Gareth Bale: Zinedine Zidane rejects ‘amazing’ Real Madrid winger’s scapegoat claim


The Frenchman says he has been happy to have a “great soccer professional” like the Wales star in his squad but rejected claims that he has been unfairly criticised

Zinedine Zidane has opposed Gareth Bale’s view of being made a scapegoat at Real Madrid while praising the winger’s “amazing” ability.

Wales international Bale almost moved to Chinese side Jiangsu Suning during the transfer window after being told he was free to leave Madrid.

Los Blancos boss Zidane made the decision following months of speculation over their seemingly fractured relationship but the Madrid board blocked his departure at the last minute.

Bale, while on international duty last week, claimed to have been “made more of a scapegoat than most” for the team’s shortcomings , a belief not shared by his head coach.

“No, I think we’re all guilty if things go wrong or if things go right,” Zidane said.

“It’s up to us, all of us, we’re all in the same boat. We want to change things when things don’t go right. We’re thinking as a team mentality.”

Initially on the outer during the pre-season tour to the United States, Bale has since returned to the first-team fold.

The 30-year-old started each of three club’s three La Liga games before the international break, scoring twice.

“I’ve always said he’s got amazing quality, Gareth Bale,” Zidane said.

“He’s a great soccer professional. What happened in the summer, everyone knew the situation. Now he’s here, I’m happy, he’s happy, everyone has been happy, the fans as well.

“Now we have to move forward.”

Bale’s reinstatement to the starting XI has partly reduced the opportunities for Vinicius Junior, who has been restricted to one start and a pair of cameo appearances this term.

Zidane, though, has been adamant chances will come for the young forward.

“I completely trust Vinicius, I can guarantee that,” the Frenchman said.

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“I’m his coach. I’ve got 23, 24 players to choose from but Vinicius has been just 19, he’s playing for Real Madrid.

“It’s like everything, things take time. He’s in a process to improve, like all players are. Perhaps at times he won’t play because someone else will come in.

“Then you go and get your headlines, you say ‘he doesn’t want to pick Vinicius’ but that’s not the point. He will play.”


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