Saturday 25 January 2020

Zidane wants end to booing

Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale. Photo: Reuters/Javier Barbancho
Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale. Photo: Reuters/Javier Barbancho

Head coach Zinedine Zidane hopes Real Madrid fans will not give Gareth Bale a hard time for too long.

The Wales forward came off the bench to a chorus of jeers before helping Real Madrid seal a 3-1 win over Real Sociedad at the Bernabeu.

Bale was sent on for the closing stages with whistles ringing in his ears, following the latest country versus club row during the international break.

The former Tottenham man, though, kept his cool to send over a deep cross which led to Luka Modric wrapping things up with a third goal.

Bale had been criticised in Spain after being pictured celebrating Wales' Euro 2020 qualification victory over Hungary in midweek with a flag which read "Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order".

Zidane, though, called for a sense of perspective after the forward produced a determined display, Real Madrid recovering from a terrible start when Willian Jose punished a poor defensive backpass from captain Sergio Ramos.

"I hope this doesn't carry on for the rest of the season," Zidane said. "We want the fans to be with us from the beginning to the end, but we cannot control that. The public has the right to do what they want, but I ask that they applaud everyone."

After Real recovered from their poor start, Karim Benzema equalised from Luka Modric's free-kick, before a deflected shot from Federico Valverde put the home side in front soon after the restart.

Zidane felt his team had responded well, now back level on points with leaders Barcelona.

"We didn't start well with the ball, we were very slow. Then, the end of the first half was very good and the start of the second half also," he said.

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