Real Madrid boss Zidane welcomes return of 'happy' Bale before Club World Cup final


Bale boasts an impressive record in the Club World Cup having scored in each of his three appearances to date

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Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has welcomed the return of a “happy” Gareth Bale as the Spanish side prepares for the Fifa Club World Cup final game with Gremio in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

Bale scored the winner as defending champions Real beat Al Jazira 2-1 in Wednesday’s semi-final.

The Wales forward was making only his second appearance for the club since suffering a calf injury in September.

“I’m very happy to see Gareth with us again,” said Zidane.

“He looks very happy to me and very pleased to be with his team-mates.

“We’ll see how he progresses. Saturday is a final and he’s prepared to play.”

Ronaldo and Bale spare Real’s blushes

A win for Real would be their third triumph at the tournament, equalling the record set by La Liga rivals Barcelona, who won the tournament in 2009, 2011 and 2015.

“We’re keen to bring another title home,” added Zidane.

“We’re growing and we need to show it; this game would be a good time to do just that.”

Brazilian side Gremio, who won their third Copa Libertadores title two weeks ago, edged Pachuca 1-0 in their semi-final.

And striker Luan says Real should not underestimate the South American side.

“Every side in the tournament has got quality,” he said.

“We had a tough game against Pachuca, and Madrid had a tough game too. The matches have been close.

“What we have to do is show why we became South American champions. We’ve got the quality to take on Madrid.”

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