Gareth Bale could make his first LaLiga appearance since October 5 after he was named on a star-studded Real Madrid bench for the home game against Real Sociedad.

Forward Bale has not featured for his club since the 4-2 win over Granada at the start of last month, though he has played four times for Wales since that outing.

The 30-year-old was on international duty during the week, helping Ryan Giggs' squad secure a place at Euro 2020 with a 2-0 win over Hungary. He celebrated after the final whistle, dancing and singing with a banner that read:  'WALES. GOLF. MADRID…IN THAT ORDER' 

The slogan originates from a chant by Wales supporters that pokes fun at perceptions of Bale among the Spanish media, who have accused the former Tottenham player of pushing Madrid down his list of priorities.

Prior to Saturday's game with Sociedad, Zinedine Zidane called for the Madrid fans to get behind Bale, who almost moved to China earlier in the year.

Bale will wait to find out if the Santiago Bernabeu faithful take their head coach's advice, depending on whether he is involved during proceedings in the capital.

Toni Kroos, Marcelo and Isco are also substitutes for Madrid, with the only change from the XI that started the 4-0 win over Eibar seeing Rodrygo Goes replace the injured Lucas Vazquez.

Gareth Bale has been included in Real Madrid's squad for their LaLiga encounter with Real Sociedad despite the controversy caused by his celebrations after Wales' successful Euro 2020 qualification.

Wales booked their place at next year's finals with a 2-0 win over Hungary in Cardiff on Tuesday.

Bale, who has not played for Madrid since October 5, featured from the start for Ryan Giggs' side and was pictured after the match singing and dancing behind a banner that read: 'WALES. GOLF. MADRID…IN THAT ORDER'.

The slogan originates from a chant by Wales supporters that pokes fun at perceptions among the Spanish media, who have accused Bale of bumping Madrid down his list of priorities and spending too much time on the golf course.

Those celebrations drew further criticism from sections of the Madrid press and Los Blancos' fanbase, but Zidane – whose relationship with Bale has reportedly been a troubled one – claimed on Friday that the issue had been overblown.

Zidane has now included Bale in his squad for Saturday's clash with Sociedad, who would move above Madrid with a win at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Bale's inclusion comes at the expense of Vinicius Junior, with the teenage winger missing out on the 19-man selection.

Vinicius has made eight appearances in LaLiga this term, though only four of those have been starts.

Zinedine Zidane has called for the Real Madrid fans to get behind Gareth Bale despite his well-publicised Wales celebrations this week.

Bale was pictured behind a banner that read 'WALES. GOLF. MADRID…IN THAT ORDER' following his country's 2-0 win over Hungary on Tuesday that secured them qualification to Euro 2020.

The slogan originates from a chant by Wales supporters that pokes fun at perceptions among the Spanish media, who have accused Bale of bumping Madrid down his list of priorities and spending too much time on the golf course.

Bale's celebration drew the ire of Madrid fans and many in the national media with Marca leading with the headline 'DISRESPECTFUL. WRONG. UNGRATEFUL. IN THAT ORDER'.

But Madrid head coach Zidane defended Bale, who almost left for China in the close-season, and urged the club's supporters to get behind the former Tottenham man.

"Those who really support the club, those who come to the stadium, know he's a Real Madrid player," he said.

"You shouldn't look at what goes on elsewhere, you have to support the team, the players, have to get behind the side.

"I will always support my players. Things might go on outside the Real Madrid environment but we're in this together."

Zidane was quizzed repeatedly about Bale ahead of Saturday's home game with Real Sociedad and was quick to highlight the player's achievements in Spain.

He added: "I think sometimes people go over the top with this topic, everyone has their point of view, we're here to focus on football. 

"I think now it's almost the snowball effect. I mean he was fit and could play with the national team, he's here, available and we're delighted. 

"He's done a lot for this club. I'm only concerned with the sporting side. I'm not here to speak about the rest, I'm not interested. I know a lot of people are but not me."

Gareth Bale's well-publicised celebration of Wales' Euro 2020 qualification will inflame his relationship with Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane, according to Los Blancos' former president Ramon Calderon.

In the aftermath of his country's 2-0 win over Hungary on Tuesday, Bale was pictured behind a banner that read: "WALES. GOLF. MADRID... IN THAT ORDER".

The slogan stems from a chant sung by Wales fans that pokes fun at the Spanish media's portrayal of Bale, who has been accused of placing Madrid low down his list of priorities and spending too much time playing golf.

The 30-year-old almost left for China during the close season and recently admitted he gets more enjoyment from playing for the national team than Madrid.

Calderon, Madrid's president from July 2006 to January 2009, believes the events of Tuesday could cost Bale a place in Zidane's matchday squad, with Los Blancos set to host high-flying Real Sociedad in LaLiga on Saturday.

"It's going to be difficult for Bale now because it was very childish of him to pose behind that banner," Calderon told The Athletic.

"Fans are very angry because of course they didn't like that, bearing in mind he has hardly played for the team this season then he goes off on international duty with Wales and plays in two matches.

"It's a difficult situation for Zidane and he won't be happy with Bale for posing with that banner.

"Bale hasn't done himself any favours with this. He's adding fuel to the fire and it's going to be difficult for Zidane to include him in the starting line-up and also the bench."

Bale was reportedly on the cusp of joining Jiangsu Suning in July, only for the deal to fall through at the last minute.

Calderon advised the four-time Champions League winner to pursue a return to Tottenham, where Jose Mourinho is now charge.

"He was linked with going to China but that is only for players who are at the end of their careers or who go for money," he said.

"Bale has at least three or four more years at the top level. Could he join Jose Mourinho at Tottenham? Why not? It depends on what Mourinho thinks of him but I'm sure the fans at Tottenham have very good memories of him there.

"For Bale to go back to where he really belongs would be ideal for everyone, because going to China would be a pity."

Real Madrid's Thibaut Courtois claimed his status as one of the world's best goalkeepers brought unwarranted criticism in the early part of the new campaign.

Courtois bore a large share of the blame for Madrid's disappointing results at the start of the season, at one stage conceding nine goals in the space of 14 shots on target.

His performances prompted debate over the club's decision to part with Keylor Navas – who moved to Paris Saint-Germain – but the Belgium international has since rediscovered some of his best form.

The former Chelsea man has kept eight successive clean sheets for club and country, restoring his reputation as one of the game's finest keepers.

"I don't read the press, I only pay attention to what the coach or my team-mates say to me," Courtois, who moved to Madrid in 2018, said from Belgium's national team camp ahead of Euro 2020 qualifying.

"If they haven't been a goalkeeper themselves, how can they know how it all works?

"I don't doubt my own ability. I am one of the best goalkeepers in the world and sometimes that's why they criticise me. I'm calm about it because I made some good saves against Celta [Vigo], Sevilla and Atletico [Madrid], and in other games.

"I'm playing at a good level, it's turning out to be a good start to the season and I have to continue this way."

Zinedine Zidane last month substituted Courtois at half-time of the Champions League draw with Club Brugge, leading Madrid to issue a denial of reports which claimed the 27-year-old was dealing with an anxiety problem.

Courtois skipped the following LaLiga match against Granada before returning in a 1-0 loss to Real Mallorca.

"Zidane told me that I'd continue as first-choice, and asked me to keep focused," Courtois said. "He's always had faith in me."

Zinedine Zidane hailed Real Madrid's 4-0 win at Eibar as a "complete performance" and urged his players to maintain their momentum.

Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema scored first-half penalties at Ipurua after the latter opened the scoring with a close-range finish inside 17 minutes.

Federico Valverde added a fourth goal - his first for the club - just after the hour mark, as Madrid three points in front of Barcelona ahead of their bitter rivals' game in hand with Celta Vigo later on Saturday.

"It feels great to win here," Zidane told Movistar. "This is not an easy stadium to visit. Every time a team comes here they suffer, but we started well. 

"The first half was phenomenal in every way. We controlled the areas where the opponent could cause damage. We played very well with the ball, vertically, playing forward, switching sides. It was a complete performance and we can be happy with it."

Madrid have now won four out of five matches in all competitions since a 1-0 loss to Real Mallorca on October 19, with that defeat proving a turning point in the view of Zidane.

"We have worked hard and have believed in what we are doing," he added. "The game in Mallorca was complicated for us.

"But from there we have been very generous in front of goal and then everything else is easier. We must continue in this was because it's going to be complicated."

Zidane's side have kept five clean sheets in a row in all competitions for the first time since September 2015, scoring 16 times during that run.

"Defending is about all the team," Zidane said. "It was a difficult game for us. It is not only about Thibaut [Courtois] and our defence, but also Benzema, Eden [Hazard], Lucas [Vazquez]. 

"They are all doing well and must continue. I'm glad for everyone - they all know they can be useful to the team."

Valverde impressed in his fifth start this season in LaLiga and Zidane said: "When he plays he does things very well. I'm glad for him.

"The dynamics of the team are good. I have to manage the workload of the players, so rotation is important."

Zinedine Zidane raised the issue of Karim Benzema's continued absence from the France team again on Friday ahead of Real Madrid's trip to Eibar.

Benzema has been one of Europe's outstanding strikers during a 10-year Madrid career, yet he has not represented his country since 2015.

The Madrid frontman has not featured at international level since he was allegedly involved in a plot to blackmail his then-France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena.

Zidane claims Benzema still wants to represent France, though, and believes his player to be "the best" and worthy of a call-up.

"He's always wanted to play for the French side," Zidane told a news conference. "To be honest, I don't know exactly what's going on.

"But from a football point of view, he's the best. I think he should definitely have a place in the French national team. It's beyond my role here, but he should definitely be called up."

Benzema scored his 50th Champions League goal for Madrid in midweek, surpassing the legendary Alfredo Di Stefano on the club's all-time list in the process.

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane hopes to have Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez fit and available after the international break.

Muscle problems will keep both players out of Saturday's LaLiga game against Eibar despite them being called up to their respective national teams.

Wales winger Bale has not played a minute since a Euro 2020 qualifier close to a month ago, while midfielder James has missed Madrid's past three matches.

The pair have started individual fitness programmes but will not be considered for selection until they are able to complete full training sessions alongside the rest of the first team.

"They haven't been fit enough to play," Zidane said at Friday's pre-match news conference.

"If they're going to go [away on international duty], they're going to go. They've got five or six days to see if they're fit enough to play for their country. They're not fit enough to play on Saturday.

"They haven't trained with the team. They've been training a little but not at the same pace as their team-mates. If players aren't training with their team-mates they can't play.

"They're not injured right now."

Bale's injury occurred in the same international fixture that left Croatia midfielder Luka Modric with bruising to his right quadriceps.

The 34-year-old subsequently sat out two club games, leaving Zidane wary of a repeat as his squad prepares to disassemble.

"Hopefully nothing happens, but it could. It's true in the last call-ups the players got injured," he said.

"Hopefully the players get away with the national teams, they play, and there are no injuries, and everyone comes back fit and available."

Amid the probe over why Bale and James have been absent, Zidane was asked to clarify his recent claim that Kylian Mbappe harbours a "dream" of playing for Madrid.

The Los Blancos boss said that he was simply repeating the Paris Saint-Germain star's own acknowledged ambition.

The comment riled PSG sporting director Leonardo, who called for an end to transfer speculation surrounding Mbappe.

Zidane said: "He's within his rights to have his opinion and when I get asked a question I will also say what I believe.

"All I said was what [the player] said, that Mbappe's dream is to one day wear the Real Madrid shirt. There's not really much to it to be honest."

Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo hit out at Zinedine Zidane, admitting he was annoyed by the Real Madrid coach talking about Kylian Mbappe.

Mbappe, 20, is consistently linked with a move away from PSG, where he has starred since arriving in 2017.

The France international is reportedly a target for Madrid and Zidane said on Tuesday it was Mbappe's dream to play for the LaLiga giants.

Leonardo hit out at Zidane after PSG's 1-0 Champions League win over Club Brugge on Wednesday, saying the star forward should be left alone.

"It annoys a little and it bothers. This is not the time to talk about this. He still has two and a half years of contract with us. It's time to stop all this," he told RMC Sport.

"He is very important for us. It is the best young player that France has. He is world champion and even the best player in the world.

"This is not the time to destabilise or touch him."

Mbappe has scored nine goals in 11 games so far this season and is contracted in Paris until 2022.

Leonardo accused PSG's rivals of being jealous as he called for an end to speculation around Mbappe's future.

"Honestly, I did not see this interview where he said it was a dream for him to play at Madrid. Neither read nor heard, and I never talked to him about it," he told reporters.

"Maybe he said it one day and it became a Mexican telenovela and we continue like that. I think he is very intelligent.

"He has a contract with us, and has already done a lot of things. And there are still other things to do.

"That's why I do not understand and I ask even you to stop, because we cannot answer each time the same thing. There are concrete things – his contract, I think he is happy. He is a fabulous player. And I think there is a little jealousy.

"Today, we have Mbappe and Neymar, and if we look around the world where are better players than those? And in addition, we have four, five good strikers. We must be happy. We have great players."

PSG's win over Club Brugge was their fourth in as many Group A games as they booked their spot in the last 16.

Zinedine Zidane insisted he was unsurprised by Rodrygo Goes' impressive start at Real Madrid after the teenager's hat-trick against Galatasaray.

Rodrygo, 18, scored three times and set up another in Madrid's 6-0 Champions League win at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.

The Brazilian has netted five goals in six games for the club since his move from Santos, leading to plenty of praise.

Zidane was happy with Rodrygo and while he is trying not to put pressure on the forward, the Madrid coach is unsurprised by his displays.

"He is only 18 years old. We are so pleased with him," Zidane told a news conference.

"When he gets a chance to play he always does well, he did that in every sense. He works hard and does a lot of things. We need to have patience and not pressure him.

"I am not surprised whatsoever, he is very talented. Perhaps we can be surprised by the three goals. He is happy, his game is a real joy to watch."

Rodrygo scored twice in the opening seven minutes against Galatasaray, while Karim Benzema netted a brace and Sergio Ramos a penalty.

Zidane praised Madrid's ruthlessness in the victory, which marked their third in four games in all competitions.

"Logically we can be happy with the six goals, but we also kept a clean sheet, defending and respecting our rivals until the end because sometimes when you are four goals up at half-time you can relax, but we didn't," he said.

"Whenever we lost the ball we pressed hard and that led to us having a well-rounded game."

Rodrygo Goes followed in the illustrious footsteps of Real Madrid legend Raul as he became the second youngest player to score a Champions League hat-trick.

At 18 years and 301 days old, the Brazilian netted a perfect treble in Real Madrid's 6-0 win over Galatasaray on Wednesday, converting with his left foot, right foot and head.

The only player to have achieved the feat at a more tender age is Raul, who was 188 days younger when he scored three times against Ferencvaros in 1995.

Rodrygo hit the target twice in the first seven minutes at Santiago Bernabeu and added the third in stoppage time, also becoming the youngest Brazilian to score in Europe's premier club competition.

Rodrygo Goes scored a perfect hat-trick and Karim Benzema also hit a double as Real Madrid took a huge step towards reaching the Champions League last 16 with an emphatic 6-0 win over Galatasaray.

Eighteen-year-old Rodrygo netted twice in the first seven minutes at Santiago Bernabeu and later added a stoppage-time third as he became the youngest Brazilian to score in Europe's premier club competition.

Sergio Ramos' penalty had Madrid three up with the game effectively over after 14 minutes and Benzema scored in each half to reach 50 goals in the competition for Madrid, making him only the fourth player to achieve the feat for a single club.

After a poor start to their Group A campaign, Madrid are now five points clear of third-placed Club Brugge – who lost to Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday - with two games to play, while Gala are out as a result of their chastening defeat.

Rodrygo's opener was impressive as he collected Marcelo's cross before cutting inside past Mario Lemina to send a fine left-footed finish into the far corner.

He doubled his tally when a mistake from Mariano gave Marcelo the chance to set up his compatriot again, the forward this time heading in a left-wing delivery from eight yards.

VAR ruled in Madrid's favour when Toni Kroos – who scored the only goal in the reverse fixture in Turkey a fortnight ago - complained he had been fouled by Steven Nzonzi right on the 18-yard line, Ramos beating Fernando Muslera with a cheeky Panenka from the resulting spot-kick.

Casemiro had a goal ruled out and Eden Hazard was denied by Muslera, but Benzema ensured it was four in the last minute of the first half with a simple finish, an assist from the impressive Rodrygo coming after a dreadful pass from Yuto Nagatomo put Gala in trouble.

After the break, Muslera denied Kroos before Christian Luyindama blocked Benzema's follow-up near the goal-line, with the goalkeeper again called into action to keep out substitute Isco from the resulting corner.

Thibaut Courtois thwarted Lemina at the other end, but Benzema struck again after 81 minutes, converting Dani Carvajal's cross from close range.

And Benzema turned provider two minutes into added time, his throughball cleverly finished by man-of-the-moment Rodrygo.

 

What does it mean? Madrid well placed after slow start

Madrid missed the chance to go top of LaLiga at the weekend with a poor home draw against Real Betis but after winning just four of their first nine games to start 2019-20, they would probably have taken being level on points with Barcelona and on the brink of a last-16 spot in Europe by early November. Rodrygo gives the Madrid fans something to get excited about, with a possible injury to Marcelo, who was taken off by Zinedine Zidane just before the interval, the only concern.

Rampant Rodrygo making his mark

It was only his fourth Madrid start, but Rodrygo already looks the part having become the second-youngest scorer of a Champions League hat-trick, behind Madrid legend Raul. The ex-Santos star took all three of his goals clinically and showed his creative ability with a clever delivery to set up Benzema's first goal. It was also a fine night for Benzema, whose strikes ended his four-match streak without scoring in Europe to reach the 50-goal milestone that had only previously been achieved by elite company in Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Raul.

Key errors cost woeful Gala

Gala are winless in 16 Champions League away games and the best they can now hope for is a Europa League spot. They are the first team in nine years to fail to score in six straight away games in the competition. While the latter stat is on their attacking and creative players, it was defensive mistakes which cost them dearly here, with Mariano, Nzonzi and Nagatomo all guilty of dreadful first-half errors.

What's next?

Madrid are at Eibar in LaLiga on Saturday, with a home game against Paris Saint-Germain next up in this competition on November 26. Gala are away to Gaziantep on domestic business before hosting Club Brugge next in Europe in a key match in the battle to finish third.

Rodrygo Goes scored a perfect hat-trick and Karim Benzema also hit a double as Real Madrid took a huge step towards reaching the Champions League last 16 with an emphatic 6-0 win over Galatasaray.

Eighteen-year-old Rodrygo netted twice in the first seven minutes at Santiago Bernabeu and later added a stoppage-time third as he became the youngest Brazilian to score in Europe's premier club competition.

Sergio Ramos' penalty had Madrid three up with the game effectively over after 14 minutes and Benzema scored in each half to reach 50 goals in the competition for Madrid, making him only the fourth player to achieve the feat for a single club.

After a poor start to their Group A campaign, Madrid are now five points clear of third-placed Club Brugge – who lost to Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday - with two games to play, while Gala are out as a result of their chastening defeat.

Rodrygo's opener was impressive as he collected Marcelo's cross before cutting inside past Mario Lemina to send a fine left-footed finish into the far corner.

He doubled his tally when a mistake from Mariano gave Marcelo the chance to set up his compatriot again, the forward this time heading in a left-wing delivery from eight yards.

VAR ruled in Madrid's favour when Toni Kroos – who scored the only goal in the reverse fixture in Turkey a fortnight ago - complained he had been fouled by Steven Nzonzi right on the 18-yard line, Ramos beating Fernando Muslera with a cheeky Panenka from the resulting spot-kick.

Casemiro had a goal ruled out and Eden Hazard was denied by Muslera, but Benzema ensured it was four in the last minute of the first half with a simple finish, an assist from the impressive Rodrygo coming after a dreadful pass from Yuto Nagatomo put Gala in trouble.

After the break, Muslera denied Kroos before Christian Luyindama blocked Benzema's follow-up near the goal-line, with the goalkeeper again called into action to keep out substitute Isco from the resulting corner.

Thibaut Courtois thwarted Lemina at the other end, but Benzema struck again after 81 minutes, converting Dani Carvajal's cross from close range.

And Benzema turned provider two minutes into added time, his throughball cleverly finished by man-of-the-moment Rodrygo.

 

Zinedine Zidane wants Gareth Bale to remain a Real Madrid player for at least the rest of the campaign.

Bale was heavily linked with a move to Jiangsu Suning during the close season but the deal fell through and he remained at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Reports this week suggested Madrid will offer Manchester City £70million (€81m) and the 30-year-old in exchange for Raheem Sterling.

However, Zidane has no doubt Bale has an important role to play for Madrid beyond the January transfer window.

"I want Gareth to stay here until the end of the season," Zidane told a news conference ahead of Wednesday's Champions League home game against Galatasaray.

"People keep saying that I want him to leave in January, it's nonsense. Our fans have to think positively, as the player wants to be with us.

"He has returned here and wants to recover, but he simply hasn't recovered yet."

Bale has not featured for Madrid for a month, having sustained an injury during Wales' 1-1 draw with Croatia on October 13.

Despite that fact, Bale has been named in the Wales squad for crunch Euro 2020 qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Hungary, with Ryan Giggs stating the winger had assured him he would arrive ready to play.

"He's not training normally, so we'll see on a day-to-day basis. His country has a right to pick him, it's a FIFA date so we can't do anything about that. But what the player wants is to be fit and ready," said Zidane.

"He's been back training in the last week and we'll see if he's ready to play for his national team, but the shame for us at the moment is he's not ready to play for us."

Zidane denied he has strained relationship with Bale, adding: "We say, 'Good morning' to each other every day.

"I love all my players. We can't all have the same close relationship but I've never had any problem with Gareth, even when there was talk of him leaving. I'm happy with him.

"You [the media] need to stop always saying the same thing or asking me about him leaving matches early, because I used to do the same.

"The important thing is that he was with the team before the match and at half-time to support them.

"You look for things that aren't there. He wants to see the team win, I have no doubts about that."

Zinedine Zidane is well aware Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe's "dream" is to play for Real Madrid.

Mbappe scored 33 goals in 29 Ligue 1 appearances for PSG in 2018-19 but stated during the close season he was open to "a new project".

Former Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev this week claimed the World Cup-winning attacker told him he moved to the French capital in 2017 because it was "too early" for him to make the switch to the Santiago Bernabeu.

Asked if he thinks Mbappe will play for Madrid in the future, Zidane told a news conference: "I don't know, it's the player who decides.

"At the moment he plays for Paris Saint-Germain, we'll see in the future if that changes. I know he always said his dream is to play for Real Madrid."

Madrid will meet PSG in their penultimate Champions League Group A game on November 26, but Thomas Tuchel's side could be out of reach in top spot by that point if they beat Club Brugge and Los Blancos draw with Galatasaray on Wednesday.

"We're always happy to play at home but there's a responsibility as well because it's a Champions League match and we want to play a good game and for that we have to be well prepared," Zidane said of Gala's impending visit.

"We always go into these games with the same idea, the same attitude. We're in good shape, we know what we have to do and I'm not too worried whether it's like a final or not.

"I think you just have to think about going out and playing a good game, hope the fans are with you and go out and try to win the game and hope everyone plays well.

"We always need the fans with us and I think they always are with us. They want to see their team play well and win and that's what we need, we need the fans to help us and be with us in the difficult moments of a match, that's what it's about.

"The other day [a 0-0 draw at home to Real Betis in LaLiga on Saturday] it was difficult for us to get a goal but we need the fans with us and the players need the fans with us."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.