Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos has admitted that the lack of first team opportunities under previous manager Zinedine Zidane was frustrating for him.
Ceballos moved to the Santiago Bernabeu last summer from Real Betis but only made 12 La Liga appearances during the campaign, and saw only 82 minutes of action in Real’s successful Champions League run.
In an interview with Marca, Ceballos claimed that Zidane had made it clear that he preferred other players, even changing his system to accommodate them instead of Ceballos.
“During the regular season, I felt frustration and resentment towards Zidane,” Ceballos admitted.
“There was a moment in the season when both Kroos and Modric were injured but he opted to change the style of play to bring in others players instead. It burns you a little and hurts you.
“We were 15 points behind Barca and only had the Champions League to look forward to but I also did not enter those dynamics.”
Things are looking up for Ceballos under new manager Julen Lopetegui, as he has featured in two of Real Madrid’s three La Liga matches so far this season.
Ceballos claims that Lopetegui is the “best coach we could have” and has been impressed by his fellow Spaniard’s new style.
“He is trying to impose his style, which is different from the one we had last year,” said Ceballos.
“He wants a serious team who is ambitious with the ball. He likes to play with lots of possession and an attacking instinct.”
Ceballos has played 24 times for Spain at under-21 level but remains without a senior cap. However, he may get his first chance at senior level soon after getting called up to Luis Enrique’s squad for the upcoming Nations League fixture against England.