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REAL MADRID

Zidane's inclusive policy

The Real Madrid coach took advantage of the commanding lead at Eibar to give preciously needed minutes to Vinicius, Brahim Díaz and Isco.

Zinedine Zidane had the opportunity to show the softer side to his management on Saturday at the Ipurua stadium, giving opportunities to three players that were in dire need of his affection.

The French coach likes to adopt an inclusive policy. And with the game wrapped up at 4-0 against Eibar after an hour, he introduced Isco, Vinicius and Brahim Diaz – the former two coming on in the 72nd minute, while the latter was introduced in the 81st.

None of them really had a major impact the game, aside from a couple jaunts down the left-wing by Vinicius. But it was an example of the conciliatory nature of Zidane, who wanted to give minutes to perk up three players going through difficult moments of late.

Vinicius, Isco and Brahim

Vinicius was recalled after having been left out of the squad for two of the three previous fixtures. The Brazilian forward has not started a game since Mallorca on October 19 and his lack of efficacy in front of goal has cost him, especially now with the emergence of Rodrygo, who is less colourful, but more effective than, his fellow young compatriot .

Isco is nowhere near the player he was under Santiago Solari exactly one year ago at the Ipurua; while Brahim currently has no place in Zidane’s plans, although the French coach had shown a liking for him last season.

Rather than leave on loan in the summer, the young ex-Manchester City midfielder wanted to stay and play his part. He will hope to gain more minutes in the second half of the season, that is, of course, if he doesn’t eventually take up a loan assignment in January.

Rodrygo and Jovic

It’s not the first time that Zidane has shown affection for players in the form of minutes. He did the same with Rodrygo, bringing him on for the last 20 against Osasuna after he had missed several games, largely due to injury. And the Brazilian took advantage of his opportunity by scoring his debut goal. From there, he has onky gone from strength to strength.

Jovic also received his dose of affection on October 30 at the Bernabéu against Leganés. The Serbian -- who had not had much luck in the Madrid shirt up to that point and was still looking for his debut goal -- came on in the 70th minute with Los Blancos comfortably dominating the game. They were the perfect circumstances for the 21-year-old striker, who managed to score two goals in goals in 20 minutes, although, one of which was ruled out.