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  Bale is vital for Real Madrid: Zinedine Zidane

Bale is vital for Real Madrid: Zinedine Zidane

AFP
Published : Jan 7, 2016, 4:49 am IST
Updated : Jan 7, 2016, 4:49 am IST

Gareth Bale trained for the first time under the orders of new Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane on Wednesday after missing the French legend’s inaugural session on Tuesday due to a minor muscle injur

Zinedine Zidane
 Zinedine Zidane

Gareth Bale trained for the first time under the orders of new Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane on Wednesday after missing the French legend’s inaugural session on Tuesday due to a minor muscle injury.

Zidane has insisted that Bale, who has scored seven goals in his last five games, will be central to his plans despite reports in England that the Welshman had been unhappy with the sacking of Rafael Benitez after just seven months in charge on Monday.

“I can understand that he might feel aggrieved by Benitez’s departure but I will show him the same affection that he had from Rafa,” said Zidane.

“He’s a vital player for the team.”

Preparations for Zidane’s debut in senior management against Deportivo la Coruna on Saturday, after 18 months in charge of Madrid’s feeder team Castilla, continued with what the club described as a 90-minute long “strenuous session”.

Captain Sergio Ramos wasn’t able to train with his teammates, though, due to an injury problem.

Zidane, a former star player with Real whose stunning winning goal against Bayer Leverkusen earnt the club the 2002 Champions League, played down comparisons between himself and Pep Guardiola, the former Barcelona coach.

Guardiola was also a star player in the Catalan capital before becoming their most successful coach ever during a trophy-laden four-year spell in charge at the Camp Nou. “Guardiola is Guardiola, he’s an incredible coach but I’m not going to compare myself to him,” said the 43-year-old Frenchman.

Real mad to appoint Zidane: Hitzfeld In Berlin, Real Madrid’s decision to appoint Zinedine Zidane as their new coach has been described as “madness” by former Bayern Munich boss Ottmar Hitzfeld in an interview with Swiss daily Blick.

“For him (Zidane) it is like winning the lottery jackpot. It is madness,” said the 66-year-old Hitzfeld, who ended a stellar coaching career after taking Switzerland to the 2014 World Cup.

Hitzfeld added that the former France great “is only living off his illustrious name as a player.”

“Zidane has proved nothing as a coach and he is now in charge of the biggest stars in the world. It is an incredibly difficult task although I hope it goes well for him.”

Location: Spain, Madrid