Benitez: Bale suffered a spasm in his calf

The Welshman was withdrawn in the first half after sustaining an injury against Shakhtar Donetsk, but the Spanish club ran out 4-0 winners, with Cristiano Ronaldo hitting a treble

Rafael Benitez has revealed that Gareth Bale sustained a calf spasm in Real Madrid's 4-0 victory over Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a superb hat-trick with Karim Benzema also on the scoresheet as the Spanish side secured a comfortable victory to open their European campaign.
Bale was withdrawn in the first half, however, after sustaining an injury – along with Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane – and Benitez issued an update on the former Tottenham man after the game.

“It was a spasm in the calf, we will wait a day or two,” he told reporters.

“I'm more optimistic about [Sergio] Ramos and [Raphael] Varane, who only suffered knocks. But we must also wait. Bale's problem is similar to an injury he had last year."

Benitez insists he is unworried by the injury to Bale, however, and maintains that Mateo Kovacic may not come in for the 26-year-old purely because he replaced him on the night.

"[Kovacic] slotted in there because the full-backs were getting forward a lot and he plays inside and he was able to give us control of the ball and space," he added.

"If Bale doesn't start, it's open to anyone. Today [Kovacic] played due to the characteristics of the opponents but in future, Jese, Cheryshev or Lucas Vazquez could play."

Benitez also credited his side for their overall performance against the Ukrainian side, and insists that Ronaldo proved that he is the best player in the world.

"It was a difficult game. They're a well organised team,  have possession and that makes defending complicated. They are skilled and fast players," he added. "It wasn't easy, despite that, we had chances. Witout being brilliant we had chances. I am pleased to have taken advantage and not conceded. The only negative is injuries.

"I'm not worried because we've had very few injuries.

"What surprises me is you keep going on about what people say and not what happens on the pitch. There is no debate, Cristiano is the best in the world. I have him high esteem"