Reports: Cristiano Ronaldo wants Gareth Bale to be benched for Champions League final
Bale has struggled for form and fitness this season
What’s the story?
Gareth Bale is training again and is expected to be fit for the Champions League final in Cardiff, but reports in Mirror (via Spain) state that a group of Real Madrid stars including Cristiano Ronaldo want Isco to start ahead of the Welshman in the clash against Juventus. Bale has struggled for form and fitness this season and senior players in the Madrid squad believe that the 25-year-old Spaniard will have a much better impact than Bale in the final.
Cristiano Ronaldo along with senior statesmen Sergio Ramos, Pepe and Casemiro are believed to be the players who want to see Isco start the marquee clash on June 4th.
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The Welshman has missed a staggering 27 games due to injury this season and has not played a competitive match since he hobbled off in the Clasico against Barcelona. Zidane himself gave an update about Bale’s fitness in a press conference.
“We have to take it one day at a time. he is trained using the indoor facilities, but every day he gets better. We will see how he goes, but he's not back in the group just yet and I can't tell you when he'll return. I hope he's back soon.”
The heart of the matter
In Gareth Bale’s absence, Isco has stepped up and put in some stunning performances for Los Blancos. The Spanish giants look much more fluid in attack and the 24-year-old playmaker seems to have formed a potent partnership with Cristiano Ronaldo.
The former Malaga man is in stunning form and even the fans want Isco to start in the Champions League final ahead of Bale. Having said all that, Zidane prefers playing the famous ‘BBC’ trio in the big games and it will be interesting to see if the Frenchman listens to Ronaldo and Co, and drops Bale to the bench.
Before the Champions league final, Real Madrid will be determined to seal the La Liga title when they take on Malaga in the final league game of this season. Madrid are in the driver's seat and a draw against Isco’s former club will be enough to give Los Blancos their much awaited League title.
While reports from Spain always need to be taken with a pinch of salt, there is no denying the fact that Madrid look much more fluid and threatening with Isco in the starting line-up. Also, the 24-year-old has been in fine form recently and Zidane will do well to heed the advice of his senior players and start Isco instead of Bale in the final against Juventus.