Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane claims that Gareth Bale was not fit to play against Tottenham in the friendly match. Madrid took on Spurs in Munich with plenty of speculation and doubts surrounding the squad ahead of the new campaign. Zidane was expected to instigate a revolution in his second spell, but the revolution is yet to kick start. The internal politics at the Spanish club continues as Bale’s proposed to China was blocked at the last moment.
Despite speculation about his future, Zidane claimed that Bale did not feature against Spurs only due to the lack of fitness. Despite Bale’s unpopularity amongst Real Madrid supporters, it would not be surprising to see the player recalled considering the lack of any thrust going forward from Madrid. According to Sky Sports, Zidane said:
“He didn’t travel because he wasn’t fit. After speaking with the doctors, the best thing was for him to stay in Madrid. He stayed back and is training there. It was a joint decision between the player, medical staff and the coach.”
President Florentino Perez remains a fan of Bale, while Zidane appears to be the opposite. Zidane has been able to publicly show that Bale is no longer required in the squad but the decision to prevent his move after going public is a surprise indeed.
The absence of 30-year-old in the friendly against Spurs was quite conspicuous. It is clear that the relationship between Bale and Zidane has broken down irreversibly.
Interestingly, Bale is not the only player to suffer at the hands of Zidane, as the Frenchman has also left out James Rodriguez from the squad in the past. Speaking after the disappointing loss against Spurs, Zidane claimed that Rodriguez is likely to be the squad at the start of the new season. Rivals Atletico Madrid are looking to sign the Colombian, who can be a great replacement for Marco Asensio.
Asensio has picked an anterior cruciate ligament injury that will keep out of action for this calendar year. If it is fight between Bale and Rodriguez about becoming a replacement for Asensio, it is likely that the Welshman will be able to win the contest.
Eden Hazard came to the Santiago Bernabeu for a huge fee, but he has so far been lacklustre and the Belgian is clearly a lot heavier than he was last season. After convincing Perez about the need to spend big, Zidane is coming under a lot of pressure. It would be difficult even for a man of his stature and achievements to remain in the job if Real Madrid’s poor form in preseason gets translated into the actual campaign.
The Los Blancos’ first game of the campaign sees them going up against Celta de Vigo on August 17. There are a couple of matches before and they should help Zidane find an answer to the mounting pressure. Unlike past, Madrid’s poor campaign last season has effectively eroded the club’s confidence.
Bale’s departure now looks highly unlikely and this effectively ends the pursuit of Paul Pogba, who has been a target for Zidane this summer. Madrid cannot afford to have a repeat of the 2018-19 campaign. Bale has been to the rescue of Madrid in the past on certain occasions and the Welshman may come in with a heroic rescue.