It feels like a long time ago that French coach Zinedine Zidane declared that the Real Madrid forward trio of Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo (the bbC) were non-negotiable. Now that all three players have been injury free for some time its clear that the coach has had a change of heart with a reluctance to play the three strikers together.
As time moves on with Zidane on the Bernabeu bench, he is using the trio together with less frequency. In his first season as coach the striking trident were in action for 9 of his 27 games in charge (33%). This percentage dropped to 26% the following season, some 16 games in 60 starting together with injury especially to Bale during the season having an impact on the figures. Indeed the Welsh international started on the bench as Madrid sealed their 12th European Cup win in his native Cardiff.
Varying circumstances in the early part of the current season (Cristiano's five match ban, Bale's injuries and squad rotation with the likes of Isco, Asensio and Lucas being employed with greater frequency) have meant the trident only starting four games together, some 7,5% which translates to playing together just 370 minutes from a possible total of 4.770. The last time all three players coincided on the pitch was back in match-day 20 when they comfortably dispatched Deportivo la Coruña at the Bernabeu where Benzema came on in the 64th minute of the game with the Welsh striker and Madrid No. 7 already on the pitch.
The last time all three stared together was match-day 29 when Griona visited the Spanish capital as part of 6-3 win.