Zinedine Zidane denies dropping Gareth Bale to send Real Madrid forward a message

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Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane denied his decision to leave Gareth Bale out of the squad was a message to him, with Los Blancos beating Villarreal 3-2 at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.

A brace from Mariano and Jesus Vallejo’s close-range strike ultimately gave the home side all three points, although Villarreal had been on level terms

through Gerard Moreno and created numerous chances before Jaume Costa scored in the fourth minute of injury time.

Despite Karim Benzema being ruled out through injury, Bale was deemed surplus to requirements by Zidane, fuelling speculation that Bale will leave the Bernabeu in the summer.


“I’m the coach, I have to pick the team and that’s all there is to it,” Zidane said.








Watch what else the Real boss had to say on Bale in the video above 



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Real Madrid boss Zidane refuses to discuss Bale's future

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Bale did not feature in Real's matchday squad for the Villareal clash.

Head coach Zinedine Zidane refused to discuss Gareth Bale‘s future after the Welshman was left out of the matchday squad as Real Madrid claimed a hard-fought 3-2 win over Villarreal on Sunday.

A brace from Mariano and Jesus Vallejo’s close-range strike ultimately gave the home side all three points, although Villarreal had been on level terms through Gerard Moreno and created numerous chances before Jaume Costa scored in the fourth minute of injury time.

Despite Karim Benzema being ruled out through injury, Bale was deemed surplus to requirements by Zidane, fuelling speculation that Bale will leave the Bernabeu in the summer.

“I’m the coach, I have to pick the team and that’s all there is to it,” Zidane said of his decision to leave Bale out in quotes published on the club’s official website.

“You can interpret it as you wish. I need to pick a squad of players and some are going to miss out.”

Mariano bagged a brace in Real Madrid's win.

Mariano bagged a brace in Real Madrid’s win.

Real bounced back from a stunning 1-0 defeat at lowly Rayo Vallecano last week and Zidane added: “We played much better than the other day and I feel much happier now, as do the players.

“We won the game at our ground and I’m pleased. It was a rather end-to-end game and when you’re 3-1 up you shouldn’t be letting them score, but we did. It’s a variety of things, tiredness, the heat, but we didn’t finish the game brilliantly.”

The home side took the lead after just two minutes when former Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla dawdled in possession deep in Villarreal’s half, allowing Brahim Diaz to nip in and tee up Mariano, who got between two defenders to stab home.

Moreno equalised in the 11th minute but Vallejo restored Real’s lead before the interval and a brilliant cross from Dani Carvajal gave Mariano an easy close-range finish for his second goal of the game early in the second half.

Speaking about Mariano’s performance, Zidane added: “Of course he’s not had too many opportunities because he’s been injured, he’s been out for a long time. Mariano got his chance to play today and he’s scored twice, I’m happy for him.”

Provided by Press Association Sport

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Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane refuses to comment on potential bid for Paul Pogba

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Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane admits he admires Paul Pogba but refused to comment on a potential transfer bid for the Manchester United midfielder.

Pogba’s Old Trafford future appears increasingly uncertain and he has been repeatedly linked with a big-money summer switch to the Bernabeu.

Zidane has a major rebuilding job on his hands in the Spanish capital at the end of a torrid campaign in which the club have sacked two managers and currently sit 18 points adrift of champions Barcelona.

But the Frenchman, who was reappointed eight weeks ago after leaving last summer, would not be drawn on speculation linking him with a move for compatriot Pogba.

“I said that he’s a good player, but you could ask me about another player and I’d tell you the same thing,” said Zidane, according to Real‘s website.

“I said that he’s a good player and also that I know him. I’m not going to say any more because if things work out well, you’re excused, but if you say something daft…

“Pogba is a Manchester United player, he’s a very good one but he plays for Manchester United.

“We’ll see at the end of the season who goes and who stays. I didn’t say anything about us signing Pogba. I’m not going to say anything until things are done”.

ZinedineZidaneRealMadrid3 (1)

Real are destined to finish third in La Liga behind bitter foes Barca and city rivals Atletico Madrid, while their hopes of a fourth successive Champions League title were ended by Ajax a week before Zidane’s return.

Los Blancos have three fixtures remaining, starting with Sunday’s visit of Villarreal.

Zidane, whose team have taken just two points from their last four away games, is keen to return home and has urged his players to restore the pride of the Real fans as a difficult campaign draws to a close.

“We want to continue our winning run at the Bernabeu. We’ve got the chance to do just that and to show everyone that we’re keen to end the season strongly and put in good performances,” said Zidane.

“We enjoy playing at the Bernabeu and we’re going to try and make sure that the fans are proud of all of the players.

“We’ve had our struggles, the season has been a tough one and they’re aware of the fact. But we want to, at the very least, put in a good performance tomorrow.”

Zidane, who will once again be without injured trio Karim Benzema, Sergio Ramos and Alvaro Odriozola this weekend, has been in contact with former Real team-mate Iker Casillas.

casillas

Goalkeeper Casillas, now playing for Porto, was taken to hospital this week after suffering a heart attack.

“The first thing I want to do is to send my support to Iker on the club’s behalf,” said Zidane.

“I sent him a message yesterday and he’s in good spirits and is doing better. We send him all of our strength.

“He has to be relaxed, recover properly and focus on resting. He looks to be in good spirits.”

Villarreal, in 14th place, can banish any lingering relegation fears in Madrid.

Head coach Javi Calleja told his club’s website: “Winning there would be ideal, especially so we would have a pay-off for all the hard work we’ve put in so we could confirm staying up.

“They’re one of the best teams in the world with players who’ve won everything and we know how difficult getting a positive result would be.

“It will be complicated, but we trust ourselves to play well to get the three points.”

Striker Carlos Bacca is an injury doubt for the visitors, while Toko Ekambi is suspended.

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