Madrid, Aug 22 (IANS) Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane was a happy man after watching his side kick off their La Liga campaign with a 3-0 win away to Real Sociedad.

Gareth Bale scored twice while youngster Marcos Asensio marked his league debut with a well taken goal before halftime in a composed performance which promises much for the future, reports Xinhua.

Real Madrid were without the injured strikers Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, while James Rodriguez and Isco had to wait their chances from the bench, highlighting the wealth of attacking talent Zidane has at his disposal.

“I have to make the decisions and I decided Asensio should start and he did well, as did Isco and James,” said Zidane after the match, who admitted deciding on his starting 11 have given him “a headache”.

“Asensio played well, but so did Mateo Kovacic and others, but the most important thing is the team,” he said.

Zidane nevertheless focused on Asensio, who also scored in the European Supercup against Sevilla earlier in the month.

“He is working well, he is a quality player; he is good with the ball and able to break through defences and he scored an excellent goal,” said the Real Madrid coach.

Zidane also had words for Bale, who opened the scoring after just 80 seconds.

“I am happy for him because his preparation is slightly behind that of the others and you never noticed. He got the best possible start with the early goal and after saying this is a big year for him, he has started to show it,” he explained.

The fact Isco and James were substitutes despite the absences of Ronaldo and Benzema is certain to provoke rumours about their futures, but Zidane brushed away questions over possible departures insisting they both “fine” and that “all of the players”, were important for him.


    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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