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Julen Lopetegui believes Gareth Bale can fill Cristiano Ronaldo’s void at Real Madrid
- Updated: July 31, 2018
According to newly appointed Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui, Gareth Bale can help fill the void left behind by Cristiano Ronaldo. Bale’s future has been the subject of intense speculation time and again in spite of the Welshman stating on more than one occasion that he is satisfied with life at the Spanish capital.
Bale’s time in the all white of Madrid has, however, been curtailed in recent times due to persistent injuries. However, now with Ronaldo’s departure to Juventus, it has opened up an opportunity for him to stake a claim as the new face of the side.
New manager Lopetegui rightly believes that the former Spurs star could become the new mainstay for the Champions League winners.
'Gareth is happy to play at Real Madrid,' Lopetegui said.
'Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the main players in the recent history of Real Madrid. He expressed a desire to leave and we allowed him to.
'Gareth Bale is a magnificent player, with so many qualities. He can help fill the void.'
Bale had moved to Madrid after his stellar performances for Spurs, and initially endured a successful spell by forming the deadly BBC attacking trio along with Ronaldo and Karim Benzema.
However, injury issues, coupled with a change in management meant that Bale lost his place in the starting lineup, and was even left on the bench in the Champions League final victory against Liverpool.
Bale came on the field as a second-half substitute and completely changed the course of the game with two breathtaking goals. Whilst he gave the Blancos the lead with an acrobatic overhead kick, he doubled the lead a few minutes later with the help of a long-range effort from the right flank.
The 29-year-old was extremely influential on a night when the likes of Ronaldo, Benzema and Isco failed to turn up. His impactful performance was enough to justify his place in the squad, and Ronaldo’s departure provides him the perfect opportunity to establish himself consistently on the field.
Lopetegui even ignored the rumors of Bale leaving for Manchester United. The former Spain coach reportedly said, “I don't walk to talk about hypothetical situations. Gareth is happy to play at Real Madrid. This is a fantastic opportunity for him to show his talent. He is with the team. He is happy and aligned with our goals. It is the start of an exciting path for us.'
It seems that Bale finally has the opportunity to shine at Madrid outside the shadows of Ronaldo.