Zinedine Zidane is hoping for a calm Real Madrid comeback on Friday when they visit Manchester City.
The coach wants peace around his side, and he’s brought a trusted group that doesn’t include James Rodriguez or Gareth Bale to England with him.
Neither Bale nor James has featured recently for the Spanish champions, but Zidane hasn’t even allowed them to travel with the squad for this, perhaps their biggest game of the season so far.
Both players’ situations have been clear for a while now, and Bale‘s last appearance came on June 24 against Real Mallorca.
Since then, when he played 71 minutes, he’s been named as a substitute six times but never given a single minute, only confirming his status as not counted on by the coach.
Sergio Ramos has travelled
Zidane is keen to keep the players he doesn’t trust away from the group, while those he trusts are being kept as close as possible and, as a result, Sergio Ramoshas travelled with the side.
The Frenchman knows how important a role Ramos plays in the dressing room and the impact he has on his teammates, so his presence is seen as key even if he can’t play.
Real Madrid and Zidane are going in search of their third trophy of the season, with LaLiga Santander and the Supercopa de Espana already in the bag, giving them great peace of mind ahead of their attempt at the Champions League.