Bye, Bye Zizou - but How Will Zidane's Exit Impact on the Future of Bale?

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), June 1, 2018 | Go to article overview

Bye, Bye Zizou - but How Will Zidane's Exit Impact on the Future of Bale?


Byline: DOMINIC BOOTH Football writer dominic.booth@walesonline.co.uk

ZINEDINE Zidane's shock resignation as Real Madrid manager has left the football world stunned.

Just days after lifting a third successive Champions League title with that 3-1 win over Liverpool in Kiev, the former France playmaker has stepped down from the helm at the Santiago Bernabeu.

But what does Zidane's departure mean for Welsh superstar Gareth Bale? Bale's interview after a sensational brace in the final against Liverpool left little to be read between the lines. He stated his desire for first team football in the biggest hint yet that he was ready to leave if Zidane continued to leave him out.

From that moment on, Manchester United and others have been on red alert monitoring Bale's situation, but the Zizou situation has changed the state of play once again...

WHAT DID ZIDANE SAY? REAL Madrid has always been a club that thrives regardless of changes in management.

In fact, Zidane, when making the revelation at his press conference, hinted that he believed Madrid needed a change of direction.

"I've taken the decision to not continue next year," Zidane told reporters.

"This is the right moment for everyone, it might seem a bit strange, but it had to be done for the good of everyone, the players, the club, and myself. This team must keep winning, and it needs a change after three years, another voice, another method of working.

"I think it would be difficult to keep winning if I stayed.

"This is a legendary club. This is a club that has won 13 European Cups so I'm happy to be part of this history."

WHAT WILL BALE MAKE OF IT? CLEARLY Bale has had huge success under Zidane and, as a model professional, would never voice anything other than the utmost respect for the World Cup winning Frenchman.

But Bale was cutting an increasingly- frustrated figure at the Bernabeu.

Isco, Karim Benzema and even young pair Marco Asensio and Lucas Vasquez at times were ahead of the Welsh wizard in the Zidane pecking order at times in the past 12 months.

Despite only appearing in 26 league matches - fewer than all of the above - Bale still managed to score 16 goals last season. Throw in Bale's excellent return of three goals and two assists in five European appearances and you cannot argue with his recent record.

He is only 28 and will feel he can offer plenty at Madrid in the right environment and under the right manager. He just wants to be a regular . The rest will take care of itself. The assumption is that Zidane's departure will help Bale, but that remains to be seen.

WHAT HAPPENS NOW? REAL Madrid president Florentino Perez, who sat alongside Zidane at the snap press conference yesterday, will make the call on his successor.

Perez, having signed Bale for a then-world record PS85.3 million in the summer of 2013, has always been a big backer of the Welsh superstar. There were even reports during Carlo Ancelotti's tenure as manager that Perez was putting pressure on the Italian to start Bale.

The president may take his time to appoint a successor and seek out a big name who can handle egos like Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos and company. Even the legendary Ronaldo seemed to suggest in the wake of Kiev that his time in the famous white shirt could come to an end. …

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