Gareth Bale may have lost influence with Zinedine Zidane but his Real Madrid team-mates are still full of respect for his accomplishments, according to Casemiro.
The Wales star was seemingly set for the Bernabeu exit after a summer of transfer speculation – in which he was close to moving to China before the deal fell through – and indications that he was no longer part of Zidane’s plans.
Bale, however, made a surprise start in Real’s La Liga opener against Celta Vigo and impressed by providing an assist for Karim Benzema in a 3-1 win.
Whenever the 30-year-old leaves the Spanish capital, he will do so having played a huge part in at least four Champions League trophies and a La Liga title – and Casemiro insists he ‘has to play’.
“He [Bale] has given us titles, he’s scored in finals and he has a lot of respect from us all,” Casemiro said. “He has to play. He’s a great player and is very important for us.”
Real have stolen a march on Barcelona, who stumbled to a shock 1-0 defeat against Athletic Bilbao on opening night.
However, Casemiro added: “The Barcelona defeat doesn’t change anything. We are thinking about our football and about our matches.”
Know more about Sport360 Application