Real Madrid boss Zidane: "Maybe we are lacking a number nine..."

Real Madrid face Apoel Nicosia on Wednesday at the Bernabeu in the Champions League group stage.

He unleashed a left-footed thunderbolt to help Madrid beat Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup last month and the Spain international claims his club manager has likened him to their bitter rivals' biggest star.

"Zidane told me that since Messi, he had never seen a left foot like mine", he told Spanish broadcaster Cope.

At the end of the day it wasn't to be, above all with Morata.

"I would have liked Morata to stay, but he wanted to play more and to leave. We will get by with the players we have and they will do a good job", commented the Madrid coach.

"I believe a lot in Mayoral".

Zidane will also be able to recall Keylor Navas, Raphael Varane, Casemiro, Luka Modric, Isco and Gareth Bale after they were all rested from the start against Levante at the weekend.

The 25-year-old was part of a prolific attacking force alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez at the Camp Nou, but he has now stepped out to become the main man at Parc des Princes.

He added: "We thought it was strange that Neymar left Barcelona".

Barcelona have begun well and sit atop the table through the first three league fixtures, while Cristiano Ronaldo's five-match ban has had an influence on Real Madrid's two consecutive draws.

"We're not pleased with these results [so far], but this is football". He's an important player in the squad, he's a leader who always wants to win and that rubs off on the others. "No, not really, because I'm very happy here".

  • Ricardo Clara