By Tim Stannard
"I'm ready" declares Bale ahead of Wales all-or-nothing Euro 2022 qualifier
There are two possible versions of Gareth Bale that will return to training with Real Madrid later this week.
The first will be a buoyant Bale, high on international football life and bouncing down the Valdebebas corridors like a golfer striding down the 18th fairway at Augusta with a 56-shot lead.
The other could be a little subdued and wondering how to explain those 'prefer playing with international teammates' than Real Madrid buddies comments from the weekend.
All will depend on the final Euro 2020 qualifying match for Wales on Tuesday. A win for Wales in Cardiff against Hungary then it will be version one of Gareth Bale. Anything else and it will be version two as Bale returns to Madrid like a child returning to school after a particularly sparkling summer break.
"I'm ready" declared the Madrid man on Tuesday after a second game for his country in the space of five days to follow a month on the sidelines for Real Madrid with Coach Zizou suggesting that the player was in the phantom zone of not being injured, but not being "available" to play.
Luis Enrique returns to Spain fold in controversial move
The Spanish national team has gotten itself into another bind to closely rival that of sacking its coach just days ahead of the 2018 World Cup.
On Monday, Spain defeated Romania 5-0 to complete an undefeated Euro 2020 qualifying campaign that saw just four points dropped and 31 goals scored.
What should have been a happy occasion turned into something rather bleak though as Spain's head coach, Robert Moreno, got wind that he was about to be dismissed and reportedly left the Spain camp after the game in tears.
Moreno had taken charge of the national team after Luis Enrique had stood down five months ago after the very tragic illness and eventual passing of his daughter. The former assistant manager was then given a deal until next summer and was confident when speaking this week of seeing it through.
However, the Spanish FA head, Luis Rubiales announced on Tuesday that Enrique will be returning to the role immediately with no part for Moreno in the coaching team. "The doors were always open," explained Rubiales. Enrique's return will be the fifth managerial change for the former World Cup winners since June 2018.
The Sports Burst live show will be all over this and everything else. Just head to our beIN SPORTS USA Facebook page at 12PM for all the zesty goodness.
Gerard Pique reinvents tennis in Barcelona downtime
Sports Burst has a question.
What do y'all readers do when not required to work, study or whatever daily requirement life demands of you?
'Chillax?' Take repeated photos of yourself? Stare into the abyss of existence?
Well, Gerard Pique is an example of what can be achieved with a few days off. Having given up on playing for Spain some time ago and not needed by Barcelona, the centerback is currently reinventing international tennis.
Pique's investment group is behind a revamping of the Davis Cup, an international team tournament.
The fundamental change is that the contest used to be spread across the year with one-off knockout clashes between nations, before a final. Now, the Davis Cup is a mesh between the Champions League and the World Cup with a week-long competition in Madrid that started on Monday and features 18 nations playing in group stages before a knock-out process.
Some players hate the idea and have not turned up. Alexander Zverev claims that it is "not the Davis Cup" while Australia team captain Lleyton Hewitt had previously suggested that Pique "knows nothing about tennis." "It's like me coming out and asking to change things in the Champions League."
Pique himself has been getting salty on social media against anyone suggesting that the matches were poorly attended.
Are you sure there are just 15?? 😂😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/SouZ8FnBG7— Gerard Piqué (@3gerardpique) November 18, 2019
Pique is about to have a multitasking balance issue though as the Barcelona players head back to training on Wednesday ahead of the team's return in LaLiga against Leganes on Saturday.