Zinedine Zidane has it clear in his mind that the formula for success is to repeat last season’s strategy of rotating his squad, especially in the final stages of the season, where all players will be rested including Cristiano Ronaldo who knows at his age he needs to pace himself to be at his best when it matters.
The five key goals as Real went on to win the league and another ten from the Champions League quarter-finals onwards backs the Frenchman’s strategy for Ronaldo.
What has changed from last season is that the BBC is no longer untouchable as Zidane himself stated when presented as coach and now Ronaldo is the only player who is guaranteed a place in the big matches.
ASENSIO HAS HIS ROLE
As for the other strikers they will have to prove their place with Garth Bale failing to justify a guaranteed place and Karim Benzema already seems ready to be a team player who will have to make way for others when necessary. Asensio has waited patiently for his chance with last season often begun on the bench and now it has reached the point where he is demanding a starting place.
Except for Ronaldo they will be rotated now depending on their form and fitness.
AN IDEA FORMED SEVERAL WEEKS AGO
This idea was not borne out of the draw with Valencia, or indeed recent games where Bale and Benzema have not demanded a starting place, but it is an approach that Zidane has had in his head having watched training and the development of players like Asensio and Isco.
The young players are forcing their way into the team and even Isco has led to Zidane to rethink his formation and used a 4-4-2 system that allows him to play in midfield.
It suits Real to have a system that makes the most of a midfield which has an abundance of talent that has been further boosted this summer with the addition of Ceballos and Marcos Llorente.
It shows again that there is only one player at Real who is above discussion and that is down to the near 300 goals he has in LaLiga and over 100 now in the Champions League.