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Zidane praises Bale

Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane had some special praise for Gareth Bale after the 3-0 win over Real Sociedad in the season opener.

Bale, 27, scored twice in the win, finding the back of the net in the 2nd minute to open up the scoring, and adding a second in stoppage time in the second half. The Welshman had a great run with the national team during Euro 2016, leading Wales to the semifinals and he was the only member of the “BBC” attacking trio playing for Madrid as Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema were missing.

“I’m happy for him, because he is physically behind the others and that has not been noticed,” Zidane said.

“He started in the best way, scoring early. This is a difficult place to come if you do not take your chances. Gareth has already said this one is an important year for him, and it is showing.

“Everyone made a great effort. We attacked and defended together. You can achieve things fighting for every ball.

“We knew it would be a difficult place to come but we put in a good performance from the beginning, although we suffered a bit. It was important to start the season well.”

Real Sociedad manager Eusebio Sacristan admitted that it was tough to try and come back after conceding the early goal from Bale.

“We tried, but it was very difficult with such an early goal,” Sacristan said. “We put our heart into it and showed our face to the end.

“We tried to show a competitive spirit. We continued to apply pressure. We kept trying to keep a high pace with the idea we could wear them down but they were running until the final whistle, they’re very strong and committed to their defensive work.”

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