'Bale makes Madrid a better team' - Zidane hoping to have Welshman for Champions League final

The Welsh forward is currently sidelined again with a calf complaint, but is hoping to be back in contention for a meeting with Juventus in Cardiff

Zinedine Zidane believes Real Madrid are “a better team” with Gareth Bale and hopes to have him available for the Champions League final.

The Wales international is facing a race against time to make the European showpiece being staged in his hometown of Cardiff on June 3.

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Bale limped out of a Clasico meeting with Barcelona in April, with a calf complaint seeing him complete just 39 minutes of that contest.

The 27-year-old is now back on the sidelines, towards the end of an injury-hit campaign, but his manager is still counting on him to make an eagerly anticipated clash with Juventus.

"He's recovering and there's time for him to be ready for the final," Zidane told Madrid’s official website.

"I hope he's ready before and I hope he can be with us more than anything. We're a better team when he plays."

Bale sat out four months earlier in the season with an ankle problem.

Bale: More to come from Madrid

Fitness issues have been all too frequent during his time at Santiago Bernaebu, with the current campaign set to see him hit a new low in terms of first-team outings.

He has made just 26 appearances to date, netting nine times, and has only a matter of weeks to ensure that at least one more appearance is added to that tally at the Millennium Stadium.