Published: Sun, April 08, 2018
Sport | By Ashley Hunter

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale has more big moments ahead - Zinedine Zidane

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale has more big moments ahead - Zinedine Zidane

The reigning champions have long since given up hope of catching Barcelona at the summit, but they are now within four points of second-placed Atleti.

The bicycle kick was a classic of the genre, a goal so good even Zinedine Zidane, no stranger to great Champions League goals, didn't seem to believe what he'd seen.

Ernesto Valverde's side hold a nine-point lead over Atletico at the summit and could stretch that to 12 with a win over Leganes on Saturday.

Zidane insisted the decision had nothing to do with Barcelona's refusal to form a guard of honour at the Clasico in Madrid in December just after Real had won the Club World Cup.

"We're not going to do the guard" Zidane said at a press conference ahead of the Madrid derby against Atletico, who are also Barcelona's closest pursuers.

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"I don't understand the guard of honour".

"On the season: "There is no explanation, there were times in the season when things did not go well for us, especially at times not to score goals". But Zidane has declared that his team will break tradition and won't be showing their respect in that way - if any at all - when they meet again next month.

"The players that have played recently have put in great performances, which makes it more hard and means I have to make a decision". We know what he's capable of and what he has done in the past. He is an important player.

He played another key role in Real winning the 2016 Champions League but his influence has waned in the last two seasons, not helped by a serious ankle injury last campaign and repeated muscle problems. "He's still an important player, and despite not playing in three games we still have big games coming up".

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