Zinedine Zidane says Gareth Bale "didn't want to play" against Manchester City 1 year ago

Zinedine Zidane says Gareth Bale "didn't want to play" against Manchester City

Wales. Golf. Maybe some more golf. In that order.

Gareth Bale has been left out of the Real Madrid squad to face Manchester City on Friday, with head coach Zinedine Zidane saying it is because he "didn't want to play".

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Bale has become a bit-part player at Estadio Bernabeu after seemingly incurring the wrath of Zidane. The fact he has been left out of Friday's squad will merely fuel speculation that his days in the Spanish capital are numbered.

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When you add this to the fact he isn't injured, it doesn't make for great reading.

However, Zidane has said Bale's omission was the player's choice - and not his.

"It was a personal conversation I had with him. He preferred not to play," said Zidane.

"The rest remains between me and him but he said he didn't want to."

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Real Madrid are currently 2-1 down on aggregate to Manchester City, with the first leg having been played at the Bernabeu way back in February.

Bale looked distraught to be left out of Real's match against Granada. (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Los Blancos are also without striker Mariano Diaz, after he tested positive for COVID-19.

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It's fair to say Real Madrid's league fortunes have recently been much rosier. Post-lockdown, they won 10 straight games as they lifted the La Liga title.

However, of these 10 games Real have played since the restart, Bale played just 99 minutes. The 31-year-old, who has two years left on his current deal, has only made 14 starts this season, scoring three goals.

According to Bale's agent Jonathan Barnett, the Welshman isn't planning on leaving the Bernabeu anytime soon. He has his sights set on seeing out the remainder of his contract.

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Since joining Real Madrid in 2013, Gareth Bale has made 171 appearances, scoring 80 goals in the process. He has won two La Liga titles, four Champions League titles, one Supercopa de España and one Copa del Rey.

Not bad for someone who prefers golf.