Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane explains Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale absence

REAL MADRID manager Zinedine Zidane has explained why Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale were absent from his starting line up against Leganes.

The Frenchman rotated his stars to allow some of the younger fringe players some much needed gametime.

Instead, Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio were trusted to lead the attack with Karim Benzema – and the former found the back of the net inside 11 minutes.

Ronaldo scored a brace in the Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain last week so was given a well-earned break.

And Zidane was proud with the way Vazquez and Asensio stepped in to help Real Madrid earn a victory which lifts them to third in the table.

'I think they have always been important for me,' Zidane said.

'I am happy for Lucas because he deserves this, as he fights. 'He has a great match, like Asensio and like everyone in general.

'Like [Mateo] Kovacic too, a player who has not played recently, but who played phenomenally.'

Meanwhile, Bale was used as a substitute as he continues to his return to full fitness.


And Zidane says he is delighted with the progress the Welshman is making.

'I am happy with him,' Zidane said. 'We have to go bit by bit with him.

'What we want is for him to hit his best and we're getting there.

'We'll look at the matches that are coming up next and at how we're going to manage them.

'We are good and in good form and I am counting on all my players.'


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