ATHLETIC 0-1 REAL MADRID

Real Madrid: James asked Zidane to leave him out of the squad

In his post-match press conference, Zidane revealed that the Colombia midfielder requested to be omitted from the squad list for the Athletic Club game.

The relationship between Zidane and James Rodríguez has reached the point of no return and it looks like nothing, or no one, can heal it. The Real Madrid coach has no place for James in his team, he didn't want him last year and doesn't want him this season either. The Colombian, who has grown tired of his situation (Jorge Mendes has been looking for a new club for him for some time), asked the coach to leave him out of today's trip to Athletic Club.

And it was Zidane who revealed the player's request this afternoon when Onda Cero's Edu Pidal asked about James in the post-match press conference at San Mamés, Zizou replied: "He wanted to be left out for personal reasons".

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James complained in an interview last week

Shortly afterwards in Zidane's press conference, Diario AS asked the coach to elaborate with a few more details about James, who is believed to be fully fit and under contract. "It's our business. I was asked, and I gave an answer. That's all there is to it. I'm not going to talk any further about it," Zizou explained.

James' absence in the squad list which travelled to Bilbao, the first time he has been omitted since competition resumed, came in the wake of the player's recent declarations in an interview to a  Colombian outlet Gol Caracol about his lack of playing time. "That's a good question, I'd like to know myself. It's also complicated when the coach isn't playing you all of the time, you can't really show what you can do when you only play for a small amount of time. Those involved in football know what I mean," he explained. In terms of playing time at Real Madrid, James is the 20th most used player in the squad with 728 minutes this season.