Zinedine Zidane admitted the 1-0 win over Sevilla on Sunday left him more satisfied than any of the results he has achieved in his second spell at the Real Madrid helm.

Madrid head coach Zidane had come in for increasing scrutiny following the 3-0 Champions League loss to Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday, but Karim Benzema's second-half header against Sevilla meant they returned to winning ways in LaLiga.

Sevilla had won the previous four LaLiga encounters between the two in Andalusia, but they were unable to muster a single shot on target, with Madrid boosted by captain Sergio Ramos' return to their defence.

Asked by Movistar if it was the best game of his second stint having returned in March, Zidane replied: "Yes, it is the game that leaves me the most satisfied since I came back.

"They have all helped each other on the field. We had complicated moments, but the solidarity that existed in those moments is obvious. This field is difficult."

Madrid trio Eden Hazard, James Rodriguez and Gareth Bale all failed to impress in an attacking sense in the victory, though Zidane was quick to highlight the other side of their games.

"We know we can create danger, but everyone's defensive work has been the key to winning," Zidane added.

"The three in particular have done it defending a lot. In a difficult game like today, everything had to be done."

Under-fire coach Zinedine Zidane insists he has no regrets about returning to Real Madrid and says he is not affected by speculation that Jose Mourinho could replace him.

The Frenchman has struggled to rekindle the magic that saw him win three consecutive Champions League titles between 2016 and 2018 since replacing Santiago Solari in March.

Los Blancos have won just two of their four LaLiga games so far this season and slipped to a humbling 3-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Wednesday.

That defeat has led to fresh questions about his future, with the Madrid board rumoured to be considering swapping Zidane for former boss Mourinho.

However, Zidane says he is unfazed by the speculation and remains focused on preparing his side to face Sevilla in LaLiga on Sunday.

"If I read the press, it says I'm gone," he told a media conference. "I feel strong. I have learned to never back down and to keep working until the very last moment.

"I'm not thinking about leaving. I'm only thinking of winning tomorrow. The difficulties that they speak of on the outside are something we can't control.

"I made the decision to come back because I liked the look of the new project. Now I am here, I will try. We have to be together to achieve our objectives."

Asked about speculation that Mourinho could replace him, Zidane added: "It doesn't bother me to hear about Mourinho; it is what it is. Here, you lose one game and you have to change everything."

Sevilla are top of LaLiga after three wins from their opening four games and Zidane says his players need to continue working hard if they are to return to winning ways.

"We must give everything we can to win the game," he said. "It's a difficult stadium but it's always going to be like that.

"We have to keep working hard, prepare well for games and change things around. That's football. We have a chance to change it round quickly. That's what helps me get through.

"We can't talk about everything that goes on outside the club and respond to all the criticism."

Zinedine Zidane is already under pressure at Real Madrid and his latest move displeased the LaLiga giants' board.

Madrid have made a slow start to the season, winning two of four LaLiga games and suffering a humbling defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.

A decision Zidane made after that loss has reportedly upset the leaders at Madrid.

 

TOP STORY – ZIDANE ANGERS REAL MADRID BOARD WITH DECISION

Zidane's decision to give his players a day off on Thursday in the wake of their PSG defeat angered Real Madrid's board, according to Mundo Deportivo.

The latest report just adds to what has been a tough return to the Santiago Bernabeu for Zidane, back at the helm for a second stint.

With plenty of talk around his future, Sport reports it would cost Madrid €80million to sack Zidane, who signed a three-year deal in March.

 

ROUND-UP

- The man Zidane replaced, Santiago Solari, is close to landing a new job. Solari is the favourite to be the first coach of MLS side Inter Miami, according to beIN SPORTS.

- Juventus knew what they needed in the close season. Calciomercato says the Serie A champions prioritised the signing of Matthijs de Ligt for a reported €75m from Ajax over trying to land Joao Felix, who ended up at Atletico Madrid from Benfica.

- Nemanja Matic appears on the way out at Manchester United and Inter have been offered the midfielder, according to Calciomercato. However, the report says Matic is not a priority for Antonio Conte.

- Staying at Old Trafford and Manchester United are holding contract talks with 19-year-old midfielder Angel Gomes, according to the Manchester Evening News. Gomes is in the final year of his current deal and Barcelona are reportedly interested.

- Premier League clubs are on alert with Barcelona wanting to raise funds by selling midfielder Ivan Rakitic and defender Samuel Umtiti, according to the Daily Mail. The LaLiga giants are reportedly looking to raise at least €124m this season.

- AC Milan have held talks about possibly signing 20-year-old San Lorenzo forward Adolfo Gaich, according to Calciomercato. The Serie A side opted not to pursue a deal for the one-time Argentina international in the close season.

Jose Mourinho has refused to declare any interest in a return to Real Madrid out of respect for Zinedine Zidane.

Since replacing Santiago Solari during the second half of last season, Zidane has failed to rekindle the magic that saw him bring three consecutive Champions League titles to the Santiago Bernabeu between 2016 and 2018.

Wednesday's humbling 3-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in Europe's top competition led to fresh questions about his future, although former Madrid boss Mourinho declined to put himself forward as an alternative during an interview with Deportes Cuatro on Friday.

"There are two types of rumours. One, when one speaks about Zidane, who is one of ours and it hurts us when our teams aren't going well," he said.

"You have to live with it. Zidane is in football all his life and he knows it. The other type of rumour is to put my name in there and I don't like that. There are problems in many places, but another thing is [to have] respect.

"I wouldn't like to return [to Madrid] because they have a manager and I can't coach a team who have a manager.

"You can speak with respect about the club but also about the manager, who isn't just anyone.

"I am out of it. I'm not just blowing smoke. I would like that things turn out well and everything gets fixed."

In fact, Mourinho pointed to the early standings in LaLiga, where Madrid are ahead of champions Barcelona by a point and can overtake leaders Sevilla with victory at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan this weekend, to suggest the picture in the Spanish capital is not as gloomy as some make out.

"They're third or fourth, no? Close to being first. It's not bad," he said.

"If you look at if pragmatically, if you focus on the table, they're right there.

"Now, they play Sevilla and if they win, they go ahead of them. Barcelona are behind them and Atletico are a point ahead."

Mourinho suggested he could be ready to take his talents elsewhere when he goes back to work, with a piece of information that is unlikely to go unnoticed in the Bundesliga's upper echelons.

"Now, I am in German classes in case one day I end up there, or so I can speak one day in this language for a Champions League game," he added.

"It will be my sixth language."

Real Madrid can overcome their indifferent start to the season and deliver a major trophy, according to Kaka.

After finishing 19 points behind LaLiga winners Barcelona and being eliminated from the Champions League by Ajax in the round of 16 last season, Madrid have won just two of their opening five competitive matches of 2019-20.

Draws against Real Valladolid and Villarreal in LaLiga and a 3-0 defeat at Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League have left coach Zinedine Zidane's position under threat at a club where he won three consecutive European titles in his first spell as coach.

Kaka, who won the LaLiga title with Madrid in 2011-12 and the Copa del Rey a season earlier, noted the expectation around Santiago Bernabeu, telling Omnisport: "For Real Madrid, we always have to win something.

"Of course, this is the pressure for Zidane – he needs to win something. LaLiga or the Champions League. These are the two championships that are the most important for the supporters and the club.

"Of course, he knows that. I think Real Madrid as a very good team, very good players and an unbelievable coach.

"Real Madrid is ready to win something this season again."

Madrid's €100million close-season signing Eden Hazard came in for criticism after a disappointing performance at Parc des Princes, where Zidane substituted him after 70 minutes.

However, Kaka believes the Belgium international will thrive in Spanish football.

"He's very good and playing in Spain gives him a little more space than here in England," Kaka said of Hazard.

"He'll have the chance, when he gets used to playing in Spain, he'll be more comfortable and we will see a lot of magic from Hazard as well."

Speculating on whether Hazard can compete with Lionel Messi for the LaLiga limelight in the way that Cristiano Ronaldo did during his spell at Madrid, Kaka added: "I think we were lucky to watch these two players [Messi and Ronaldo] playing in a battle against each other. It was really, really nice.

"Now, we love to see how Real Madrid are going to handle Barcelona, how Real Madrid can win the league again. And, of course, Hazard will be one of the keys for these chances for Real Madrid.

"If they are going to create this rivalry between Hazard and Messi... we will see."

Eden Hazard's performance in Real Madrid's 3-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain was criticised by former Barcelona and Brazil forward Rivaldo, who said Los Blancos "escaped a historic beating" at Parc des Princes.

Former Chelsea player Hazard mustered a solitary shot off target and a single key pass before Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane replaced him with Lucas Vazquez in the 70th minute, with PSG leading 2-0.

Rivaldo said he was impressed by the French champions but questioned the strength of Zidane's squad after Madrid laboured in the absence of the injured Luka Modric and suspended Sergio Ramos.

"PSG offered an exhibition even without Neymar and Mbappe, their biggest stars," Rivaldo told AS. "Real Madrid escaped a historic beating.

"Eden had a bad debut match in Champions with Real Madrid, but even when you're a great player you need your teammates to help you shine and prove your worth.

"When you don't have enough players to supply replacements with the same quality, then the matter can get ugly. I think Zidane might be forced to go to the January market to recruit one or two great signings for the team.

"I think Zidane has a lot of work ahead to return this team to what it was when he won three consecutive Champions Leagues."

Looking at his former club Barcelona, Rivaldo issued a word of caution to those talking up the potential of 16-year-old playmaker Ansu Fati.

The Guinea-Bissau-born teenager has made three LaLiga appearances for Ernesto Valverde's side this season and was given his Champions League bow in a goalless draw with Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday evening.

Fati played 59 minutes of a cagey match before being replaced by Lionel Messi, but Rivaldo said it is too soon to draw comparisons between the two.

He said: "It would be putting too much pressure on his shoulders. He is still a kid who is not yet even a member of the first team. We will give him time and space to play his football and in the future we will see whether or not he is the new Messi."

Zinedine Zidane criticised Real Madrid for a lack of intensity during their 3-0 Champions League loss to Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday.

Madrid were humbled at the Parc des Princes, where an Angel Di Maria brace and a late Thomas Meunier goal saw the Ligue 1 giants to victory in their Group A opener.

Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema had efforts ruled out for Madrid, who fell to a PSG side that were without Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani.

Zidane, whose team failed to record a shot on target, was unhappy with Madrid's intensity in Paris midweek.

"They have surpassed us in everything, especially what bothers me is the intensity," the Madrid head coach told a news conference, via AS.

"At this level, in this competition, it is complicated if you don't enter the field well. They have surpassed us."

Zidane added: "They are good at creating chances. What has worried me is to see my team without the necessary intensity.

"We know that the opponent was going to put a lot of pressure on us. We have almost never entered the game. We had only two chances and made two goals, but the VAR has ruled them out."

Di Maria opened the scoring for PSG when the attacker beat Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois at his near post in the 14th minute.

However, Zidane refused to blame his shot-stopper – later beaten by Di Maria from 20 yards before Meunier's late sealer – following the defeat.

"We are all in the same boat. When we win, we all win. And when we lose, we all lose," he said.

"I don't want to point at anyone. It is everyone's fault when it is lost."

While Madrid failed to have a single shot on target in a Champions League game for the first time since Opta started recording the data in 2003-04, Zidane is unworried about his side's ability to create.

"I didn't like not creating opportunities with the players we have on the field. It is what it is. We have almost never entered the game," he said.

"I am not worried. Normally we have occasions."

Angel Di Maria stepped up in the absence of Paris Saint-Germain's first-choice attacking trio by delivering a double in a 3-0 Champions League victory over a lacklustre Real Madrid.

Thomas Tuchel was unable to pick the suspended Neymar or injured duo Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani for the Group A clash at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday, but Di Maria played a starring role against his former club.

Despite having Eden Hazard, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale on the field together for the first time, Madrid lacked sharpness and were put to the sword by the Argentina international twice inside 33 minutes.

Bale had what would have been a spectacular goal ruled out for handball after a VAR review and Zinedine Zidane's side were punished for failing to register a single shot on target when Thomas Meunier compounded their misery at the culmination of a stoppage-time counter-attack.

Pablo Sarabia appealed for a penalty when he kicked the ball against the arm of Eder Militao – making his first Madrid start with Sergio Ramos suspended – in the first minute, but on that occasion referee Anthony Taylor was unmoved.

PSG were rewarded for their vibrant start in the 14th minute when Mauro Icardi, handed a full debut after his deadline-day loan move from Inter, combined with Juan Bernat, who squared for Di Maria to stab past Thibaut Courtois at his near post.

After Hazard and Bale fired narrowly off target, PSG doubled their lead when Idrissa Gueye teed up Di Maria and the ex-Madrid winger fired a stunning drive home from the edge of the box.

Bale thought he had halved the deficit two minutes later when he lobbed former team-mate Keylor Navas, only for a VAR intervention to reveal the ball touched his arm while he juggled it before shooting.

Di Maria scooped a chance to complete his hat-trick over before Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting replaced Icardi in the 60th minute, while Courtois did well to keep out Sarabia.

After PSG lost Marquinhos to injury, Benzema had a goal ruled out for offside and headed narrowly wide with 12 minutes remaining.

Madrid crumbled in the 91st minute when full-backs Meunier and Bernat surged forward and the Belgian slotted home to round off an impressive win for the hosts against the shot-shy 13-time champions of Europe. 

 

What does it mean? PSG in pole position

With Club Brugge and Galatasaray – who played out a 0-0 draw earlier on Wednesday – the other teams in Group A, PSG and Madrid have been tipped to battle it out for top spot. Victory over Los Blancos in Paris handed Tuchel's team the advantage, and when they visit the Santiago Bernabeu in November they should prove even more dangerous opponents with Neymar, Mbappe and Cavani likely to be available for selection.

Formidable Gueye dictates the play

Gueye was everywhere for PSG, dominating the midfield in a way that offered Marco Verratti more creative license. The Senegal international showed great energy to maintain the high press and stifle Madrid, while also adding an assist for Di Maria's second goal.

Militao missing at key moments

When Bernat burst down the left to set up the opener, Militao made no move to get across and put Di Maria under pressure. The Brazil international then allowed Di Maria to peel off him far too easily before he drilled in the second.

What's next?

PSG face a tricky trip to Lyon in Ligue 1 on Sunday, with Madrid visiting LaLiga leaders Sevilla on the same day.

Eden Hazard is ready to start Wednesday's Champions League clash against Paris Saint-Germain, according to Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane.

The Belgium international, who joined Madrid from Chelsea in June, has only recently returned to training following a thigh injury and made his debut in Saturday's LaLiga victory over Levante as a second-half substitute.

The Spanish giants kick off their campaign to win a 14th Champions League title at PSG and Zidane is confident Hazard will feature from the start.

"You will see how we're going to play tomorrow, but Hazard is ready to play and ready to start," he told a media conference. "We've had some good training sessions recently and he's ready."

Zidane was quick to praise French striker Karim Benzema following PSG boss Thomas Tuchel's assertion that he is "fantastic and undervalued".

"It hasn't been easy for him but he's always showed the kind of player he is," he added. "He's a goalscorer but that's not the most important thing in football.

"He's a team player and that's what I like the most. I think he's fantastic, just like Tuchel said. I think the same way."

James Rodriguez played the full 90 minutes of the weekend win over Levante, teeing up Benzema for Los Blancos' second goal.

Zidane would not be drawn on whether he would start against the Ligue 1 champions, but he did praise the Colombia international's versatility.

"We'll see, because he can play everywhere, but it's true that it is easier for him to play up front," he said. "It's important for him to be in good form and he is. His position on the field can change because he is a quality player."

Madrid and PSG are red-hot favourites to progress from Group A, which also includes Club Brugge and Galatasaray, with Zidane suggesting the French champions have enough quality to go all the way.

"PSG is also a favourite in the Champions League because they are a great team," he said. "They are always dangerous although sometimes they do not get the expected results.

"But it is a team that is dangerous, which they show every weekend. With [Edinson] Cavani, [Kylian] Mbappe and Neymar they are better, but they are a team that is at a very high level even without those three."

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said Eden Hazard was still some way short of being match fit after a low-key debut in Saturday's victory over Levante.

Hazard made a subdued start to his Madrid career with an appearance as a second-half substitute in a 3-2 win against Levante at the Bernabeu.

The Belgium international, who joined Madrid from Chelsea in June, has only recently returned to training following a thigh injury.

Hazard showed a few nice touches after he came off the bench in the 60th minute, although the 28-year-old forward was far from his sparkling best.

"When he touches the ball he has a lot of versatility," Zidane said.

"But what he needs now is to train more. He has only done four workouts with the team.

"The second half was more complicated for us, especially at the beginning. When the opponent scores a goal after three minutes it is difficult.

"But we got three points. We must not look for excuses, the important thing is to keep the first part of the game and play more minutes as the first part. We can improve a lot, we have to play better."

Real seemed to be cruising victory against Levante after two goals from Karim Benzema and one from Casemiro put them 3-0 up at half-time.

However, Borja Mayoral, on loan at Levante from Madrid, and Gonzalo Melero reduced the deficit.

Madrid’s defensive shakiness almost allowed Levante to take a point and the capital giants have yet to keep a clean sheet this season.

Zidane was full of praise for Benzema, who took his tally to four goals in four LaLiga matches, but acknowledged the need for an improvement from his struggling backline.

"What I can say about Benzema is keep it up," Zidane added. "We are very happy to see Benzema like this. We have seen Karim's ovation from the supporters.

"The defence? It doesn't worry me, although we have to improve and we are going to do it.

"Physically, maybe, the international break could be noticed but I don't want to look for excuses.

"I know we are going to score more goals and concede less."

Eden Hazard helped lift the growing gloom around Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid as he made his long-awaited debut in a 3-2 LaLiga win at home to Levante on Saturday.

Amid driving rain in the Spanish capital - Hazard must have thought he would play in better conditions after leaving London - he made a bright half-hour cameo from the bench.

A thigh injury delayed the Belgium star's debut but after skipping international duty during the break he was finally able to pull on the famous white shirt he has so long desired.

But as Paco Lopez's side battled back from 3-0 down at the break to almost snatch a point, Thibaut Courtois making a fine save to keep out Ruben Vezo's stoppage-time header, it is clear Hazard will not be able to fix all Madrid's problems on his own.

Hazard certainly adds variety to their attacking options. Zidane initially fielded him in a free role ostensibly operating on the left, his favoured position for club and country, filling the void where Cristiano Ronaldo thrived for so long before joining Serie A giants Juventus last year.

That meant the effervescent Vinicius Jr swapped wings and played on the right, with Lucas Vazquez - one of Zidane's favourites - switching inside to a more central role than his usual position on the flank. Hazard did occasionally pop up on the right and also in a more classic number 10 role, so it appears Zidane is going to give the Belgium star plenty of freedom to run his side's attacks.

Hazard replaced Casemiro - the Brazil midfielder having scored the third goal - even though Los Blancos were being dominated in the second half, ex-Madrid striker Borja Mayoral having cut the deficit to 3-1. Toni Kroos therefore dropped back into the shielding role in front of defence and Zidane still has to fit Ballon d'Or winner Luka Modric back in after he was ruled out by injury.

Victory was set up by Karim Benzema, who scored twice in the first half to help build Madrid's commanding lead. At 2-0, he had scored nine of Madrid's past 11 LaLiga goals at home, while his tally in the league since the start of the year stands at an impressive 19.

Benzema has often been under-rated by fans and pundits during his time at the Bernabeu, but not by Zidane. Other coaches have failed to fully appreciate his understanding of the game and ability to bring others into play, which will be crucial if Hazard is to shine. 

A perfect example of his all-round skills was provided by Madrid's second goal, with Benzema linking up perfectly with James Rodriguez before slotting a low finish past Aitor Fernandez. Benzema would have had the matchball to show for his efforts had the woodwork not denied him, the crowd later giving him a rousing reception when he was replaced by Luka Jovic.

It was arguably telling that although Hazard, Jovic and Eder Militao all came off the bench, Zidane's starting XI - as long as you include James, who spent the past two years on loan at Bayern Munich - did not include any of the new signings provided by Florentino Perez.

Cracks have already reportedly begun to show in the relationship between Zidane and Perez, who failed to deliver Paul Pogba for his coach, so this was a welcome win, albeit by a far narrower margin that Madrid's vibrant first-half display deserved.

Zidane had made it clear the World Cup winner was a key target, adding mobility and drive to a central midfield department that has grown stale, but Pogba could not be prised away from Manchester United despite telling reporters he was ready for a new challenge.

Hazard will instead be relied on to provide Galactico stardust, but he will hope to have a greater impact than the time-wasting job he carried out in the latter stages as Madrid clung on.

Zidane and Madrid could celebrate a much-needed win after successive LaLiga draws, though, ahead of Wednesday's Champions League trip to Paris Saint-Germain, where Hazard will surely make his first start.

Eden Hazard made his Real Madrid debut as they claimed a nervy 3-2 victory over Levante in LaLiga thanks to two goals from Karim Benzema.

A brace from Benzema, plus a goal from Casemiro, ensured Madrid were firmly in control when 3-0 ahead at the break before a second-half fightback from the visitors.

Borja Mayoral, on loan at Levante from Madrid, pulled a goal back and the home team conceded again when Gonzalo Melero headed in from a corner, with Thibaut Courtois preserving their lead with a fine save in the closing minutes.

Hazard, who joined from Chelsea, was given a warm welcome when introduced on the hour, the Belgium forward having missed his new club's opening three games of the season with a muscle injury.

Eden Hazard has been named in a Real Madrid matchday squad for the first time since joining from Chelsea as Levante visit the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.

The Belgium international signed in a deal that could reportedly cost €140 million, but a thigh injury suffered in August proved an early disruption for the winger.

Coach Zinedine Zidane has stressed the need to go easy on Hazard following the injury, particularly as they head into a period that will see them play seven matches in 21 days.

But Hazard has been deemed fit enough to at least feature from the bench, as he takes a place among the substitutes against Levante.

Madrid have been particularly unlucky with injuries in recent months, leaving them with only three senior midfielders to play on Saturday; Toni Kroos, Casemiro and James Rodriguez, all of whom start.

New signing Alphonse Areola is on the bench following his arrival from Paris Saint-Germain, while 18-year-old Brazilian Rodrygo Goes is also among the substitutes for the first time in LaLiga.

Gareth Bale is missing through suspension after being sent off in the 2-2 draw with Villarreal before the international break.

Alphonse Areola is intent on making the most of his opportunity at Real Madrid as he looks to emulate his goalkeeping idol Iker Casillas.

France international Areola is on a season-long loan deal from Paris Saint-Germain to Madrid, with Keylor Navas heading in the opposite direction.

The 26-year-old is likely to back up Thibaut Courtois, who has started in Madrid's opening three LaLiga outings.

Areola acknowledged it will be a tough task to oust the Belgian as number one yet revealed the chance to join Madrid was too good to turn down, citing Los Blancos' iconic former goalkeeper Casillas as an influence on his decision.

"I have spoken to my friends and family about what it means to be number one in this side," Areola told a news conference when asked about following in Casillas' footsteps.

"Casillas was one of my idols when I was young in France, he made me want to play in goal. In fact, I've got a shirt of his from when I was young. 

"I think it's good to try and take on this responsibility to be number one and try and prove I can be number one.

"It's true, I only have one year on loan here, but I've seen the stadium, the history here and I'm going to do as much as I possibly can. 

"Of course, there's a hierarchy already but as soon as I get the chance I'm going to try and show the level I've got. 

"It was a good opportunity to come to the biggest club in the world and take advantage of that, to improve as a player and discover a new opportunity. It's a great opportunity for me."

Areola added another deciding factor in his transfer was Zinedine Zidane, with the goalkeeper honoured to be playing under a France legend.

"It is true I am coming to a club that is coached by a legend," he said. "It is an honour for me to be here with Zidane, to play under him, and I am going to do the best I can for him.

"He's given me a great welcome. My objective is to give everything I can every day in training, be ready for every game. When I have a chance to show my level, show how good I can be, I have to be strong and show what I am worth."

Areola is set to be in Zidane's squad for Saturday's meeting with Levante, before Madrid travel to Paris for a Champions League clash with his former club.

Zinedine Zidane has opposed Gareth Bale's view of being made a scapegoat at Real Madrid while praising the winger's "amazing" ability.

Wales international Bale almost moved to Chinese side Jiangsu Suning during the transfer window after being told he was free to leave Madrid.

Los Blancos boss Zidane made the decision following months of speculation over their seemingly fractured relationship but the Madrid board blocked his departure at the last minute.

Bale, while on international duty last week, claimed to have been "made more of a scapegoat than most" for the team's shortcomings, a belief not shared by his head coach.

"No, I think we're all guilty if things go wrong or if things go right," Zidane said.

"It's up to us, all of us, we're all in the same boat. We want to change things when things don't go right. We're thinking as a team mentality."

Initially on the outer during the pre-season tour to the United States, Bale has since returned to the first-team fold.

The 30-year-old started each of three club's three LaLiga games before the international break, scoring twice.

"I've always said he's got amazing quality, Gareth Bale," Zidane said.

"He's a great player. What happened in the summer, everyone knew the situation. Now he's here, I'm happy, he's happy, everyone is happy, the fans as well.

"Now we have to move forward."

Bale's reinstatement to the starting XI has partly reduced the opportunities for Vinicius Junior, who has been restricted to one start and a pair of cameo appearances this term.

Zidane, though, is adamant chances will come for the young forward.

"I completely trust Vinicius, I can guarantee that," the Frenchman said.

"I'm his coach. I've got 23, 24 players to choose from but Vinicius is just 19, he's playing for Real Madrid.

"It's like everything, things take time. He's in a process to improve, like all players are. Perhaps at times he won't play because someone else will come in.

"Then you go and get your headlines, you say 'he doesn't want to pick Vinicius' but that's not the point. He will play."

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