Zidane: Real door is wide open for Bale, as French great puts ‘impressive’ winger in the same bracket as Messi and Ronaldo
Zinedine Zidane has insisted Gareth Bale is ‘more than good enough’ to play for Real Madrid and said the door is open for the Welshman to join the Spanish giants this summer.
Zidane works with the youth teams at the Bernabeu and has watched Bale, 23, this season, particularly in Tottenham’s Europa League campaign.
Zidane, 40, spoke in glowing terms about the Spurs star, who is set to sign a new contract at White Hart Lane worth up to £200,000 a week, despite Tottenham’s failure to qualify for the Champions League.
Seal of approval: Zinedine Zidane has said Gareth Bale is more than good enough to play for Real Madrid
Real Madrid, however, remain very keen to sign Bale, who is valued at around £60million, and hope the lure of top European football will convince him to move abroad.
Zidane said: ‘Big players like that, talented players like that, can always go to Real Madrid.
‘He’s more than good enough.I’ve been watching Tottenham for the very reason Gareth Bale is playing.
‘Aside from people like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who are top players, he is the footballer who impressed me the most, I must admit. He particularly impressed me because he was consistent. He wasn’t just great in one or two matches, he was consistently a good player, all the time, and he was consistent in scoring goals, very important goals.’
Madrid defender Sergio Ramos said this week Bale is a ‘Real Madrid-quality signing’ and Marcel Desailly added that he should leave Tottenham for a major club with a ‘culture of victory’.
Bale has enjoyed the best season of his career, scoring 31 goals for club and country, and former Chelsea and France defender Desailly believes Spurs can no longer fuel his ambition.
Desailly said: ‘He should just go. Tottenham will not give him the opportunity to play at a very high level. There’s no price for experience. It’s time for him to go. It’s not a matter of money, it’s the experience at a club that has the culture of victory, a club that has trophies in the cupboard. Not one or two, but plenty.’
Songs of praise: Marcel Desailly and Sergio Ramos have both urged Bale to leave Spurs in the past week
Zidane also feels Jose Mourinho’s exit from Real will not dent his confidence ahead of his expected return to Chelsea. Zidane said it was no surprise Mourinho is leaving Madrid after a trophy-less season because of the high expectations at the club.
Zidane, a former Real star and a World Cup winner with France, said failing to win Madrid’s 10th European title would have been a disappointment for Mourinho, but backed him to bring more success to Stamford Bridge.
Zidane added: ‘The issue with Madrid is that if you apply to run the club the expectation is that you win all matches in all competitions, and if you don’t it’s very difficult and suddenly you get pressure from on high.
‘I’m not sure that doesn’t apply to all big clubs, but it applies particularly to Real.
‘All lost matches are a shock for Madrid. The mentality is you have to in every match and every competition. I don’t think it will affect his (Mourinho’s) confidence.
‘Obviously he’s disappointed because he didn’t win, but I still think he has a lot of trust in what he does and in his work and will try to win again.’
Same bracket: After Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, Bale is the player who has most impressed Zidane
Zidane admits to some managerial ambitions of his own and is taking his coaching badges while acting as director of football at Madrid.
‘It’s a good experience for me,’ he said. ‘I’m taking courses to get my diplomas and, when I’ve got them, I would like, eventually, to run a club.’