No regrets playing Bale in Clasico, says Zidane

Gareth Bale

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is adamant he does not regret naming Gareth Bale in his starting XI for Sunday’s 3-2 defeat against Barcelona regardless of the Wales international’s renewed injury problems.

The 27-year-old missed Madrid’s recent clashes with Sporting Gijon and Bayern Munich due to a muscular problem, but somewhat surprisingly featured from the start in this weekend’s Clasico.

Bale did not last long, though, as Zidane was forced to replace the winger shortly before half-time following what appeared to be a recurrence of a calf injury.

The attacker’s latest fitness problems could see him miss the decisive stages of the 2016-17 campaign, but Zidane insists it was the right decision to select him.

“Gareth said he was fine and eager to play. I do not regret it,” said the Frenchman.

“I am disappointed for him because he wanted to play and this is something we cannot control.

“Monday we will have a look and see what injury he has and I hope he will not be out long.”

The loss – sealed by Lionel Messi’s last-gasp strike – saw Madrid slip to second, though they have a game in hand on new leaders Barca.

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