sport news stars send message to boss Zidane as they back Bale

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'He has to play... everyone loves him': stars send message to boss Zinedine Zidane as they back Gareth Bale and insist out-of-favour Welshman needs to be in their team Gareth Bale came close to leaving for China over the summer He stayed and was a surprise inclusion in Real's starting line-up at the weekend Bale shone and his team-mates made their feelings clear with their comments Casemiro and Thibaut Courtois said Bale 'has to play' and the squad 'love him'

By Ben Nagle for MailOnline

Published: 06:25 BST, 19 August 2019 | Updated: 06:29 BST, 19 August 2019

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Gareth Bale's team-mates have backed the Welshman to succeed at the Bernabeu despite a summer of uncertainty in which he came close to leaving.

He fell out with boss Zinedine Zidane and almost headed to China on a stunning £1million-a-week deal, but was back in the team for Real's La Liga opener.

After a topsy-turvy summer, Bale has now been praised by two of his team-mates, with Casemiro and Thibaut Courtois sending Zidane a clear message about what the players think.

Gareth Bale was a surprise inclusion in the Real Madrid starting XI for their season opener

Gareth Bale was a surprise inclusion in the starting XI for their season opener

The Welshman played a vital role in Karim Benzema's opener and impressed throughout

The Welshman played a vital role in Karim

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