Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale had to be taken off during the Champions League win over Sporting Portugal Getty Images


  • Former Tottenham star was forced off during the Champions League 2-1 win over Sporting Portugal.
  • Marcelo was also replaced by Fabio Coentrao as a precaution.
  • Los Blancos visit Barcelona for the first El Clasico of the season on 3 December.

Zinedine Zidane has revealed two major concerns for Real Madrid fans after both Gareth Bale and Marcelo limped off during the Champions League 2-1 victory over Sporting Portugal on Tuesday night (22 November). The French boss admitted that the former Tottenham star twisted his ankle and is uncertain whether he will be available to face Barcelona on 3 December.

Bale was forced off in the 55 minute of the game following a tackle from Sebastian Coates. The Welshman initially tried to continue but Zidane had to replace him only minutes later with Marco Asensio.

Marcelo, meanwhile, was also replaced by Fabio Coentrao with 19 minutes to go after picking up another knock on the ankle during a challenge with Gelson Martins.

"We took Marcelo off as a precaution because he had some niggles. Bale has something wrong with his ankle, but we don't exactly know what it is. I don't think it's a knock. It's more of a twisted ankle," Zidane confirmed in his post-match press conference.

The news is a special concern for Real Madrid ahead of a busy run of fixtures that will see Los Blancos facing four games in the space of 12 days, including the first El Clasico of the season at Barcelona and the Champions League key clash with Borussia Dortmund.

Real Madrid have two games against Sporting Gijon (26 November) and Cultural Leonesa (30 November) before the clash with Barcelona but when asked whether Bale will be ready to play against the Catalans on 3 December, Zidane said: "It's premature to talk about that because we don't yet know what's wrong with him. Let's see. Tomorrow he'll have a medical examination and we'll know more. I can't say more. It's not a knock but I don't know the exact issue."

Zidane, meanwhile, was more happy with his team's reaction to the set-backs and the way it rallied to secure the 2-1 victory at Portugal thanks to Karim Benzema's late goal.

"We had some tough moments during the game, but that was to be expected because we mentioned yesterday about how it was going to be a difficult match. Sporting CP showed good intensity and we had some difficulties," Zidane said. "The good thing is that we didn't give up after they got their goal. We kept on playing and scored a very good goal to win the game. Now it's time to rest because having to play every three days isn't easy. Perhaps we lacked a bit of energy."

The victory means that Real Madrid have already booked a place in the Champions League last 16. They will finish top of Group F if they beat Borussia Dortmund in their final match to be played on 7 December.