Zinedine Zidane believes Gareth Bale “can do the same as Cristiano Ronaldo” after the Welshman’s “crucial” winner for Real Madrid against Real Sociedad.
Bale salvaged a Ronaldo-less Madrid victory for the second week running as his late header on Saturday kept in touch with Atletico and Barcelona at the summit of La Liga, and Zidane claims the former Tottenham Hotspur star has what it takes to replicate the No 7’s impact over a longer period.
“I’m happy for [Bale] when I see him play and score,” the Coach said after the game.
“We could’ve scored earlier, but we had to suffer, fight and work hard until the final whistle against very difficult opponents, so I’m happy.
“[Rotations] mean everyone plays, and that’s important. For a Coach who has 20 or 21 players, it’s crucial.
“We play every three days and it’s difficult to maintain our level. Everyone plays and fulfils [what’s asked of them]. That’s what’s good about this team.
“We won and that’s the most important thing. To go by what others do isn’t important.
“The important thing is to keep picking up points. Now we have to think about resting well and then Wednesday’s game.
“I suffer a lot, with or without Luka [Modric]. It’s what Coaches go through.
“We got a good win with the effort of everyone, and now we can prepare for the game against City in the best way possible.
“I’m happy because we won with the help of everyone but always thought about the game.
“[Toni] Kroos was able to rest completely, at home and thinking about something else [other than the game].
“The others did very well, they picked up points together and the work they did was very good.
“I’d like to think Karim [Benzema] and Cristiano [Ronaldo] will be fit for [the game against Manchester] City.
“I wasn’t thinking about Wednesday's game with the substitutions of Isco and Jese [Rodriguez]. I thought about other players and nothing else.
“I have complete confidence in Lucas [Vazquez] and everyone else who played here and in Manchester.
“We’re showing that we’re a team with many important players. The team are for the collective, and what we’re doing, we’re doing well.
“[Gareth] Bale can do the same as Cristiano by playing many games.
“He’s recovering well physically and is very important for us. He scored a crucial goal.”