Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois insists everyone involved with club “loves” Gareth Bale after the Welshman’s helter-skelter summer.
Bale, 30, was handed shock start in Los Blancos’ opening La Liga match against Celta Vigo, and he repaid the faith shown in him by Zinedine Zidane as his opening assist helped the Spanish giants on their way to a 3-1 win.
Five things to know as Gareth Bale survives another summer at Real Madrid…
- Zidane publicly said the Bale was not part of his plans earlier this summer.
- Bale was supposed to join Jiangsu Suning last month on a deal reportedly worth £1m a week.
- But Madrid president Florentino Perez torpedoed the move over a disagreement over the transfer fee.
- A groin injury suffered by new signing Eden Hazard saw Zidane turn to Bale in Real’s La Liga opener.
- Bale assisted Los Blancos’ opener in a 3-1 win over Celta Vigo.
Zidane and Bale have publicly been at loggerheads for the majority of the transfer window. The Frenchman previously opened the door for the former Spurs forward to leave, only for the club to pull the plug on his proposed move to the Chinese Super League at the eleventh hour.
Despite a break down in relations, Bale made the starting XI on Saturday as a result of Hazard’s injury. In the aftermath, Zidane praised his ‘defensive’ display while stating the Welshman “is going to stay”.
Courtois has now chimed in on Bale’s precarious situation at the Bernabeu, pouring cold water on the suggestions he had fallen out with the squad.
He said: “He is an important player and played a great match. Everyone loves him and it is important that he plays for us. We are so happy with Bale.”
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From villain to hero
Despite a negative perception surrounding Bale in Madrid, teammate Casemiro has echoed the views of Courtois and insisted the Wales international is an “important” member of their squad.
He said: “He has given us titles, he’s scored in finals and he has a lot of respect from us all.
“He has to play. He’s a great player and is very important for us.”