The ‘Cardiff Express’ is slowly but surely stepping up his return to action after a string of injuries and he has just one key objective in mind: to be in the starting line-up at the Bernabeu on December 23.
Gareth Bale came in from the cold in Real Madrid’s Club World Cup semi-final win over Al-Jazira on Wednesday, giving ‘Los Blancos’ boss Zinedine Zidane a huge boost.
The winger has been out of action for quite some time, but he showed no signs of rustiness as he found the net just 47 seconds after coming off the bench against the champions of the UAE.
The goal proved decisive, with Real having surprisingly gone a goal down in the first half, before Cristiano Ronaldo levelled things up.
“I need to be patient and listen to my body,” the Welshman explained after the game. Despite those words, there is no doubt that the former Tottenham man will be doing everything in his power to ensure that he is available for the visit of arch-rivals Barcelona in a little over a week.
Bale’s return gives Real the option to rest Isco, with the playmaker showing signs of fatigue after carrying the majority of the team’s creative burden on his shoulders for the last few months. That could mean a reunion for the ‘BBC’, or it could spell bad new for Benzema, who is under incresing pressure given his lack of form in front of goal this campaign.
Zidane knows that he needs Bale, with the wideman offering a much-needed alternative at the sharp end of the pitch, with his combbination of pace, power and guile offering a a fine option for Real in attacking areas.
Whilst Bale is not willing to risk returning early and putting his fitness at risk once again, it is thought that medically, there is nothing to stop him from being in the starting line-up at the Bernabeu on the 23rd.