MX23RW : Monday, January 27 03:58:19| >> :600:4457126:4457126:
Dec 7, 2019 at 12pm UK at ​Estadio Santiago Bernabéu (Madrid)
Attendance: 64,125
Real Madrid
2-0
Espanyol
Varane (37'), Benzema (79')
Mendy (83')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Zidane: 'I won't stop Gareth Bale playing golf'

Zidane: 'I won't stop Gareth Bale playing golf'
© Reuters
The Welshman has been dubbed 'The Golfer' by his teammates at the Bernabeu.

Zinedine Zidane says he will not stop Wales star Gareth Bale from playing golf in his spare time.

Bale – who will miss Real Madrid's LaLiga home match with Espanyol on Saturday through injury – admits playing golf is his passion and that his team-mates have nicknamed him 'The Golfer'.

Wales are set to prevent Bale from playing golf during Euro 2020 next summer, with manager Ryan Giggs insisting the players' focus must be on football and not other activities.

Real Madrid v Liverpool – UEFA Champions League – Final – NSK Olimpiyskiy Stadium
Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane says he will not stop Gareth Bale from playing golf in his spare time (Nick Potts/PA)

And Zidane was asked at his pre-match press conference whether Real would follow suit and stop Bale from spending time on the golf course when he is in Spain.

"I'm going to give you my reply, the club might say something different," Real manager Zidane said.

"I'm not going to stop any of my players from doing anything in their free time.

"They are older and each one knows what he has to do."

Bale started his first club game since October 5 last weekend as Real won 2-1 at Alaves.

In that time wBale, who was troubled by a calf injury, started four games for Wales as the Dragons secured Euro 2020 qualification.

Bale has now suffered a fresh fitness blow, his latest injury coming after the player's agent Jonathan Barnett said his client – who has had a difficult relationship with Zidane – is "not ecstatic" at the club.

"It (the injury) occurred in the Alaves match," Zidane said.

"We had two and a half days of rest and on the way back he suffered.

"That's why he hasn't trained with us. He did a little bit of training (on Friday), but not with us."

Eden Hazard is set for a spell on the sidelines after damaging his ankle in a recent Champions League game against Paris St Germain.

Zidane said Hazard's injury was "more serious than expected" and he will be out until the new year.

Real trail leaders Barcelona on goal difference after taking 13 points from their last five league games.

"The important thing is to be good all season – from beginning to end," Zidane said.

"What we intended was to start well and continue this way until the end.

"The stretch until Christmas is very important for us."

Espanyol have lost four of their last five games, picking up only one point in a home draw with Getafe.

Belgium v Scotland – UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying – Group I – King Baudouin Stadium
Belgium's Eden Hazard has been ruled out of action for Real Madrid until the new year (Bradley Collyer/PA)

It is a run which has left them one place off the bottom of the five table and five points from safety.

"I hope that things cannot get any worse – otherwise we're going to have a hard time of it," Espanyol head coach Pablo Machin said after the 4-2 home defeat to Osasuna last weekend.

"We can't keep being so vulnerable, at the moment we're handing opportunities to our opponents on a plate, and we can't compete like that.

"We have to lift our heads up, keep working together, recognise what's gone wrong and keep working hard at the things we got right.

"I'm the last person to give up and jump ship. We will take this team forward, I'm sure of it."

Espanyol will be without Victor Sanchez at the Bernabeu after the midfielder suffered a knee injury against Osasuna.

body check tags ::

Click here for more stories about Zinedine Zidane

Click here for more stories about Real Madrid

Share this article now:
New Instagram promo
Gareth Bale during a Wales training session on October 12, 2019
Read Next:
Agent admits Gareth Bale is "not ecstatic" at Real Madrid
>
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free match previews newsletter! Updates are sent twice a week.

rhs 2.0
FA Cup
La Liga
Scottish Premiership
Serie A
Bundesliga
Ligue 1
Australian Open Fourth Round
12am
Mertens
Halep
2am
Monfils
Thiem
2am
Kontaveit
Swiatek
4am
Medvedev
Wawrinka
4.30am
Muguruza
Bertens
6.30am
Kerber
Pavlyuchenkova
8am
Rublev
Zverev
8am
Nadal
Kyrgios
Eredivisie
Primeira Liga
Turkish Super Lig
Belgian Pro League
Greek Superleague
Swiss Super League
Serie B
Segunda Division
Eerste Divisie
Argentine Primera Division
Liga MX
Australian A-League
Gallagher Premiership
NFL Playoffs
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool23221054153967
2Manchester CityMan City24163565273851
3Leicester CityLeicester24153652242848
4Chelsea2412484132940
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd249783629734
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs249783832634
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2481063532334
8Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd248972523233
9Southampton2494113142-1131
10Arsenal2461263234-230
11Crystal Palace247982228-630
12Everton2486102835-730
13Burnley2493122838-1030
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2486102436-1230
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2467112734-725
16Aston Villa2474133145-1425
17West Ham UnitedWest Ham2365122738-1123
18Bournemouth2465132337-1423
19Watford2458112136-1523
20Norwich CityNorwich2445152447-2317

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!