Zinedine Zidane insists Gareth Bale is not a trouble-causer at Real Madrid, with the coach adamant he will always back his players.
Bale has become a target of vitriol from Madrid’s fans and sections of the Spanish media in recent seasons, with Wales forward – who has also struggled with injuries – having often fallen down the pecking order.
The 30-year-old also incurred the wrath of the local press and Los Blanco’s support when he celebrated with a flag bearing the message “WALES. GOLF. MADRID… IN THAT ORDER” following Wales’ qualification for Euro 2020.
Having scored in Madrid’s 3-1 Copa del Rey win over Unionistas de Salamanca on Wednesday, Bale will not be available for Sunday’s LaLiga encounter with Real Vallodolid due to an ankle injury.
But, when asked why he has defended the player in the past, Zidane stated he has no issues with Bale, who has scored just three goals this season.
“I always defend my players. It’s not that I need to. They train every day, they work hard and want to defend the Real Madrid badge,” Zidane told a news conference.
“So I don’t share the same opinion. It’s true he’s had a few injuries but you can’t do anything when a player is injured.
“Hopefully he can string together more games, a few training sessions, get minutes under his belt and get back into playing and training at the same pace as his team-mates.
“When he is fit we want him to come back and be in good shape. It is a shame. He is not happy because he wants to be training with the side.”