Isco ruled out of Celta clash
Isco has been ruled out of Real Madrid’s first home game of the season against Celta Vigo on Saturday after taking a knock to his ankle in training. The injury also means he missed out on a call up to Julen Lopetegui’s first Spain squad for the games against Belgium (1 September) and Liechtenstein (5 September). It’s unfortunate for Isco – who wasn’t picked to go to Euro 2016 – because the new Spain coach said he would have included the midfielder if not for the injury.
Cristiano and Benzema still not ready
Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema are still not fit to play (neither was with the rest of the squad for training on Friday) as both continue their road to recovery from their respective injuries. Zidane expects Ronaldo – as well as Keylor Navas – to be ready on the return from the upcoming international break, however. Worryingly, it is still unknown when Benzema will be back, with the Frenchman continuing to struggle with an inflamed sacroiliac joint.
Pepe and Modric return
The good news for Madristas is that Pepe and Modric will be back in the squad for the Celta clash. The Portuguese defender had had an extended break this summer after winning Euro 2016 with his national side, meaning he was not deemed fit enough to play in the league opener at Real Socieded last weekend. Modric, on the other hand, comes back after serving a one game suspension.
Fresh from picking up his UEFA Best Player in Europe award on Thursday, where he beat off competition form Gareth Bale and Antoine Griezmann, Cristiano Ronaldo was asked about news on his proposed contract renewal. “I want that,” said the striker. “I am at the best club in the world and I want to finish there when I’m 41. Now we must go on calmly, but the objective is to extend my contact and stay.” Ronaldo, meanwhile, shared his award with his teammates when he returned to Madrid for training on Friday, posing for a photo with the rest of squad, arm in arm with losing finalist, Gareth Bale.