The midfielder escapes the discouragement that Zidane brought him in his first year at Madrid thanks to the confidence of Lopetegui and Luis Enrique. "Never afraid," say Pepe Mel and Víctor. Few Real Madrid squad players felt a sense of liberation when on the morning of May 31 a message from WhatsApp warned them of the sudden resignation of Zinedine Zidane. One of them was Dani Ceballos. The 22-year-old midfielder, disdained by the French coach in his first year at Chamartín, had decided to ask the club for a transfer. But the hiring of Julen Lopetegui left his request suspended. Four months later, the Basque considered him an important player in his rotation and Luis Enrique reserved a place in his first call with La Roja, with which he made his debut against Croatia. "He arrived very well prepared and has taken advantage of his opportunity in the preseason.The work has a prize, he is living a great start to the season, now he has to have continuity, he is on the right track," Lopetegui encouraged him in the match preview Athletic in San Mamés (20.45 Movistar + Partidazo). Nor did Luis Enrique praise him. "If he accepts the challenge in this way, he will help us a lot," he said. "He is a different player, of those who are no longer there, he does not get over problems, his legs do not tremble". Ceballos finished last season with the belief that his career ran the risk of stagnating if he continued at Madrid. But the arrival of Lopetegui changed everything. The technician phoned him about three weeks before the beginning of the preseason to tell him that he had him. Ceballos, who acknowledged a few days ago on Radio Marca that with Zidane had to resort to a personal trainer to not lose form, cut his vacation for 15 days. I wanted to get one point above the rest.