MADRID: Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is confident the team's results will not suffer from a one-year transfer ban imposed by FIFA for breaking rules regarding the signing of under-age foreign players.
FIFA rejected the appeals by Real and Atletico Madrid against the punishment which prevents the two La Liga clubs from registering new players during the next two transfer windows. "I don't think the ban will affect us because I'm very happy with the team that I have," Zidane told a news conference on Friday. "I have a big roster. I'm happy with the players and they are happy with me. If we have to have the same team for two or three years, it's not a problem."
Zidane is, however, is concerned at how the ban will affect the youth section of Real. The Frenchman has two children under 18 who play in Real's youth system. "I don't understand the ban," Zidane said. "I can speak with regards to my children. They were born here, have lived here all of their lives, and it's absurd that they can't play football. It bothers me and I don't understand what is going on. I hope there can be a solution found.
"The club is going to do all that it can to change this. We have to wait because the ban has just come out and I hope things are resolved."
Zidane's primary focus is on Saturday's home game against Osasuna and the expected return of Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema from injury.
Without the two, Real won their opening two league games, a 3-0 triumph at Real Sociedad and a 2-1 win over Celta Vigo.
Zidane did not reveal if Ronaldo, who got hurt in Portugal Euro 2016 final victory over France, will start on Saturday. "Cristiano is very happy to be with us," Zidane said. "Sixty days have passed since he last played a game and we have to give him time. He is an important player for us and I always want him with me.
"I'm happy to see that all the players are well after the international break. Tomorrow we have a difficult game and we need to be at our best to win."