Zidane urges Madrid fans to get behind Bale

Gareth Bale is fully committed to Real Madrid despite his apparent jibe at the Spanish media, says manager Zinedine Zidane.

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane backs Gareth Bale, highlighting his importance to the side.   -  Getty Images

Zinedine Zidane has called for the Real Madrid fans to get behind Gareth Bale despite his well-publicised Wales celebrations this week.

Bale was pictured singing and dancing behind a banner that read 'WALES. GOLF. MADRID…IN THAT ORDER' following his country's 2-0 win over Hungary on Tuesday that secured them qualification to Euro 2020.

The slogan originates from a chant by Wales supporters that pokes fun at perceptions among the Spanish media, which have accused Bale of bumping Madrid down his list of priorities and spending too much time on the golf course.

Bale's celebrations drew the ire of Madrid fans and many national newspapers with Marca leading with the headline 'DISRESPECTFUL. WRONG. UNGRATEFUL. IN THAT ORDER'.

But Madrid head coach Zidane defended Bale, who almost left for China in the close-season, and urged the club's supporters to get behind the former Tottenham man.

"Those who really support the club, those who come to the stadium, know he's a Real Madrid player," he said.

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"You shouldn't look at what goes on elsewhere, you have to support the team, the players, you have to get behind the side.

"I will always support my players. Things might go on outside the Real Madrid environment but we're in this together."

Zidane was quizzed repeatedly about Bale ahead of Saturday's home game with Real Sociedad and was quick to highlight the player's achievements in Spain.

He added: "I think sometimes people go over the top with this topic, everyone has their point of view, we're here to focus on football. 

"I think it's almost the snowball effect. He was fit and could play with the national team, [now] he's here, available and we're delighted. 

"He's done a lot for this club. I'm only concerned with the sporting side. I'm not here to speak about the rest, I'm not interested. I know a lot of people are but not me."

Bale has not featured for Madrid since the 4-2 win over Granada on October 5 with an injury picked up during last month's international break blamed for his absence.

Madrid has a tough run of fixtures coming up, including Tuesday's Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain, and Zidane insists Bale has an important role to play in the coming weeks.

"I know what Gareth can bring to the side. We have lots of games and all the players have an important part to play," he said.

"He wants to play and I'm sure he doesn't like being talked about in this manner. He wants to play, he wants to be here with us and now we have lots of games coming up, some very important games and he's going to be fully committed to the cause."

Asked if he had spoken with Bale since his return from international duty, Zidane said: "I talked with Gareth as I do all my players, I said hello, we had a chat.

"I'm not interested in talking about events elsewhere. He's in good shape, he's trained well."

It was put to Zidane that Bale's delight after Wales' qualification was in contrast to his mood in the Spanish capital.

Zidane believes difficulties with learning Spanish could be a contributing factor but feels Bale is content at Madrid.

"I think the language might play a part. After he scored the goal in the Champions League final he looked very happy and he was a Real Madrid player," Zidane said.

"He said it was a language barrier, a language thing. He gets on with the players in the dressing room."

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