When Zinedine Zidane was asked about Gareth Bale's latest golf expedition in the build-up to the game against Villarreal, the Real Madrid manager refused to give too much away.
"I don't know whether he played golf or not, but I don't think he did," Zidane told reporters. "He has an over-use injury in his lower back. I can't tell you exactly what it is because I am not a doctor."
But according to AS, Zidane is very much aware that Bale played golf and is privately furious with the Welsh wizard.
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Bale was absent from Real Madrid's 3-0 win over Villarreal on Wednesday night after complaining of a leg injury in the aftermath of their 5-1 win over Sporting Gijon.
Zidane was happy to give Bale time to recover but the winger then jetted off to the Open de Espana, where he played 36 holes of golf on two Spain's most exclusive courses, Finca Cortesin and La Reserva, over the weekend.
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Upon hearing the news, Zidane was first surprised to see that Bale had done such a thing. He then became angry in training on Monday, when it was clear the 26-year-old would not be fit for Wednesday's game.
Bale loves golf
The £86million man has made no secret of his love for the game of golf in the past with recent reports suggesting he is ready to blow huge money building a course around his Welsh mansion.
In a recent interview, he said: “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."
However, it seems Bale has allowed his passion for the little white ball to compromise the other sport he is supposed to love. There is little suggestion that he injured himself during either of the two rounds he played, but he certainly could have done with resting instead of exerting himself for eight hours.
Much of Zidane's fury appears to stem from the fact that Bale showed such a lack of care for his own body despite his history with injury problems. Indeed, it was only two months ago that Spanish reports claimed Real Madrid were growing tired with his inability to stay fit throughout the season.
Bale has only featured in 1,485 out of a possible 3,060 La Liga minutes this season while Cristiano Ronaldo, the man he was supposed to be replacing, has been ever-present, starting every game in both La Liga and the Champions League.
Should he fail to prove his fitness, it is likely his place in the squad will come under serious question. The fact that he seems more focussed on his handicap than his Real Madrid career will hardly help matters.
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