‘He has played an important role’: Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane praises Uruguayan midfielder Fede Valverde for great performance in victory against Granada
Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane was full of praise for 21-year-old midfielder Fede Valverde after a standout performance in Saturday’s win against Granada.
Goals from Karim Benzema, Eden Hazard – who got his first for the club – Luka Modric and James Rodriguez sealed a 4-2 victory at the Bernabeu, with Valverde also playing a starring role.
Valverde, who signed for Madrid in 2016 from Uruguayan club Penarol, has forced his way into the starting XI recently and played astutely alongside Casemiro in midfield as Real bounced back after their 2-2 draw to Club Brugge in the Champions League.
Fede Valverde impressed on Saturday and could nail down a regular spot in the starting XI
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane referred to Valverde’s work-rate for the second goal
‘Valverde was great today, and I am very pleased for him,’ said Zidane. ‘He is dedicated to improving and he shows that in training and now in games.
‘He has played an important role in this game – the second goal (for Hazard) was down to his work to get to the ball.’
Valverde also spoke afterwards about his desire to nail down a starting role consistently.
James Rodriguez came on and scored his first goal of the 2019-20 season in stoppage time
The door may have opened for the Uruguay international, as Toni Kroos was taken off injured, Modric is only just returning to full fitness and Lucas Vazquez is sidelined.
‘To be a winner, you need to overcome obstacles in football,’ Valverde said.
‘I know that, and that motivates me in what I try and do at Real Madrid. I am very happy here, I try to train and work as hard as I can. The manager is showing that he has faith in me, and that gives me confidence.’