Zinedine Zidane was happy for Rodrygo Goes and Vinicius Junior after the teenagers helped Real Madrid to a 2-0 win over Osasuna on Wednesday.

Vinicius, 19, opened the scoring with a 20-yard stunner before Rodrygo, 18, marked his debut by netting after coming off the bench in the LaLiga victory.

Zidane praised the duo for their impact as Madrid moved a point clear atop the LaLiga table.

"I'm glad for them. Many times we forget that they are 18 years old [sic]," the Madrid coach told a news conference, via AS.

"We have seen the emotion they had of scoring in the [Santiago] Bernabeu. I like Rodrygo's goal."

Vinicius' goal was his first for Madrid since February as he made the most of his third LaLiga start of the season.

Zidane said the goal was important for the Brazilian, while he also praised 21-year-old Uruguayan midfielder Federico Valverde.

"I always try to give them confidence because they are very young boys," he said. "We are here for everyone to improve and I'm happy for him [Vinicius] because he needed this goal.

"We will continue now and try to rest well thinking we have a game on Saturday. It has been a good game in everything.

"Fede Valverde has played a great game and I'm glad because he is very young and has an extraordinary future."

Madrid, who face Atletico in the derby on Saturday, have won back-to-back games since their Champions League loss to Paris Saint-Germain last week.

Asked if Madrid had returned, Zidane said: "We are working and believe in what we do.

"Today, we are happy."

Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo Goes can become key players at Real Madrid, according to Lucas Vazquez.

Madrid went top of LaLiga after the Brazilian teenagers scored in a 2-0 victory over Osasuna at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.

Vinicius curled a fine strike home with the aid of a deflection to end a barren run that stretched back to February, and he went off for Rodrygo to make his first appearance since arriving from Santos in the 71st minute.

Rodrygo took just 93 seconds to open his account for Madrid – the quickest goal for the club by a player making their LaLiga debut since Brazil icon Ronaldo in 2002.

Vazquez has no doubt the pair will go on to become integral members of the team.

"We are very happy for the two signings made by the club," Vazquez told Movistar.

"They will calmly evolve and improve. They have the attributes to be two stars."

On Vinicius' goal, he added: "We are very happy for him. He is an incredible guy who works really hard.

"Today he helped the team with the goal and we are happy."

Zinedine Zidane made eight changes from the team that beat Sevilla 1-0 at the weekend, with Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Eden Hazard among those rested.

"The coach has done the same thing [rotated the line-up] throughout his career, with all the members of the squad. This year will be the same," said Vazquez.

"We are happy with the philosophy and I am happy to take advantage of those minutes. I think the victories come from the humility of the group."

Madrid are back in action against local rivals Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday.

Rodrygo Goes became Real Madrid's quickest debut goalscorer in LaLiga since Brazil icon Ronaldo when he wrapped up a 2-0 victory over Osasuna on Wednesday.

Rodrygo, signed by Madrid for a reported €45million in June 2018 but loaned back to Santos for a year, took just 93 seconds to score on his first appearance for Los Blancos.

The Brazilian 18-year-old replaced Vinicius Junior, who had broken the deadlock, in the 71st minute and opened his account by dribbling in from the left and curling a fine finish into the far corner of the net.

It was the fastest a Madrid player had scored on their league debut since Ronaldo, who needed just 62 seconds to strike against Deportivo Alaves in 2002.

Vinicius Junior and debutant Rodrygo Goes earned a much-changed Real Madrid an uninspiring 2-0 win over Osasuna at the Santiago Bernabeu that sent them top of LaLiga.

Brazilian teenager Vinicius was clearly emotional after finding the net for the first time since February, though a deflection helped his effort beat Ruben Martinez in the 36th minute.

Luka Jovic had what would have been a maiden Madrid goal ruled out by VAR in the second half, but Rodrygo marked his first appearance since arriving from Santos in the close season by opening his account within two minutes of replacing Vinicius.

The victory should ease the pressure on Zinedine Zidane, but Saturday's clash with Atletico Madrid – one point behind Los Blancos in second – will be the real litmus test for the security of his position.

Zidane made eight changes to the team that beat Sevilla 1-0 at the weekend and Sergio Ramos, Casemiro and Toni Kroos were the only players retained.

Madrid took 18 minutes to come to life, with Alvaro Odriozola surging down the right and sending in a low cross that Ruben was fortunate to stop Raul Navas turning into his own net. The rebound fell kindly to Jovic, but the striker blazed over from six yards.

Kroos sent a blistering effort flashing past the post before Vinicius broke the deadlock when his shot from the edge of the box took a touch off Navas and sailed into the top-right corner, the Brazilian almost reduced to tears.

Jovic was unable to punish a defensive lapse from Osasuna within five minutes of the restart and he had a goal correctly disallowed for offside upon review before the hour mark.

Vinicius made way for 18-year-old Brazilian Rodrygo and in the 72nd minute he jinked in from the left, beat Lillo and curled a great finish into the bottom-right corner to consign Osasuna to their first defeat of the season.

 

What does it mean? Zidane keeps stars fresh

By resting his first choice attacking trio of Eden Hazard, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale, Zidane will be feeling positive ahead of the trip to the Wanda Metropolitano.

Thibaut Courtois, Raphael Varane and Dani Carvajal were unused substitutes, while James Rodriguez only played eight minutes off the bench.

Rodrygo makes instant impact

Rodrygo was expected to split his time between the first team and Castilla this season, but Zidane may be keen to keep him around after a stellar cameo sealed victory for Madrid.

Jovic fails to step up

With Benzema having scored five goals in his past five LaLiga appearances, chances for Jovic to lead the Madrid attack are going to be limited for the foreseeable future. The Serbian was unable to take the chances that came his way and can expect a swift return to the bench.

What's next?

Zidane's side meet Atletico in El Derbi on Saturday and Osasuna travel to Levante the following day.

Barcelona will host Real Madrid in the first Clasico of the season on October 26, with LaLiga confirming it will be an early kick-off at Camp Nou.

Defending champions Barcelona beat Villarreal at home this week to move up to fourth in the table, but Madrid could go top with a win at home to Osasuna on Wednesday.

In the last Clasico, played at Camp Nou in March, Ivan Rakitic scored a delightful winner in a 1-0 victory to send Barca 10 points clear at the summit.

Captains Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos were also involved in a flashpoint during a fiery clash, but Barca's talisman was withdrawn at half-time against Villarreal with a groin problem.

That was Messi's first start of the 2019-20 season after a calf injury sidelined him in the early weeks of the campaign.

Kick-off for the Clasico has been set for 13:00 CET (12:00 BST).

 

 The kick-off times (CET) for Matchday 10 in #LaLigaSantander . pic.twitter.com/kcq9cKpQO9

— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) September 25, 2019

Zinedine Zidane has left Gareth Bale out of the Real Madrid squad to face Osasuna at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.

Madrid could potentially go top with a third successive LaLiga victory but head into the midweek clash without winger Bale.

According to reports in Spain, the Wales international has been rested with a view to keeping him fresh for Saturday's derby date with Atletico Madrid.

Bale has forced his way back into Zidane's plans this term, starting five competitive matches and scoring twice after almost leaving for China.

Ferland Mendy, only recently recovered from a hamstring issue, will also miss the Osasuna match after suffering an abductor injury in his left leg.

Isco, Luka Modric and Marcelo all remain unavailable despite being described as "about ready" to return at Zidane's pre-match news conference on Tuesday.

Zinedine Zidane defended Real Madrid's backroom team and said a congested fixture list was the main factor behind a lengthy injury list that now includes full-back Ferland Mendy.

Madrid confirmed on Tuesday that Mendy, who joined from Lyon for €48million in June, has suffered an abductor injury in his left leg.

The France international completed 90 minutes in the 1-0 win over Sevilla on Sunday but is now set for another spell on the sidelines, having previously suffered a hamstring injury shortly after he joined Los Blancos.

Zidane is already without fellow left-back Marcelo, as well as Luka Modric, Marco Asensio and Isco, but denied the slew of injuries was anything to do with his medical staff.

"I'm not worried but it does bother me that we have a lot of injuries," the Madrid coach said at a news conference.

"I don't want to see my players injured but that is part of football, we can't control it. You can take great care of the players, the backroom staff are very good. But not just that, you need sometimes a bit of luck.

"[Mendy] is an important player for us but things happen. In the games you have lots of demands. Really, nowadays players aren't resting.

"We have seven games in 21 days, they've all played for their international sides and they're going to have more international games after these games. It makes things difficult.

"Everyone can have an opinion and say, 'We are doing this is wrong' but we need a bit of respect for these people – they are proven that they know their jobs.

"We work hard in pre-season, it's necessary to do that. There's lots of reasons why people can get injured in games and you have to accept it. It's not just Real Madrid that have injuries, all clubs do."

Zidane's side, who lost 3-0 to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last week before returning to winning ways against Sevilla, face Osasuna on Wednesday prior to meeting Atletico Madrid in the derby on Saturday.

They then have home fixtures against Club Brugge and Granada before the next international break in early October.

"Current players nowadays are playing every three days," Zidane said.

"They went off with their international sides, they go off afterwards, there's no rest. When I played, we played 45 [games], now they're playing 60. It's almost two seasons in one at the moment. Perhaps this is the problem.

"Football changes and we're playing 60, 65 games and that gives you problems. I think it's complicated when you have players that go off to international sides.

"It's difficult sometimes when you lose and you give players a day off and you get criticised as well. There's a planning behind all of this. It's all planned.

"There's a lot of travelling, minutes on the pitch, so there will be injuries. Players aren't machines, they're human beings."

Zidane added that Marcelo, Modric and Isco were "about ready to come into the squad" following their lay-offs.

Vicente del Bosque prefers Neymar to Kylian Mbappe at Paris Saint-Germain, even though he thinks the Brazil star's behaviour can cause problems.

Neymar has made an impressive return to first-team action with the Ligue 1 champions, having missed five of their opening seven games in 2019-20 in all competitions.

The forward's pre-season was blighted by an ankle injury that saw him miss the Copa America, and he was then kept out of the PSG side by head coach Thomas Tuchel during an uncertain transfer window.

The 27-year-old failed to secure a return to Barcelona before the transfer deadline, though, and has scored exceptional late winning goals in his performances against Strasbourg and Lyon since.

Despite raising concerns over whether he could ever be considered an "example" in the game, former Real Madrid and Spain boss Del Bosque would gladly have Neymar at his disposal.

Speaking to Cadena SER, he said: "Between Neymar and Mbappe, I like Neymar right now. He does a lot of b******t and he's not an example for anything, but as a player he's terrific.

"Mbappe has qualities to be the successor to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, but he still needs to refine things a little. It's a little like it is with Vinicius [Junior]."

Del Bosque was speaking after Barcelona captain Messi was awarded The Best FIFA Men's Player prize for 2019, ahead of Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk and Juventus forward Ronaldo.

"For me, yes, Messi is the best ever, but that's not to detract from Ronaldo," was Del Bosque's assessment.

"Last year, someone dared to claim that Cristiano Ronaldo was finished, that it didn't matter if he left [Madrid]. Messi and Cristiano have no limits."

Del Bosque has been out of football since leaving his Spain post following Euro 2016, where they lost to Italy in the last 16.

The 68-year-old won the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 with the national team, having previously won two LaLigas and two Champions Leagues in a four-year spell as Madrid head coach.

Given those achievements, he has no desire to come out of retirement.

"I don't miss the dugout. Would I come back? No way - not a chance. I don't miss anything. I've already been in the two best places I could be," Del Bosque said.

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos says he would have become a tennis player if he wanted individual trophies as he delivered a dismissive appraisal of The Best FIFA Football awards.

Lionel Messi took the men's prize for 2019 at the gala in Milan on Monday, beating Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk and Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo. United States star Megan Rapinoe won the women's trophy.

Jurgen Klopp won The Best FIFA Men's Coach award for guiding Liverpool to Champions League glory, edging out Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola and Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino.

Ramos was present at the ceremony after being named in the FIFA FIFPro Men's World11 for the 10th time in his career, but he would prefer to swap any individual accolades for team trophies, with Madrid having won only the Club World Cup last season.

"I'd prefer to not come here and for Real Madrid to win titles," Ramos said following the event at Milan's famous La Scala opera house. "If I'd wanted to win individual titles, then I'd have dedicated myself to tennis.

"When the team wins, we always win. It wasn't a good season last year, but it's a good sign that Real Madrid have players in the XI."

There were some surprising choices in the FIFA FIFPro Men's World11, a line-up of the best players of 2019 as voted for by fellow professionals.

Ramos, Marcelo and Luka Modric, the winner of The Best FIFA Men's Player prize in 2018, were included despite difficult campaigns for Madrid in 2018-19.

The inclusion of Marcelo was particularly questionable, the Brazil full-back having lost his place as undisputed first choice at the Santiago Bernabeu over the past year, starting just 21 LaLiga games last season.

"He's one of the best in the world," Ramos insisted when asked about Marcelo. "Everyone is free to comment. It's hard to please everyone."

Real Madrid have set their sights on Mauricio Pochettino to be their next coach and they are also interested in a Premier League star, according to reports.

Pochettino has regularly been linked with a move away from Tottenham, where he has impressed since taking charge in 2014.

And the LaLiga giants are said to be eyeing the Argentinian amid pressure on Zinedine Zidane.

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID EYEING POCHETTINO, STERLING

Real Madrid are ready to make an approach for Pochettino, according to The Mirror.

The Tottenham manager will be Madrid's top target if they decide to replace Zidane, the report says.

Madrid eased the pressure on Zidane with a 1-0 win at Sevilla on Sunday, moving them level on points with LaLiga leaders Athletic Bilbao.

Meanwhile, The Athletic reports Madrid met with Manchester City star Raheem Sterling's representatives during the off-season and the attacker is keen to play for the LaLiga giants one day, while the Premier League champions are confident the England international will stay.

 

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United have made a poor start to the season, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is set to get backing in January. The Daily Mail reports United will back Solskjaer if he wants to strengthen his team, who are eighth in the table.

- Needing to bolster their defence, Juventus could make a move for Paris Saint-Germain full-back Thomas Meunier in January, according to Tuttosport. A deal could include midfielder Emre Can heading to Paris.

- Previously linked with Manchester United, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is set to renew his contract at Lazio, according to Il Messaggero. The deal, to be worth €3m per season, will reportedly be done by December.

- Mario Mandzukic is still unsure about his future. Tuttosport reports clubs in Qatar are still trying to sign the Juventus striker, but the Croatian may instead wait for a move to the Premier League in January.

- Italy youth international Sandro Tonali is catching the eye at Brescia. AC Milan and Manchester United are monitoring the 19-year-old midfielder, according to Calciomercato.

- Staying at Milan, Calciomercato says the Serie A giants are still looking at PSV forward Donyell Malen. The 20-year-old Netherlands international has scored seven goals in six Eredivisie games this season.

Eden Hazard believes Real Madrid "can dream of a great season" despite an indifferent start to the campaign.

Madrid have won three of their opening six competitive games of the season, including a much-needed 1-0 victory over Sevilla on Sunday that eased the pressure on coach Zinedine Zidane.

With three wins from five in LaLiga, Madrid are level with leaders Athletic Bilbao on 11 points.

Hazard, who has made just two league appearances this season after a thigh injury, said there was always pressure to deliver at Madrid and the playmaker is confident of success.

"When you play for Real Madrid you have to win every game, that's how it is, that's why it's the best club in the world, because you always have that pressure," he said on Monday after being named in the FIFA World XI.

"But we have a quality team. It was difficult but we won at Sevilla, a stadium where it is never easy.

"In the Champions League too, it's still important even if we lost our first game against Paris, but we can dream of a great season with the team we have."

Madrid host Osasuna on Wednesday before a derby clash against Atletico three days later.

Liverpool duo Alisson and Virgil van Dijk lined up alongside familiar faces Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the FIFA FIFPro Men's World11 for 2019.

Messi and Ronaldo were voted in by their fellow professionals for a 13th straight year, maintaining their ever-present records since 2007.

Goalkeeper Alisson and centre-back Van Dijk have been rewarded after helping the Reds to Champions League glory earlier this year, although they missed out on the Premier League title to domestic treble-winners Manchester City - who were not represented in the XI.

Real Madrid have the most players with four, albeit Eden Hazard only moved to the Spanish capital in the close season from Chelsea after winning the Europa League in his final game for the English club.

Madrid stalwarts Sergio Ramos and Marcelo were chosen to join Van Dijk and another Dutchman in Matthijs de Ligt at the back, while Luka Modric - winner of The Best FIFA Men's Player award in 2018 – kept a place in midfield.

Messi, who scooped the individual honour this year ahead of Van Dijk and Ronaldo, was joined by new Barca team-mate Frenkie de Jong, while Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe completed the forward line.

FIFA Men's Best XI: Alisson (Liverpool); De Ligt (Juventus), Van Dijk (Liverpool), Ramos (Real Madrid), Marcelo (Real Madrid); Modric (Real Madrid), De Jong (Barcelona), Hazard (Real Madrid); Ronaldo (Juventus), Messi (Barcelona), Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)

Ernesto Valverde is facing a big week at Barcelona.

Valverde is under pressure early in the season after Barca slumped to a 2-0 loss at Granada to be left with just seven points from their opening five games of the LaLiga season.

Now, the next week is shaping as crucial for Valverde.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA PLAYERS LOSING CONFIDENCE IN VALVERDE

Several Barcelona players have started to lose confidence in Valverde, according to ESPN.

With seven points from five league games, Barcelona have made their worst start to a season since 1994-95.

Monday's cover of Sport says Valverde needs an urgent reaction, with his side hosting Villarreal on Tuesday and visiting Getafe four days later.

 

ROUND-UP

Barcelona are keeping an eye on Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz. Barca's sporting director Eric Abidal was present as Fabian scored in Napoli's 4-1 win over Lecce on Saturday, according to Calciomercato.

AC Milan want to strengthen at right-back and are considering Tottenham defender Serge Aurier, according to Sportmediaset, amid suggestions Andrea Conti is struggling to impress.

Jose Mourinho has had chances to return to management and the former Real Madrid and Manchester United boss apparently turned down a surprise opportunity last year. Fichajes reports Boca Juniors tried to convince Mourinho to take over, but the Portuguese tactician said he was not yet ready to leave Europe.

Everton have made a slow start to the Premier League season and are assessing ways to strengthen their attack. The Daily Express reports they are interested in signing Yussuf Poulsen from RB Leipzig. The Denmark international scored 15 Bundesliga goals last season.

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."

Sergio Ramos said Real Madrid were "hungry and angry to win" as they beat Sevilla and bounced back from their loss to Paris Saint-Germain.

A humiliating 3-0 loss to PSG in the Champions League in midweek left Madrid with just two wins from their opening five games in all competitions, raising questions about head coach Zinedine Zidane's future. 

However, Karim Benzema's 64th-minute header ensured Los Blancos got back to winning ways against the previously unbeaten Sevilla as Zidane's men moved level with early leaders Athletic Bilbao on 11 points from five LaLiga matches.

Captain Ramos, who missed the PSG loss through suspension, claimed Madrid's desire for success cannot be questioned.

"We have achieved the goal and managed to be calm for a week, after what has been said," Ramos told Movistar.

"Madrid is always hungry and angry to win. The team is always very optimistic. The team's getting better.

"We are tied with Athletic on the table and we have to keep trying to improve as a team and above all take advantage of the occasions like today."

Sevilla had won four in a row at home in the league against Madrid but failed to register a shot on target in the entire match.

"We knew the difficulty of the game," Ramos added.

"It had been years since the team [Sevilla] did not win here. We have come with a very strong mentality, with the intention of committing the minimum possible errors."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.