Less than a month ago, Real Madrid boss, Zinedine Zidane, had revealed publicly- on more than one occasion- that he did not want Gareth Bale, in his squad.
However, after sensationally failing to get rid of the Bale from the Real roster, the Frenchman has made a startling admission about the Wales star just two games into the new La Liga campaign, and insisted that the Spanish giants ‘are counting on him’ this season.
Bale’s future at Real was unclear all summer after initially falling out of favour with Zidane, and forward, who was also linked with a number of Premier League clubs and Bayern Munich, came close to a move to China.
No concrete bids were made for the Welshman though, and Bale has since been integrated back into the starting team at the Bernabeu and has started both of their La Liga matches this season.
When asked about Bale’s future after the 1-1 draw with Real Valladolid on Saturday, Zidane revealed the former Tottenham player no longer wants a move away and will be a crucial player for the club this season.
‘What has changed is that the player wants to stay, nothing more,’ Zidane said.
‘What is interesting for us, in the first place, is that the player wants to stay at the club, that is the most important thing.
‘Now, there have been a lot of things said about this situation and I have talked about it too, but the most important thing is that the player wants to stay and we are counting on him.
‘He is a really important player for us and he has demonstrated that and right now he has to keep doing what he has done.’
Real Madrid were however denied victory in their first home La Liga match of the season despite having Gareth Bale in their team.
The hosts drew first blood against Valladolid, with Karim Benzema grabbing his second goal in as many games to put Real in a position to grab their first three points of the season at the Bernabeu.
That was not to be though as Sergi Guardiola dramatically earned his team a 1-1 draw with a low shot in the 88th minute.
As expected, Zidane was livid with the result and was critical of his players for not seeing the game through.
‘You can lose the ball, that can happen, but we were out of position to defend. We had done the most difficult, scoring a goal, and then we need to get the ball the f*** out of there for the rest of the game.
‘We know we have to play the 90 minutes. We can’t just play 50 or 60 minutes.’