"What interests me is that everyone can play".
"I was a little impressed, because Messi is a piece of a footballer".
"Now we need experience", he said of their attempt to match the likes of Madrid. "We are happy to have him back, physically he is very fit, and mentally with all that has happened, all the talk, he is very good". Cristiano brings not only goals, but is a leader as well and he always wants to win.
Ronaldo's return boosts Real's attack after a disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Levante on Saturday, their second successive home draw which left them trailing early LaLiga leaders Barcelona and Real Sociedad by four points. Besides Karim, we have Gareth [Bale] and Cristiano. "He was an important player for them and [the fact] that they could not keep him is a little odd". Every game, even a friendly, there is pressure here. Remember - we had to reduce gap to the top-four sides, now we're fighting again to reduce the gap with these type of clubs in the Champions League. Madrid are always favourites, but we know what we must do to above all start the competition well.
He is clear to play in the Group H clash against Cypriot champions APOEL, and Zidane said: "He's in a very good mood and is very happy to play, because this is what he really loves, playing football".
"Rafa [Varane] is fine now, fully recovered, he will be with us", Zidane said.
Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC.