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Real Madrid: Zidane's 11 games offer up clear casualties

In terms of game time, Gareth Bale, Marcos Llorente, Sergio Reguilón and Dani Ceballos were the chief victims of Zinedine Zidane's return.

Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - Real Madrid v Real Betis - Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain - May 19, 2019   Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane shields his eyes from the sun   REUTERS/Juan Medina

A comparison of the distribution of playing time at Real Madrid under Los Blancos' three head coaches this season - Julen Lopetegui, Santiago Solari and Zinedine Zidane - shows that Sergio Reguilón and Dani Ceballos were the chief victims of the LaLiga club's final change of boss in 2018/19.

Indeed, only Vinicius played less under Zidane following his March re-appointment in place of Solari - and that's chiefly because the starlet missed almost two months after damaging ankle ligaments days before the 46-year-old took over. 

Reguilón emergence brought to halt by Zidane

Having displaced Marcelo under Solari, Reguilón saw the Brazilian restored to the status of first-choice left-back in the wake of Zidane's return, while Ceballos had his involvement cut in half: after being fielded for 43% and 42% of Madrid's total minutes by the Frenchman's predecessors, he then had to settle for 18%.

Players' game time under Lopetegui, Solari and Zidane:

*Brahim Díaz was signed after Lopetegui's departure.
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*Brahim Díaz was signed after Lopetegui's departure.

Rollercoaster year for Llorente

Marcos Llorente had a topsy-turvy campaign: a fringe figure during Lopetegui's early-season stint in charge, the midfielder then began to make a real impact when Solari took the helm in October - only to see his progress curtailed by hamstring problems. He was then largely overlooked once more after Zidane's arrival.

Bale actually involved more under Zidane than Solari - but...

Gareth Bale is an interesting case, meanwhile. Left out of each of the last three matches of the season by Zidane, his percentage under Lopetegui was nearly 30% higher than under 'Zizou' - but it was technically Solari's tenure that brought the Welshman's most sporadic game time this term. 

However, there is a clear explanation for this: the ex-Tottenham man, who has been told by Zidane that he is surplus to requirements at the Bernabéu, sat out eight fixtures through injury during Solari's four-and-a-half month reign.


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