With 40 minutes to go until kick-off against Valencia, all the Real Madrid players but Gareth Bale were in the dressing room as the starters were preparing to go out to warm up.
The Welshman had yet to put on his kit and was on the Alfredo Di Stefano pitch chatting with one of the team’s physios.
Although Bale did not breach any internal rules, the fact that he was not with his teammates ahead of a crucial game raised some eyebrows and showed that he is detached from the rest of the team.
It is likely that the Real Madrid winger was upset about not being in the starting line-up for the fifth game in a row, as the last match he started was back on February 16 against Celta Vigo.
What’s clear is that he is not a first-choice forward and that his relationship with Zinedine Zidane seems non-existent, as Bale does not understand why he is ostracised and the Frenchman is not fond of his player’s attitude.
After that game against Celta, the Wales international was left out of the matchday squad against Levante and then started on the bench against Manchester City, Barcelona and Real Betis.
Bale came off the bench in the Champions League tie against Pep Guardiola‘s side, but Zidane did not see what he expected from him on the pitch in terms of effort.
Bale didn’t get any playing time against Barcelona and Betis and, although it seemed that the break could have helped to ease his relationship with Zidane, some wounds are still open.
Starting on the bench against Eibar frustrated the Welshman, who played just half an hour, and it seems that he has dropped further down Zidane‘s pecking order behind Rodrygo Goes, Vinicius Junior, Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio.