Friday, October 18, 2019 | ePaper

In 1 game, Bale shows he can still contribute at Real Madrid

  • Print


AP, Madrid :
Just like that, Gareth Bale is part of the solution for Real Madrid again.
After only one game back as a starter, the player who wasn't wanted by coach Zinedine Zidane a few weeks ago showed he can still contribute to the team.
Zidane started Bale in the team's Spanish league opener on Saturday - less than a month after saying his transfer would be good for everyone - and got a positive response from the Wales forward in a 3-1 win over Celta Vigo.
Bale's good performance was a relief after Zidane and Madrid had struggled to find ways to deal with the forward following failed attempts to transfer him in the offseason. "He is going to stay," Zidane said Saturday. "All the players we have now are focused on the season ahead. Bale and all the players want to stay and want to do their best to defend this jersey."
Bale had a great first half against Celta, setting up Karim Benzema's opening goal with a perfectly placed cross in the 12th minute. He nearly found the net himself a few moments later with a shot that prompted a good save by the opposing goalkeeper.
After being substituted by Francisco "Isco" Alarcon toward the end of the second half, Bale was saluted by Zidane and his teammates on the bench.
"Bale has helped us win titles, he has scored important goals for us," Madrid midfielder Casemiro said. "We have a lot of respect for him. He has to keep playing, he is a great player."
Athletic Bilbao striker Aritz Aduriz returned from his post-match interview to find his teammates applauding him and chanting his name in the locker room.
The 38-year-old veteran had just scored an amazing overhead kick a minute after entering the match in the 88th, giving Athletic an opening win against defending champion Barcelona.
It was the perfect start to Aduriz's final season as a player.
The former Spain international announced he will be retiring this season, ending a career that will include more than 400 matches and 170 goals with the Basque Country club.
"Football is so beautiful sometimes because of things like this. It gives you chances like this," Aduriz said. "It will be impossible not to miss this. I'm just incredibly happy to be able to choose how I'm ending my career, and to be able to do it at the place that I love the most."
Barcelona is off to its worst league start in a decade and injury woes could keep the two-time defending champions from rebounding quickly.
It remains unclear whether Lionel Messi and Luiz Suárez will be available for the match against Real Betis on Sunday, as both continue to nurse muscle injuries.
Messi got hurt in the preseason and didn't play in Friday's 1-0 loss at Athletic Bilbao, while Suárez didn't make it past halftime in the opener.
Messi is expected to return to practice this week and has a greater chance of being in the lineup against Betis, but Suárez is not as likely to be fit in time for Sunday's game.
Barcelona had won 10 straight league openers. Refereeing officials warned before the league started they would not tolerate fouls that could lead to Achilles injuries.
A couple of players got to see first-hand that the officials were serious about their warning, including Luka Modric.
The Real Madrid midfielder was sent off for stepping on an opponent from behind in the team's opener against Celta Vigo on Saturday.

More News For this Category

Barcelona, Madrid Clasico postponed over Catalonia protests

Barcelona, Madrid Clasico postponed over Catalonia protests

Agency :The Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid, Spain's biggest football match, has been postponed due to protests in Catalonia, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) announced on Friday.The two

Teenager Ansu Fati becomes next promising star in Spain

Teenager Ansu Fati becomes next promising star in Spain

UNB, Madrid :A 16-year-old forward born in Guinea-Bissau has become the next promising soccer star in Spain.Ansu Fati, who made his debut with Barcelona this season, has quickly attracted

Kovac tells Bayern to dig in after Hoffenheim slump

Kovac tells Bayern to dig in after Hoffenheim slump

AFP, Berlin :Niko Kovac says Bayern Munich need to prove their shock defeat to Hoffenheim was only a Champions League hangover in their bid to reclaim top spot in

Kim Myong Sun (2nd from right) of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, (DPRK) saves the ball during a women's football first round match between DPRK and Brazil at the 7th International Military Sports Council (CISM) Military World Games in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province on Thursday.

Kim Myong Sun (2nd from right) of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, (DPRK) saves the ball during a women's football first round match between DPRK and Brazil at the 7th International Military Sports Council (CISM) Military World Games in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province on Thursday.

.

Jamal-Saad return home but discussion is going on

Jamal-Saad return home but discussion is going on

Sports Reporter :Bangladesh Football team including Jamal Bhuiyan and Saaduddin returned home on October 15 after a heroic 1-1 draw against their counterpart India at Salt Lake Stadium in

China beat S. Korea 3-0 in women's football opener at Military World Games

China beat S. Korea 3-0 in women's football opener at Military World Games

Xinhua, Wuhan :Yang Li and Zhang Rui combined for three goals as Chinese team clinched victory in their opening match at the Wuhan Military World Games, beating South Korea

President of FIFA Gianni Infantino speaking at a press conference at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in the city on Thursday.

President of FIFA Gianni Infantino speaking at a press conference at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in the city on Thursday.

S.Korean star says N.Korean players 'very aggressive' in historic clash

AFP, Seoul :South Korea's Tottenham Hotspur star Son Heung-min said the historic World Cup qualifier in Pyongyang was a "very aggressive" match that made him fear injuries, with North Korean

UEFA asked to remove Turkey as Champions League final host

AP, Rome :UEFA has been asked to consider moving this season's Champions League final out of Istanbul because of Turkey's military action in Syria.UEFA declined to comment Wednesday about a

Revitalized Italy on brink of record 10th straight win

Revitalized Italy on brink of record 10th straight win

AP, Milan :From soccer flops to the brink of making history, Italy has come a long way in the two years since its embarrassing failure to qualify for the 2018