​Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has backed Gareth Bale, after the Welshman was criticised for his actions while away on international duty with Wales. 


A strained relationship between Bale, his manager and the club as a whole has been reported by many over the past few months and after Wales' 2-0 victory over Hungary which saw them qualify for Euro 2020, Bale was seen celebrating with a flag that read “Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order”.

With some Spanish media outlets calling for Bale's head - most notably Marca, who used the headline: “Disrespectful. Misguided. Ungrateful. In that order.” to describe Bale's antics - and others asking for the 30-year-old's contract to be terminated at the Bernabeu, Zidane appears to be in his player's corner, insisting he was still part of his plans going forward.


“There’s been a lot of noise about what he did but we need to just focus on football. It’s all got a bit too much,” he said, as quoted by AS. “I’m just looking at what he can give us on the pitch, not what’s said off it, that doesn’t interest me.


“I believe he can become a decisive player for us again. He’s an important player when he is injury-free; he’s shown that before and he will show it again.”


Los Blancos currently occupy second in La Liga and have two crunch home fixtures in the offing. On Saturday, they host an in-form Real Sociedad side who are just two points behind Real going into the game, then Zidane's side face Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday - the Spanish club being in a comfortable position in Group A but looking to close the gap with the French giants at the top.

Ahead of these games, Zidane has urged the home supporters to give Bale a warm reception.


“When you see what he’s given to the club and to the fans, those who feel our colours and come to the stadium, you can see he’s one of our own and the fans need to get behind him,” he added.


Despite Zidane's words, it does appear that Bale - who has 104 goals in 238 games for Los Blancos - is destined to leave the Spanish capital in the near future.