Zidane: Important year for Bale


While reluctant to single out a player for praise, Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane was happy with Gareth Bale's two-goal performance, claiming it is an important season for the Welsh star.

After guiding Wales to the semi-finals of Euro 2016, Bale carried over his international form to club level, scoring a brace as Madrid opened the LaLiga campaign with a 3-0 win at Real Sociedad on Sunday.

Despite a limited pre-season, Bale starred in San Sebastian, breaking the deadlock in the second minute before completing his brace in stoppage time after Marco Asensio put European champions Madrid 2-0 up at half-time.

"I am happy for him. He still has some catching up to do physically but that didn't show today," Zidane told reporters.

"We started in the best way possible, scoring a goal quickly, which made things easy for us.

"It is a tough ground to come to and if you don't take your chances things can get complicated. We scored three without conceding.

"I don't like to speak specifically about one player but when Gareth scores twice... It is an important year for him and he has shown that."