Zinedine Zidane is a polite person who doesn't often give his feelings away. But the Real Madrid coach currently feels betrayed by Gareth Bale. And not for the calf injury which has left him out of action since the last international break and saw him return to London this week to see an expert.
Zidane's anger predates that problem. It coincides with the Welshman's departure to join up with the Wales squad in October. Bale took advantage of his more comfortable surroundings back home to complain about not having been called up for the Champions League game against Club Brugge.
That surprised the French manager. Firstly, because of a conversation they had at the start of the season, when Zidane became aware Bale wasn't leaving, as he'd hoped he would. In that meeting, Zidane told him he would count on him and asked if he was motivated for the new campaign. Bale said yes, categorically. And Zidane didn't deceive Bale because he gave him minutes at the start of the season. The Welshman played eight of the 10 games before the second international break. Data which shows the confidence the coach placed in him. As Zidane's explained, he then left him out against Brugge for a rest, to risk pushing him physically.
That's where Zidane feels betrayed by Bale, because he kept his part of the bargain and Bale still complained. We will see what his answer is when Bale returns from injury. Rodrygo has done well in his absence and could knock him out of the team. Reports in Madrid are already suggesting a January exit could be on the cards.