Clubs, Gareth Bale, Real Madrid, Spanish Primera División, Story, Wales

Zinedine Zidane explains how lucky Real Madrid are to be able to count on Cristiano Ronaldo, who he feels is “from another galaxy.”

Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale has returned to full training with the team ahead of Sunday’s La Liga game at home to Girona and of Wales’ trip to the China Cup next week.

Bale did not take part in the group sessions at Valdebebas on Wednesday or Thursday, with Luka Modric, Sergio Ramos and Jesus Vallejo also spending some of the week working in the gym due to minor issues.

However, coach Zinedine Zidane had all of his senior players out on the pitch during Friday’s session, suggesting that he will have a full squad to choose from during the game against Girona.

Gareth Bale has scored 11 goals in 29 appearances for Real Madrid this season.

Speaking at a news conference ahead of the China Cup, which sees Wales face the hosts on March 22 in Nanning, head coach Ryan Giggs had made his case clear.

“Gareth [Bale] is our best player, you want him there and he is a brilliant player,” he said. “He has a game at the weekend and if he comes through that, he will be on the plane.”

AS had nonetheless reported that club officials were “exploring the possibility” of Bale being excused the trip with Real Madrid, having a busy schedule straight after the international break including Las Palmas away, Juventus in the Champions League quarterfinals, and the derby at home to Atletico Madrid on April 8.

Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan

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