Gareth Bale has a key role to play at Real Madrid - Lopetegui

Bale and teammates including Sergio Ramos and Luka Modric stretching in Estonia during training session
Gareth Bale and his Real Madrid teammates have been training in Estonia ahead of the Super Cup final

New Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui has backed Gareth Bale to play a key role for the European champions.

In a summer of change at the Bernabeu, Lopetegui replaced Zinedine Zidane and club icon Cristiano Ronaldo departed.

Bale threw his future at the club into doubt moments after a match-winning display in last May's Champions League final, but remains with Real.

"We've found Bale really motivated, a top pro who trained with the motivation of a youngster," Lopetegui explained.

Speaking ahead of the European Super Cup clash against city rivals Atletico Madrid in Tallinn, Estonia, Lopetegui said at a press conference: "We're a team, the team is the main part. What he [Bale] can bring to the team is his ability and mentality and we're convinced he'll have a great season."

Top Stories