Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is facing a Champions League final selection dilemma with Gareth Bale set to be fit, while Isco has been named the fans’ player of the 2016-17 season.
Bale has generally been first choice when fit throughout his four seasons at the club, but recent calf muscle trouble has seen Isco come into Zinedine Zidane’s preferred starting XI and impress as the team beat Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid in the Champions League and won a first La Liga title in five seasons.
Bale has not featured since suffering a relapse of his left calf muscle problem in April’s Clasico against Barcelona, but he and right-back Dani Carvajal both returned to full training a week ahead of the Champions League final.
“The team have continued preparations for the Champions League final, which will be played on Saturday 3rd June, against Juventus (8:45pm CEST),” said a club statement.
“Zidane called on the entire squad for the second training session of the week. Bale and Carvajal joined the group, along with Cristiano Ronaldo. The Whites, joined by Castilla player Enzo, carried out a session in which ball work was the main focus. The players also worked on control and passing, and pressing and possession.”
Earlier in the campaign it had seemed almost certain that Isco would leave Madrid this summer, as he struggled for game time, but his impressive form in the final months of the campaign has seen him selected by fans voting online as the club’s official sponsors player of the season.
“Isco has scooped the Mahou Cinco Estrellas (Five-Star) Player award for the 2016-17 season,” a club statement said.
“The midfielder, who attracted the highest number of votes amongst social media users, had already picked up the distinction as the best player in November, February and April. In his 41 appearances this term, the Spanish international racked up 11 goals and seven assists.”
By contrast Bale got 12 goals and three assists in 32 games so far.
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