Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale
@garethbale11 - Instagram

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has explained the real reason why Gareth Bale was left out of the squad to face Manchester City in the second leg of Round of 16 clash in the UEFA Champions League.

Bale has been absent from the squad from quite some time now. The Welshman was also left out of Real Madrid's final La Liga clash after which Los Blancos lifted their 34th league trophy. His exclusion from the squad fueled rumours of a possible rift between the winger and Zidane.

Bale's awkward figure during the title celebrations made speculations rife about his future at Santiago Bernabeu.

Zidane, however, revealed that Bale wasn't axed from the squad to face City as the Welshman decided against making the trip to Manchester.

"I will explain because many things are said," Zidane told reporters in a news conference as per Goal.com.

"We have a relationship of respect between player and coach, that is clear. The only thing I can say is that he has decided not to play, and the rest is between him and me."

Bale has hardly played for the Spanish giants this year and has been linked with a move back to the Premier League and even China.

Over the years, he has been an important part of the Real side that won four Champions League titles in five years, famously scoring an overhead kick to give his team the lead against Liverpool in the final of the 2017/18 season.

He has scored a total of 16 times playing for Real Madrid in the Champions League and is the first substitute to have scored twice in the final of the tournament.

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal

www.freepressjournal.in