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REAL MADRID

Real Madrid: Zidane promotes Militao

The Real Madrid defender has gotten off to a slow start at the club but he is making strides forward and Zidane sees him as his third-choice centre-back.

Real Madrid: Zidane promotes Militao

Eder Militao's adaption at Real Madrid has been slow but it is starting to pick up pace. He played the full 90 minutes against PSG in what was a forgettable night for Real Madrid. He also started the Mallorca loss but in the last month, chances dried up. 

During the international break, Tite started him against Argentina and Korea Republic, and Zidane decided to keep that run going against Alavés. Raphael Varane was out with a knee injury and while Militao was nervous in the early going, he eventually got going at Mendizorroza. 

Patience is key for Militao. He has it tattooed on his neck and is having to use plenty of it as he overcomes the leap from Portugual to LaLiga. It's one of the reasons why his managers are partnering him with more experienced defenders. Tite started him with Thiago Silva against Argentina (although he started him with Marquinhos against Korea) and against Mallorca and Alavés, Ramos was put beside him.

Zidane backs Militao despite slow start

For Zidane, despite the fact that he has just arrived and is so young, Militao is the third-choice defender. "I see a very good future," Zidane said before the game against Alavés. "It's true that that he hasn't played much but he's our third central defender and I'm counting on him."

A timid character, and one not prone to speaking outside of his Brazilian friends in the dressing room, the 21-year-old and Casemiro are inseperable. He will likely return to the bench for the Espanyol game but with plenty of games on the horizon, Zidane might rotate heavily before Christmas. They play Brugge in the Champions League despite already qualifying for the last 16, and they have a date at Mestalla against Valencia and one in the Camp Nou against Barcelona coming too.

The Brugge game, in particular, could see him take another step forward in his assimilation into Real Madrid's set-up.