Real Madrid

Ceballos expected to play more at Real Madrid

Real Madrid lured Dani Ceballos away from Real Betis last year, but he did not expect to play so infrequently at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Ceballos expected to play more at Real Madrid

Dani Ceballos expected to play more than he has done at Real Madrid following his move from Real Betis, though he insists there is no problem with coach Zinedine Zidane.

The talented midfielder made the switch to the Santiago Bernabeu at the start of the season after an eye-catching campaign with hometown club Betis.

Madrid paid a reported €16.5million for the 21-year-old, as their transfer policy appeared to focus on players tipped for future stardom.

But he has played just nine times in LaLiga, with only two of those outings coming as a starter, and he cannot hide that it has been frustrating.

A brief cameo at the end of a 3-1 win over Leganes in February was particularly disheartening.

"It was a very hard moment, because you play only for 30 seconds and then you arrive home and you're exhausted," he told Deportes Cuatro.

"But many players would like to play for just 30 seconds at Real Madrid, and in the next training he [Zidane] asked for forgiveness – everything is resolved.

"I expected to play more, it's true. My intention is to continue working, get the most out of myself so that when the coach gives me opportunities I can take advantage of it."

Speculation in January suggested Ceballos was a loan target for former club Betis and, although the midfielder acknowledged having contact with their coach Quique Setien, he is not giving up on a career at the Bernabeu just yet.

"It's true that at Christmas he [Setien] made contact with me," Ceballos said. "But my idea was clear, which is to stay in Madrid.

"By the end of the season many things can happen. I have a contract in Madrid. Nothing and no one is going to take away my hope."