Real Madrid boss Rafa Benitez says his players are confident ahead of this afternoon’s game against Espanyol and are well able to cope with the absences of James Rodriguez and Danilo.
The pair picked up injuries on international duty and will be sidelined for around a month. Daniel Carvajal and Isco are expected to cover.
Speaking ahead of the game, Benitez told reporters he was pleased with what he’d seen in training and the squad was excited to get back to league action after the two-week break for international fixtures.
“We are excited, enthusiastic and confident, we also really respect the opponents. The best thing I can say about my group of players is that they train really well. The players that remained here during the break have trained brilliantly. Those that have returned have trained well and with enthusiasm,” he stated.
The former Liverpool and Napoli boss went on to give his thoughts on the international games and like he’s stated on previous occasions, believes there are too many matches and the demands on players these days is immense.
“I mentioned it at a managers meeting. There are too many games. Someone decides the way things are done. We see that players are going to play unimportant games. I think it is good that FIFA provides compensation for injuries. They should do so according to the damage caused to teams. If a player worth millions goes and plays an unimportant game, gets injured and continues to be paid by the club, and the club cannot do anything, then paying compensation is absolutely essential,” he commented.