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Lopetegui has given me confidence: Ceballos

Written By: Sumedh Sengaonkar
Dani Ceballos

Kolkata, August 10: Signed as a promising player under Zinedine Zidane, Spaniard Dani Ceballos did not have his time under the sun at Santiago Bernabeu last season.

The central midfielder was largely restricted to the reserve bench and was completely overlooked by Zidane.

However, as Madrid begins life without Zidane this season under new coach Julen Lopetegui, Ceballos has admitted it could be a new era personally for him as well.

The 22-year-old started in just four La Liga matches following his arrival from Real Betis and previously admitted he had expected to play more in his first season.

And his fortunes turned in the pre-season itself as Ceballos was named in the line-up for all three of Madrid's International Champions Cup matches.

"I am feeling confident, and also I have the confidence of the coach," Ceballos told Real Madrid TV.

"I am trying things that I didn't try before. Having this confidence is almost 80 per cent of a player, for them to play at their best.

"The coach's confidence is paramount to playing well. I feel comfortable and I hope to find my place at Real Madrid.

"Lopetegui has given me that confidence."

The loan move of Mateo Kovacic to Chelsea means Ceballos is the first choice back-up for Toni Kroos and Luka Modric. However, it’s highly unlikely that Ceballos will start ahead of the midfield maestro.

"I'm improving day by day and now I feel more confident, better physically and tactically, understanding everything that Lopetegui has to teach us."

Ceballos enjoyed three seasons of regular first-team football at Betis, where he made 46 La Liga starts between 2015 and 2017. He was bought in along with Theo Hernandez last season as Madrid’s regular young signings of the season.

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    Story first published: Friday, August 10, 2018, 10:40 [IST]
    Other articles published on Aug 10, 2018
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