Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane claims that Gareth Bale himself announced that he does not want to play in the return against Manchester City in the eighth finals of the Champions League on Friday. The attacker is therefore kept out of the selection for the game in England.

"Many things have been said and written about it. What I discuss with him is private, but I can tell you that Gareth said he would rather not play. The rest is between him and me," Zidane said at his press conference on Thursday in the Etihad Stadium.

Bale is barely featured in Zidane's plans. He was also not part of the selection for the last league match and was on the bench in the six games before that for ninety minutes. He then caused quite a stir in Spain by looking disinterested.

"I'm not going to say anything more about Gareth. I'm not disappointed in him. I respect his decision and things like this should stay in the dressing room. He doesn't want to participate and we focus on the confrontation with City. That's for us now most importantly, "said Zidane.

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Summary Real Madrid-Manchester City (1-2)

Guardiola: 'Don't count me rich yet'

City has the best papers to qualify for the quarterfinals. The English won the first leg at Estadio Santiago Bernabéu in February with 1-2 (after trailing 1-0), which means that Real must score at least twice on Friday to continue.

"I am far from counting on myself. It has been a long time since we managed to beat Real. The game today and the game then are two completely different games," City manager Josep Guardiola said at his press conference.

"It is very difficult to find out how they are going to play. Real has a lot of tactical possibilities and is able to surprise everyone. Every time you think you know them, Zinedine comes up with something else."

City-Real and Juventus-Lyon are the first Champions League games after the corona break on Friday at 9 p.m. The ball of millions is finished in shortened form in Lisbon from the quarterfinals, so that the clubs do not have to travel every time and the chance of infections is smallest.

View the program and the results in the Champions League