MADRID: It was first time for Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale to play in four pre-season matches on Sunday, suggesting he could yet regain his place under coach Zinedine Zidane.
Before losing the friendly on penalties, Bale came off the bench as Madrid drew 2-2 against Roma in the Stadio Olimpico.
However, after the game, Zidane refused to address the issue when asked about a possible move for Paris Saint-Germain striker Neymar.
Bale has only played three of seven Madrid’s games and each time as a substitute.
Another player who was not named on the bench against Roma is James Rodriguez who’s also been expected to leave Madrid this summer.
“Bale and James are players of Real Madrid,” Zidane said afterwards. “Anything can happen until August 31 but we are counting on all the players.”
He made clear that Bale was not part of his plans for a reinvigorated Real Madrid this term and the Welshman was left our completely for their previous three friendlies against RB Salzburg, Fenerbahce and Tottenham.
But after the closure of the Premier League transfer window, Bale was back in the squad against Roma and came on for the last half an hour.
With the score level, he could have won it for Madrid, firing into the side-netting and then just wide in the 92nd minute after two impressive breaks forward.