During a press conference on Monday, coach Zinedine Zidane defended left-back Marcelo, who became a reserve for Mendy in the first part of the season and has played little for Real Madrid. The Brazilian, previously an absolute starter, has only played six games so far and was replaced in the second half the last time he entered the field, in the 2-1 defeat by Alavés, on 8 November.

“It is true that he played less, we know what he can give. It is true that Ferland [Mendy] has played very well and Marcelo, who has not played much lately. He trains very well and has to continue what he is doing. It’s true that he hasn’t had a chance lately, but it’s not his fault. We’ll see later”.

The Frenchman also explained why he has given little chance to Spaniard Isco, who is dissatisfied with the team. “Isco is going to be an important player, it is true that he does not play much and I am not giving him the opportunity to show the player that he is. I will never forget what I lived with. He has to work hard to have another chance, but what is being said I can’t say anything because we don’t control it”.