Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos has said that a conversation with the returning Zinedine Zidane has put him 'at ease' over his place in the first team, and feels he now has a platform to press on and show his best football yet for Los Blancos.
The 22-year-old has had something of a stop-start career in Madrid since joining from Real Betis in 2017, but has featured in both of Zidane's first two matches since he famously returned to the club earlier this month, starting the 4-1 win against Real Valladoid then coming off the bench against Celta Vigo.
So far, it has been an improvement on the stunted involvement he endured throughout ZIdane's first spell in charge, and he has said assurances given to him by the boss over his first team status have motivated him to fight harder than ever for a place in the team
"The return of Zidane can only be positive news following our poor season up to now," he told Spanish radio station Cadena SER, via Marca. "He has always been very clear with me regarding my role in the team and we all know the importance of him to our team.
"He spoke to me recently and told me that he'd been following my matches and that he wanted me to keep playing to the same level.
"He told me that I'd be given the same opportunities as my teammates and that put me at ease.
"I don't think you have seen the best Ceballos at Real Madrid just yet. My dream is to be a success here and that is something that nobody can take away from me."
Real face Huesca after the international break, looking to overtake city rivals Atletico in second place and restore some pride after a damaging season which looks set to end without a trophy.