REAL MADRID

Zinedine Zidane turns to his son Theo as injuries stack up

Real Madrid have a raft of injuries to contend with, leading Zinedine Zidane to call up his third son to the first team to follow in the steps of Enzo and Luca.

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Théo Zidane, en el centro de la imagen, entrenándose con la primera plantilla madridista.
realmadrid.com

Zinedine Zidane has called up his son, Theo, to the Real Madrid first-team squad amid a spate of injuries that has left the Frenchman with little to choose from on match days in recent weeks. Against Getafe a week ago Madrid had just 13 senior players available, forcing Zidane to fill his bench with youth teamers and two keepers. Things were not much better in the 2-0 victory over Valencia, with only three senior outfield players in reserve at the Alfredo Di Stéfano.

With so many first team players out of action or feeling their way back into contention, Zidane has been forced to dip into the youth sides to make up the numbers in training and to fill his bench at the weekends. The likes of full back Lorenzo Aguado, central defender Marvel and midfielder Kenneth Soler have been regulars at the Valdebebas training complex of late and Zidane has now handed his third-youngest son the opportunity to stake his claim.

Theo Zidane with first team for second time

Theo Zidane has trained with the first team before, in October 2019 during an international break. Then, Madrid had 19 first team absentees due to the FIFA fixtures and injuries. A midfielder like his father, the 18-year-old Zidane has represented France at junior level and has already made his Castilla debut. In terms of style, he is the most similar of his siblings to the current Real Madrid boss, possessing a tall frame, a fierce shot and a deft touch, while always seeking to being his teammates into play.

Whether or not his presence on the training ground will translate into an appearance against Valladolid at the weekend remains to be seen but it is inevitable that Theo will eventually become the fourth Zidane to represent Real Madrid. His eldest brother, Enzo, made his debut in a Copa del Rey game against Cultural Leonesa in 2016, scoring in a 6-1 win. The 25-year-old is currently without a club after being released by Almería last October.

Luca Zidane, bucking the outfield trend of his family to play between the sticks, was Madrid’s third-choice stopper in the 2017-18 season and made two league appearances before spending 2019-20 on loan at Racing Santander. He is currently at promotion-chasing Rayo Vallecano in Segunda División.

A fourth Zidane scion, Elyaz, plays as a left back for the Real Madrid under-16 side.