This weekend saw Gareth Bale return to action for Real Madrid in a game against Espanyol during which the Welshman scored one of the team’s two goals.
Bale had been side-lined for 88 days after he damaged his ankle ligaments in Real’s 2 – 1 Champions League group stage victory over Sporting CP in November.
Manager Zinedine Zidane said that he was happy to see the player back in action and gave him a 20 minute run out on his return. Bale then doubled the team’s advantage with seven minutes left to play, latching onto Isco’s pass and hitting a shot across Diego Lopez into the far corner of the net.
Speaking after the game Zidane said, “I am happy for his return, but above all for him. He wanted to be back with us, on the pitch again, to feel like a player. Gareth is Gareth. We have just one Gareth. He is a special player, of course, different to the others. But each one brings his grain of sand to the team. That is important.”
Real Madrid also set a new club record of scoring in 42 consecutive games. However, Cristiano Ronaldo failed to score for the second consecutive game.
Nonetheless, Zidane was unconcerned “We know he is like this. He always scores, so when he doesn’t we might see that [frustration]. He does not look anxious to me, he is fine, happy. This game was the same as against Napoli, he ran a lot for his team-mates. I am not concerned, he will make differences in key moments for us.”
He went on to say that the team is made up of players that are happy to help when their moment comes and that it is important they feel that way as they are all important to the team.