked Real Madrid supremo Florentino Perez for his backing.
Speaking ahead of the Atalanta game, Vinicius explained;
"I’ve got 100% of Madrid’s trust, Zidane’s trust and also my teammates’ and the president’s [Florentino Perez]. He always gives me strength and support and tells me he’s my biggest fan after my own family."
The Brazilian forward added,
"It’s always a big responsibility to play for Real Madrid, the greatest club in the world. But everyone in the club and my family give me peace so that I can only worry about playing. I’m close to reaching a hundred games for the club, and I want to play 200, 300 or more for this club."
Vinicius also revealed that he is grateful to his superstar teammate Eden Hazard for the advice he gives him.
"He [Eden Hazard] tells me to be calm and to never stop taking risks. He always talks to me, he’s a great person who’s always happy. It’s a dream to play with him."
Vinicius in line to start for Real Madrid against Atalanta on Wednesday night.
Ferland Mendy and Real Madrid with Zinedine Zidane 'to the death'
Blancos defender Ferland Mendy revealed that he and the Real Madrid squad will back head coach Zinedine Zidane to the death amidst criticism in recent months. The French manager's future has come into question after a challenging campaign at the helm of the Santiago Bernabeu as Real Madrid have already been eliminated from two cup competitions and are trailing Atletico Madrid in LaLiga.
Mendy explains that they ignore the criticism they hear regarding their season, and he does not pay attention to rumours suggesting that Zidane might be sacked.
"I don't read much, to be honest. I'm with Zidane to the death, and we're all with him, truly. He seems relaxed. But we don't really take notice of what people are saying."
The 25-year-old added,
"I knew that you always had to win, but the criticism... Although sometimes I don't understand what they're saying, there's always a tonne when there's a defeat. If you lose, they exaggerate, and that's shocked me, to be honest."
Real Madrid currently find themselves three points behind rivals Atletico who have a game in hand over them.
Sergio Ramos nearing return from injury
Real Madrid legend Sergio Ramos has successfully undergone surgery on the damaged internal meniscus of his left knee on February 6. The Spaniard, one of Real Madrid's most important players, was initially said to be out for six to eight weeks, but he could now reportedly return for either their game against Elche on March 13 or the second leg against Atalanta on March 16. The captain will, however, be unavailable for their crucial Madrid derby on March 7.
Ramos' return could be a massive boost to a side that has already suffered a whopping 41 injuries this season, with Karim Benzema becoming the latest big-name player to be sidelined. Eden Hazard and Rodrygo Goes are also expected to return to action in March, along with Fede Valverde, Marcelo, and others.
Fabrizio Romano, Jim Beglin, Paul Merson and David James are now Sportskeeda Experts! Check here