Zidane: Real Madrid not dependent on returning Ronaldo

Zidane: Real Madrid not dependent on returning Ronaldo

Ronaldo still has another of the five-game ban he was given for pushing the referee to serve at the weekend, but his return in Europe should give Madrid both firepower and a confidence boost.

"The same thing happened previous year so we're not anxious at all, the opposite", said Zidane, who is the first coach to successfully defend the European Cup since 1990 and has won seven trophies since taking charge of Real in January 2016.

Madrid went on to win its first league game of the season in his absence, but that was followed by successive home draws with Valencia and Levante.

Asensio has already netted on his debuts in all of La Liga, the Copa Del Rey, Spanish Super Cup, Champions League and European Super Cup.

"You know who Cristiano is", Zidane told reporters at his pre-match media conference.

"I prefer Cristiano to be with us always.

When Horacio called me and told me Real Madrid were interested, I said I just wanted to play there". He transmits that [to his team-mates].

"He's very focused on what he has to do".

"We're happy to have Ronaldo back - physically he is very fit and mentally with all that has happened, with all the talk, he is in a good place".

APOEL have only played one game in the Cypriot first division this season. "He was an important player for them and [the fact] that they could not keep him is a little unusual". "We're all excited to have him back with us".