Gareth Bale

The secret difference between Gareth Bale and Zinedine Zidane: the recovery method after the matches

This Wednesday Zinedine Zidane and Gareth Bale met again in Valdebebas. They did not get to say hello because the anti-COVID protocol prevents footballers who exercise in the gym (the British one) from crossing with those who are on the field. Neither did Kroos or Ramos. The last time they had spoken was on the eve of the Champions League game in Manchester, against City. In that (brief) exchange of views, the player told his coach that if he was going to continue without him, as in the last league matches, it was better not to call him. It sounded like rudeness, but neither the coach nor the club felt bad about such a striking position.

The excuse was the pandemic. Better to save a trip and the risks of contagion, if the boss was clear that he was going to leave it on the bench without using it. The request did not squeak to ZZ, who already knows the Brit and her distance with the dynamics of the dressing room. Another, even knowing he had no options, would have wanted to get on the plane to accompany the team. But Bale, no. That’s how he is from the beginning and that’s how they respect him in the booth. Why? “Because he has given us a lot,” they repeat from the Ciudad Deportiva, taking a look at his record. The Chilean from Kyiv who billed the 13th Champions, without going any further. In fact, when in Madrid they read comparisons of HazardWith Bale, because of his fondness for injuries, it is whispered that hopefully, at the title level, the Belgian will come out the same, because it would be a success.

But now it is hard to see the glitter in an apparently striking player with crossed arms, who throws chinas at the club from his selection (he accused him of torpedoing his departure) while he passionately clings to his contract of two more years, without wanting to give up a euro in exchange for a destination where the prominence that Zidane cannot offer today is guaranteed.

Both have a pending conversation, without anyone at the club guessing the result of it. The situation already seemed irreconcilable a year ago and then Bale started in Vigo, in the first meeting of the season. Will they give themselves a new chance? Madrid lets the coach do, redoubled his authority for the league title. The Frenchman, as they remember around him, is a practical type, who will not hesitate to pull whatever piece is, if it suits his plans. But what it does not tolerate are privileges.

When rubbing this way, a clash of positions between the two is discovered, linked to the recovery system after the matches. Zidane prefers to apply a gentler method to the group, while the footballer demands intense and specific ways. A special status that the boss rejects and that has been eroding the relationship. Bale imposes his plan and ZZ punishes him without minutes. This is how they ended as they ended in July.

This difference always hindered their treatment, without the forward later on the grass clinging to the starting position with solid arguments. Zidane does not dispute the category or the services provided but believes that his project needs fresh legs and spirits. That’s why an inexperienced promise like Rodrigo Goes finished last season overtaking Bale on the right. The Welshman a year ago decided to stay at Madrid waiting to convince ZZ or the arrival of a coach who trusted him more. Do not forget that the Marseillais started the year with a half lunge. But he rebuilt, Mourinho did not appear and Bale ended up in the stands. Now the Portuguese await him at Tottenham, provided he agrees to charge less or renounces part of the contract he has left.

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