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Zinedine Zidane: "Bale would prefer not to play against Manchester City"

“We know the first leg result but we're prepared and focused", said the coach.

Gareth Bale didn't make Real Madrid's squad for the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Manchester City, and Zinedine Zidanehas explained why he excluded him from the travelling contingent.

The Frenchman has stressed that he left Bale out because the forward didn't want to participate in the match.

"[Bale] is a Real Madrid player, nothing has changed and I respect that," Zidanesaid during the pre-match press conference.

"In the end many things are said and we have a respectful relationship between coach and player.

"It is a private conversation, but I can only tell you that he preferred not to play, and the rest is between him and me."

Eden Hazard finished the LaLiga Santander season with some discomfort, but Zidane is confident that his player is fit again.

"It is true that he had a bit of discomfort at the end of the league [season], but now he is much better and I think he is well and confident," he continued.

"It's true that playing every two or three days has been more difficult for him and he doesn't have to play with discomfort.

"Now he's fine and hopefully he can continue without problems."

Finally, he pointed out that his Real Madrid players will treat the game against the Sky Blues like a final.

"The team is fine because we have prepared for this match," Zidane added.

"We know we have a disadvantage, but it is another final and we are going to try to have a great game.

"I don't know what will happen tomorrow, but it will be a good game between two very good teams and that is the most important thing.

"We know the situation from the result of the first leg.

"[There are] four finals if we want to go all the way."

Source: Marca / Pablo Polo - Panos Kostopoulos

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