Zidane: "Gareth will be a key player for us again"

Robbie Dunne


Zinedine Zidane press conference: as it happened!

There was another question asked about Bale being a part of the team and feeling tuned into the squad again.

"I'm counting on Bale and that's nothing new. He will be tuned in again."

Zidane also says that Madrid fans "have to be with Gareth" in what sounded like he was pleading with the fans to keep the boos to a minimum on Saturday if Bale appears. "When you look at what Gareth has done....the people have to be on his side."

Zidane says that he isn't getting involved in the Bale stuff that is said outside of the team. "It's all too much," he said. "There has been a lot of noise on the Bale stuff but I look at him from a footballing point of view."

He says that Bale is a player in the team and will be counted on with so many important games coming up. "He looks pretty happy to me," he said. "I saw him very, very happy when he scored the goal in the Champions League final."

The message is fairly clear then that Bale is being counted on and might even play tomorrow.

"He wants to play. He doesn't like that we talk about him. It's all too much. He wants to play. He wants to play with us. We have lots of games to play, important games."

"Bale can be decisive," Zidane said. "He is a very, very important player. Everyone is different, and now he is here and I'll be counting on him."

"Everything," Zidane says about what he is worried about with Real Sociedad. "They won't surprise us. They're a good team, a young team and it's a team that likes to play, tries to press."

"Tomorrow is more important, tomorrow we have a game and I'm not looking ahead of that," he says when asked about PSG game next week.

"I'm not interested in this," he said. "Everyone has their opinion. Bale is my player, he played for Real Madrid and that's all I'm interested in."

"The only difference I see with Wales and Real Madrid is the language," Zidane said when asked about Bale being happier playing with his country.

"I'm not going to tell you," he said about his starting XI. He says they have a lot of games coming up and he'll tell his players what's going to happen.

"What I can say is that he is here with us, he went away after the injury and he's back now and he's available."

"The people have to be with Bale because he's with us," Zidane says about Bale and whether the fans will welcome him back tomorrow.

"I speak with Bale the same as I talk with the rest of the player. We say hello, I talk to him about what he can do on the field and that's it."

Fourth question and the third one about Bale.

"What I will say is now, always the same," Zidane says. "He's with us, I am always with the players. We can only look at what happens inside the team."

Zidane says he only looks at Bale from a sporting angle and he doesn't think about what's said outside about that.

"the most important is for me, and for him, is to concentrate on football. Everyone has an opinion. At the end, it's something that's too much. We know the situation. We have him back and we are delighted to have him back."

And then Bale's flag comes up.

First question he is asked about integrating players back in after international break. "We accept it, we have just 48 hours but we are ready. It's an important game for us tomorrow."

Zidane is out!

Training is over and we should have Zidane at the podium soon.

The golf jokes just never stop!


Jonathan Barnett is unconcerned about Bale's situation. He says the flag stunt was 'for the media'.

Another talking point is Eden Hazard's weight and him not being at his best. It hasn't really been talked about but he admitted himself that at one point in the summer, he weighed 80 kilos! He said 'when I'm on holidays, I'm on holidays....' The Belgian is coming into a little bit of form though and Zidane will need him to keep improving for the Real Socieda game.

Bale trains again with Real Madrid. 

He did train with the team though after returning from international duty. It will be interesting to see what Zidane does at the weekend with his squad.

If you've been residing on another planet for the last few days, you might have missed the 'Wales, golf, Madrid' flag and the ire it has drawn from Madrid.

Aside from all of the news swirling around about Gareth Bale and his 'Wales, golf, Madrid' flag stunt, Real Madrid play a top of the table clash against Real Sociedad on Saturday night at the Santiago Bernabéu.