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Zidane angry with Gareth Bale for playing golf with an injury

Zizou was aghast to find out the regularly injured Welshman spent his day off playing two rounds of golf before then pulling out of training on Monday.

Zidane angry with Gareth Bale for playing golf with an injury
Ross Kinnaird Getty Images

Gareth Bale’s absence from Wednesday night’s clash against Villarreal riled up Zinedine Zidane. The Wales international had complained of discomfort following Saturday’s 5-1 victory at Getafe’s Coliseum but then jetted to the south of the Iberian peninsula the next day to participate in the Open de España and, according to TenGolf, played 36 holes of golf (two full rounds) on two of the most exclusive courses in Cádiz, Finca Cortesín and La Reserva.

News of the former Tottenham man’s day on the fairways first surprised the Real Madrid manager and then annoyed him as it became clear during Monday’s training session that he would be unable to face Villarreal at the Bernabéu.

Zizou was asked to comment on the situation during his post-match press conference (“He has an overcharged muscle”, the visibly perturbed Frenchman responded), but behind the scenes he was furious that one of his star players -- one with a recurring history of soleus and back problems -- had spent eight hours of his day off playing golf while carrying an injury.

Bale has made no secret of his love of golf in the past: “I’ve not really thought about what I’ll be doing in 20 years when I’m retired from football, but, hopefully, I will be playing golf”, the Cardiff native stated in a recent interview. Bale has a top-of-the-range golf simulator in his Madrid mansion to practice his swing on his free time and is planning to build a three-hole course on the grounds of his Welsh home.