After two months on the sidelines, Gareth Bale made his long-awaited return to action for Real Madrid on Tuesday night.
The Welsh forward, whose last appearance was against Borussia Dortmund back in September, was named among the substitutes for Madrid’s Copa del Rey clash against Fuenlabrada.
With Madrid trailing 1-0 to their third-tier opponents in the second half, Zinedine Zidane sent Bale on for Francisco Feuillassier in the 62nd minute.
Zidane would have forgiven Bale if he failed to make an impact after such a long time out of action.
He was expected to be a little rusty.
Bale's assist was magical
However, Bale showed why he’s one of the world’s best players by making an immediate impression.
With his first touch, the 28-year-old produced a quite remarkable assist with the outside of his boot for Borja Mayoral.
Watch it here…
That is just outstanding.
And how about this touch in the build-up for Madrid's second
Eight minutes later and Madrid were 2-1 up thanks to Mayoral again.
However, it was Bale’s moment of genius in the build-up to the goal which everyone was talking about.
The former Tottenham star brilliantly flicked the ball over his head and was denied what would have been one of the best goals of his career by the Fuenlabrada goalkeeper.
The ball rebounded to Mayoral, who made no mistake from close range.
Watch it here…
Stop it, Gareth!
Fuenlabrada snatched a famous late equaliser at the Bernabeu thanks to Portilla but Bale’s performance at least gave the Madridistas something to smile about.
Video: Bale's highlights v Fuenlabrada
You can watch his individual highlights in full in the following video…
Zidane: I'm not annoyed by the result
Despite the 2-2 draw against their minnow opponents, Zidane insisted he wasn’t surprised by the outcome.
"I'm not annoyed, it was what we expected," Zidane told the press afterwards, per Marca. "It's not easy for the players, there were youngsters out there.
"I'm happy to pass through to the next round.
"The opposition played very well.
"What matters is that we qualified."
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