Zidane hints at Bale return

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has hinted that Gareth Bale is nearing a return to fitness. “He’s now working on the pitch with his boots…”

Bale has been missing since Madrid’s 2-1 win against Sporting CP on November 22 with an ankle injury, but – speaking after Sunday’s 3-0 victory Real Sociedad – Zidane appeared to suggest the forward would be back soon.

“More than a victory? It’s a very important victory for us after a difficult few days,” the Coach said after the game.

“It was a very complete match against a very complicated team to face. It was very important for us to have kept a clean sheet. In addition to that, results have favoured us.

“We must thank the Bernabeu. Sometimes the whistles affect us, but today they were very good and together we’ve achieved something important.

“We went to press at the start of the game, but we made a bit of a mess of it. I wasn’t happy, so in the second half we changed.

“We dropped a little deeper and came out more on the counterattack. Eusebio is right, sometimes possession isnt everything.

“The first goal, for example, we worked on it a lot, with Karim, Cristiano and Kovacic coming from behind. This makes me happy.

“It was a fair scoreline, we didn’t give many chances away and that’s very important.

“Defensively we were very solid. Although in the first half we dealt with the pressure poorly, we rectified it in the second and it is what it is.

“It’s motivating, of course, when you see your opponents drop points, they make you want to do better.

“Ronaldo? I don’t think they booed him, we must thank the crowd, it was an important victory.

“Bale? He’s now [working] on the pitch with his boots. Kovacic? I’m happy with him. Every time he plays, he does well, today he scored a goal and I liked his performance a lot. A player of his level is very good for Madrid.

“Copa elimination? I’m not happy about it, I wanted us to stay in it, but it’s true that we now have more time to prepare for the game against Napoli.”

Tags Gareth Bale Zinedine Zidane