Zidane praises Gareth Bale performance

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Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

Zinedine Zidane said he praised Gareth Bale for his performance in Real Madrid’s 3-1 LaLiga victory over Real Sociedad on Saturday night.

Bale came on as a second-half substitute to help Los Blancos to a crucial three points at the Santiago Bernabéu, playing a key role in Madrid’s third goal against the Basque side.

It was the Welshman’s first appearance in front of the Madrid fans since posing with the now-infamous flag bearing the words ‘Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order’ after helping his country qualify for Euro 2020 and offending plenty of Madrid fans with the flag.

His introduction was greeted by whistles from the Bernabéu crowd but Zidane was happy with the Welshman’s performance.

“I congratulated Bale on his performance, as I did all of the players,” said the French coach. “I haven’t spoken to him about the jeers. It’s something that has happened to the best players in the past and today it’s Bale’s turn. He came on and did very well and, at the end of the day, we need our fans to get behind us.”

Madrid now head into a crucial Champions League clash against Paris Saint-Germain at the Bernabéu on Tuesday night and Zidane says he needs the fans fully behind the team.

On the whistles for Bale, the Madrid coach said: “I can’t say whether it’s unfair or not. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion and has to make a decision about what they say on it. The important thing in this is us and what we need. As I said yesterday, we need our fans, I can’t control things, nor can Bale or anybody else. We always need our fans’ backing because they give us that boos.”

Bale faces stiff competition for a starting role against the French side with Eden Hazard and Karim Benzema sure-fire starters and young star Rodrygo bagging a hat-trick against Galatasaray in Madrid’s last Champions League match.

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