Zubi backs Martino on Bale

Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta has backed Tata Martino on comments made about Gareth Bale, and defended Neymar’s slow introduction.

The Catalans’ Coach commented at the weekend that Real Madrid’s world record move for the Tottenham man ‘lacked respect’, prompting Carlo Ancelotti’s reaction the next day.

“The Coach of Barcelona can have an opinion on Bale and it is appropriate to as this is what is happening in his field of profession,” reflected Zubizarreta on the matter this week.

“He didn’t say anything other than what is thought by people outside of football.

“There is a point of excessiveness to everything and that can be said of football too.

“There will be no slap on the wrist [for the Coach].”

Barca’s own record buy this summer, Neymar, has notably only been involved from the bench so far this season as he integrates at the club.

It was put to Zubizarreta that in Lionel Messi’s absence, the Brazilian could have started against Malaga in Sunday night’s 1-0 win at La Rosaleda.

“The issue with Neymar has been explained very well by Tata. We have not signed Neymar for a game or two. We have signed him for several seasons.

“That Messi does not play does not mean that he has to play. He has done very good things.

“He is a player that we know and who has much to give. When he is 100 per cent integrated, we will see him more.

“We expect all the fouls and the whistles also. He has shown a great ability to adapt to our team and our League.

“I do not know whether he will play against Atletico Madrid [in the Supercopa de Espana second leg on Wednesday]. Our Coach picks the team.”

Tags Bale Martino Neymar Zubizarreta