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REAL MADRID

Real Madrid: Zidane confirms Gareth Bale exit within rules

Much has been made of the Welshman's tendency to scarper a few minutes before the end of home matches but Zidane has said it's permitted by the club.

Gareth Bale entra al Camp Nou antes del Barcelona-Real Madrid de semifinales de Copa del Rey.
Alex Caparros Getty Images

While Luka Jovic was applying the finishing touch to Real Madrid’s 5-0 victory over Leganés on Wednesday, Gareth Bale was already on his way home having watched the game from the stands until the 82nd minute. The Wales forward was omitted from the match day squad due to injury but raised eyebrows when he was snapped leaving the Bernabéu before the final whistle, as he tends to do.

However, Real Madrid’s club rules state that Bale is perfectly within his rights to try and beat the post-match traffic, as are all of Zinedine Zidane’s players who are not involved in the game.

Deportes Cuatro got their hands on Real Madrid’s internal regulations earlier in the season, which cover what is expected of players regarding timetables, training sessions, matches and all the other minutiae surrounding their obligations to the club.

Zidane: Bale's departure "perfectly acceptable"

Among the various rules laid out for players who are not in the squad is the requirement to be present in the changing room before the game and to remain at the Bernabéu “at the very least until 10 minutes before the final whistle.”

Zidane confirmed as much in his post-match press conference when asked about Bale’s early exit: “Yes, I think so yes, he left. Five minutes before the end of the game it’s perfectly acceptable [for a player] to head off home.”