Gareth Bale's agent says the Wales forward has never asked to leave Real Madrid even though he is "not ecstatic" at the club.

Bale's relationship with Madrid's fans, coaching staff and the Spanish media has become strained this year.

Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane said in July it would be "best for everyone" if Bale left the club ahead of a proposed switch to China's Jiangsu Suning.

However, the deal collapsed and the 30-year-old has remained with the LaLiga side.

Bale's agent Jonathan Barnett said the player has never requested a move away from Madrid.

"He has never asked to leave," Barnett told the BBC's Euro Leagues Podcast.

"He has a contract with Real Madrid and as long as they want him, there's not much anyone can do about it.

"No-one has ever accused him of not giving 100 per cent and a 100 per cent Gareth Bale is one of the best players in the world. The coach should be happy and honoured he is on the pitch for him.

"There's no guarantee he is leaving. If the right opportunity came along for him and it's something he wants to do, we have to have a chat with the president of Real Madrid and see where we are."

Barnett acknowledged Bale, who has won the Champions League four times and LaLiga with Madrid, was not thrilled to still at the club.

"He's not ecstatic," Barnett added, when asked whether Bale was happy at the Bernabeu.

"He has got a contract and as long as he is a Real Madrid player he will play at 100 per cent – and do very well. 

"He wants to win the championship and the European championship and everything else. It will not affect his performance.

"The facts and figures prove if he is on the field for Real Madrid they have a better chance of winning."

Bale held a flag up, after Wales beat Hungary in a Euro 2020 qualifier, which claimed he put his country and time on the golf course ahead of Madrid.

"It was directed only to the media because they had been writing very infantile and stupid stories from people that do not know him," Barnett said of the 'Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order' banner.

"The truth is he has done fantastically for Real Madrid in the years he has been there and helped them win so much."

Real Madrid's character in their 2-1 win over Deportivo Alaves at a sodden Mendizorroza delighted head coach Zinedine Zidane.

Goals from skipper Sergio Ramos and Dani Carvajal either side of Lucas Perez's 65th-minute penalty put Madrid three points clear of Barcelona at the top of LaLiga, ahead of the champions entertaining Atletico Madrid at Camp Nou on Sunday.

Zidane selected Alphonse Areola ahead of Thibaut Courtois in goal, while Eder Militao and the under-fire Gareth Bale also started in a shuffled line-up for a keenly contested match.

"It's very important victory, but [we will not be] looking at tomorrow's game between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid," Zidane told a post-match news conference.

"Winning at these grounds is what we live for. We played with lots of personality.

"We played really seriously. We knew that we had to fight and we did it.

"We've got three points at a very difficult place to come."

On his surprise selection calls, Zidane added: "[Starting] Areola was today's decision. He's part of the squad, he trains well.

"He's part of the squad and he saved us, like Courtois sometimes does. He did fantastically well.

"Militao did very well and he has the right to play.

"We have to play every three days. The important thing is that everyone shows me every week that they are plugged in."

Madrid return to LaLiga action next weekend when they host Espanyol.

Zinedine Zidane named Gareth Bale in Real Madrid's starting XI and left Thibaut Courtois on the bench for Saturday's meeting with Deportivo Alaves.

Madrid had the chance to go top of LaLiga, at least temporarily, with a point and four changes were made to the team that conceded two late goals in a 2-2 Champions League draw against Paris Saint-Germain in midweek.

Eden Hazard's absence as the result of an ankle injury gave Wales international Bale the chance to start at club level for the first time since October 5.

The 30-year-old winger angered Los Blancos supporters last week when he posed in front of a flag that read: "WALES. GOLF. MADRID. IN THAT ORDER".

Eder Militao took the place of Raphael Varane, who reportedly suffered a knock against PSG, while loanee Alphonse Areola got the nod in goal as head coach Zidane shuffled his pack for a third game in seven days.

Luka Modric came into midfield for Fede Valverde, who joined Vinicius Junior on the bench.

Zidane declared the little-used Brazilian attacker would not be sent out on loan in January, but it remained to be seen if he would get an opportunity to impress against the competition's 13th-placed team.

Vinicius Junior will not be leaving Real Madrid in the January transfer window, head coach Zinedine Zidane insists.

The Brazil winger has not started a Madrid match since October 19 and has scored just once in 11 appearances in all competitions this season.

The future of the 19-year-old has been placed in doubt, with some reports suggesting he could leave on loan at the turn of the year in order to find regular first-team football.

Zidane, though, has no desire to let Vinicius leave and has backed him to prove his worth to Madrid.

"Vinicius isn't going to go. He's going to continue here," Zidane told reporters on Friday.

"It's not his moment right now, but it will be.

"I have 26 players and I have to leave some out of the squad. It's not his moment, as I've said, but he has to be ready for when it is.

"What changed is that there's [Eden] Hazard and there's Rodrygo [Goes]. He's training well but now there are other important players and I have to choose."

With Hazard having suffered an ankle injury in the Champions League draw with Paris Saint-Germain, Vinicius could get a chance to impress in Saturday's LaLiga game against Deportivo Alaves.

Zidane hopes to have Hazard available for next week's meeting with Espanyol, although he remains uncertain over his return.

"It's nothing serious but there's no concrete recovery plan. We'll see if he can be ready for next week," he said of the Belgium star.

"I can't say if he'll be ready for the Clasico [on December 18]. Everything depends on how [the injury] evolves, on the day-to-day."

Zidane also offered sympathy to Unai Emery, who was sacked by Arsenal on Friday after a run of just one win in nine matches.

"I'm very sorry. I don't like it when coaches get sacked and Emery is a great coach," he said of the former Sevilla boss.

"I'm sure he'll be coaching a team again very quickly."

Real Madrid confirmed Eden Hazard only suffered a bruised ankle in Tuesday's 2-2 draw with Paris Saint-Germain, meaning he is not expected to be a doubt for El Clasico on December 18.

Belgium international Hazard impressed before his withdrawal 21 minutes from time in the home Champions League clash, as Madrid went on to give up a two-goal lead in the final nine minutes.

Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane acknowledged the problem was a worry, claiming it was "more than a simple blow".

But the club confirmed on Wednesday that the winger only suffered bruising rather than ligament damage.

"After the tests performed on our player Eden Hazard by the Real Madrid medical services, he has been diagnosed with an external perimalleolar contusion [bruise] on his right leg," a statement read.

According to media reports, Hazard is expected to be out for around 10 days, meaning there should be minimal risk of him missing the Clasico in Madrid's penultimate LaLiga match of 2019.

There were enough sub-plots for Real Madrid's Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain to be turned into a feature-length film before a ball had even been kicked at the Santiago Bernabeu.

By the end of 90 breathless, pulsating and sheer joy-inducing minutes there were enough storylines to make a franchise that could rival even the lucrative Marvel series.

For 81 of those, Zinedine Zidane and his expensively assembled squad of Galacticos were almost tactically flawless.

The decision to hand Isco a first start in six weeks appeared truly inspired. The short, sharp passing in a midfield trio alongside Federico Valverde and Casemiro had PSG – who had dominated the same opponents 3-0 on matchday one – chasing white shirts with about as much success as an excitable dog longing to reach its tail.

If that problem wasn't big enough then the one caused by Eden Hazard would have given PSG's defence and head coach Thomas Tuchel nightmare-filled sleep for the foreseeable future.

Injury woes early in his Madrid career have meant it has taken Hazard a little while to get up to speed in the Spanish capital.

But for 70 minutes here, Hazard was utterly joyous – try as you might, taking your eyes of this Rolls Royce of a footballer was an impossible task.

Hazard was full of the sort of invention, creativity and genius nuances that convinced Madrid to part with over €100million to prise him from Chelsea.

It was as much a blow to the neutrals watching when Hazard was helped off the pitch following a strong challenge from Belgium team-mate Thomas Meunier as it was to Zidane and his Madrid team-mates.

That Hazard departing the pitch through injury became almost a footnote tells a story in itself about this classic of the Champions League genre.

Karim Benzema's second goal in the 79th minute should have been the cherry atop of a scrumptious cake for Madrid, who despite Zidane's protestations to the contrary would have had revenge in mind.

Granted it had taken a helping hand from the VAR, another of football's most divisive modern issues, to get that point.

The decision to overturn a red card for Thibaut Courtois – who rashly wiped out Mauro Icardi – for the softest of fouls from Idrissa Gueye on Marcelo earlier in the move appeared certain to dominate the narrative.

Even accounting for that let-off, it was another side-note in a game swimming with them that kept Madrid at bay.

Keylor Navas, who left for PSG having fallen behind Courtois in the goalkeeper pecking order at Madrid, was in inspired form – Benzema and Isco particularly left frustrated by his brilliance. That he was received so well by the home crowd speaks volumes of his contribution over five trophy-laden years at the Bernabeu.

Indeed it was his heroics that allowed Kylian Mbappe – the man so desired by Los Blancos fans – to take an almighty spanner and throw it directly into the works.

Those familiar with the story know Madrid have not exactly been quiet in expressing their admiration for the World Cup winner. Heck, even this week Zidane publicly declared his love for the rapid forward, who it is hard to imagine will not one day don the famous white of Madrid.

That love may have dwindled a little when Mbappe capitalised on a lack of communication between Courtois and Raphael Varane to hand PSG a precious lifeline.

Two minutes later, the irony will not have been lost on Zidane that the man to deny Madrid what would, in truth, have been a deserved victory to keep their hopes of finishing top of Group A alive was Pablo Sarabia – a player who graduated through the youth ranks at the Bernabeu.

Remarkably, only the width of a post denied one final twist and one so tantalisingly delicious it would not have been out of place in an M. Night Shyamalan film.

Gareth Bale, a man much derided by his own fans and the Spanish media for his 'WALES. GOLF. MADRID. IN THAT ORDER' banner celebration after Wales qualified for Euro 2020, stood poised over a free-kick 30 yards from goal.

This particular narrative only narrowly failed to play out. Had it done so the reactions would have been incredulity, shock and uncontrollable laughter. In that order.

When the dust settles, Zidane will analyse with forensic scrutiny Madrid's failure to first kill the contest through the numerous chances they created, and second to manage the game when two up with 10 minutes to go.

But for anyone without an affiliation for either of these two giants of European football, the only thing to do was sit back, jaws gaping, as the credits rolled on a match worthy of any big screen.

Zinedine Zidane admitted he was worried about Eden Hazard's ankle injury suffered in Real Madrid's 2-2 draw with Paris Saint-Germain.

Hazard was substituted in the second half at the Santiago Bernabeu, where Madrid gave up a 2-0 lead in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Zidane, whose team are guaranteed to finish second in Group A, is concerned about the injury blow.

"Yes, it's a worry," the Madrid coach told Movistar.

At his news conference, Zidane added: "It is more than a simple blow, but I hope it is less. I can't say right now.

"They have now gone to do tests and we will see."

A brace from Karim Benzema had put Madrid on track for victory with just 11 minutes remaining.

However, Kylian Mbappe and Pablo Sarabia scored in the space of two minutes to earn PSG a draw.

While unhappy with the result, Zidane said the performance from Madrid was pleasing.

"It has been a great match of the team. We keep growing. You have to be happy with the game," he said.

"Then with the result you cannot be happy but nothing happens. You have to be happy with what we did for 80 or 85 minutes."

Neymar has been benched for Paris Saint-Germain's Champions League clash at Real Madrid.

The Brazil star returned from a month-long absence with a hamstring injury in Friday's 2-0 Ligue 1 victory over Lille.

However, with PSG already through to the next round head coach Thomas Tuchel has opted not to risk the fitness of the flamboyant forward.

Instead, Mauro Icardi, Angel Di Maria and Kylian Mbappe line-up in a front three for the Group A clash at the Santiago Bernabeu.

It marks the first time Neymar has started a Champions League match on the bench since November 2014 when he was at Barcelona.

There are few surprises for a Madrid side who are still yet to book their spot in the knockout stages, with a win against PSG guaranteeing a last-16 berth.

Gareth Bale remains on the substitutes bench amid an uneasy relationship with the Los Blancos faithful, following his celebration after Wales qualified for Euro 2020.

The forward held up a banner that read 'WALES. GOLF. MADRID. IN THAT ORDER' in an apparent dig at the Spanish press' perception Madrid have slipped down Bale's list of priorities.

Thomas Tuchel has suggested Zinedine Zidane loves Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe more because he is unattainable.

Speaking ahead of Real Madrid and PSG's Champions League clash on Tuesday, Los Blancos boss Zinedine Zidane reaffirmed his admiration for the France international, saying: "I am already in love with him."

Tuchel laughed off suggestions he was angry with Zidane for his remarks, stating he is not the only one who loves the 20-year-old World Cup winner.

"I don't know how in love Zidane is with Mbappe, but we really love our player," he told a media conference.  

"The most important thing is that he is our player. We are happy to have him with us. When you can't have things you want, you want it even more."

PSG blew Madrid away 3-0 in their opening Group A game in September, but Tuchel is expecting a far tougher test at the Santiago Bernabeu.

"It is a different game for many reasons," he added. "Firstly, we are playing in Madrid – one of the hardest stadiums to play in. Madrid have leaders and captains all over the pitch.

"Now they are playing well and are in great form. They have a lot more victories and don't concede a lot of goals.

"It's really hard to play against Madrid now, especially when they are at home. But we are a well-balanced team. We are dangerous and we will pose a challenge for them.

"I'm really convinced it is time to grab the opportunity because we can be really dangerous if we work together and if we are patient. It is a good time to show people and prove that we are able to play a great game and a really hard one like this."

The Ligue 1 champions have already qualified for the knockout stages after winning all four of their group games.

Tuchel has demanded his side plays with the same intensity that has characterised their campaign so far when they face off against Zidane's men.

"We have showed great intensity with the ball during the group stage and it has been really impressive," he said.

"This is the key. Without the work of the whole team it is not possible to win games in the Champions League. If we want to win against Madrid it is mandatory to play like that. That will be the challenge and we have set the benchmark."

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane could once again face the wrath of Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo after declaring his love for Kylian Mbappe.

Mbappe, 20, is consistently linked with a move away from the Ligue 1 giants, where he has starred since arriving in 2017.

Zidane has long been an admirer of the France international and said last month it was Mbappe's dream to play for Los Blancos.

That led to Leonardo responding: "It annoys me a little and it bothers me. This is not the time to talk about this. He still has two and a half years of contract with us. It's time to stop all this."

Speaking ahead of Madrid's Champions League clash with PSG on Tuesday, Zidane once again expressed his admiration for the World Cup winner.

"You know that I have known him for a long time," he told a media conference. "I am already in love with him, firstly as a person, because he came to do a trial here a long time ago.

"On Tuesday he comes as a rival. What matters to me is what we are going to do and we are going to prepare for it. We know the player and we must be prepared."

Mbappe could line up alongside Neymar at the Santiago Bernabeu after the Brazilian superstar made his first appearance for a month in the Ligue 1 win over Lille on Friday.

Zidane believes the pair will be named in Thomas Tuchel's starting XI and expects a tough test against a side he ranks among the best in the world.

"Nothing changes for me because I think Neymar and Mbappe are going to play," he explained. "We are prepared in any case to play against any team.

"PSG is a very good team. I think it will be a great game. Since the beginning of the season they have not had many failures; they have lost very little in the league.

"I see a team that is progressing very well. They are one of the best teams in the world.

"They will demand a lot from us and we know that. In the end, we're going to need a lot of things – our heads, our hearts and a lot of good football. We need to work well with the ball."

Madrid are five points behind PSG at the summit of Group A but will qualify for the last 16 if they overcome the French champions.

Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane called on fans to stop booing Gareth Bale following the Wales star's return to LaLiga action on Saturday.

Bale came on in the second half of the 3-1 win over Real Sociedad at the Santiago Bernabeu and was greeted by an unhappy chorus from sections of the crowd.

Although some fans applauded the player, Bale was then subjected to jeers with every touch of the ball as Madrid saw out a win that moved them level on points with LaLiga leaders Barcelona.

It was Bale's first appearance for Madrid since October and came at the end of a week in which he risked the wrath of Madrid fans and media by celebrating Wales' Euro 2020 qualification near a banner that read: "WALES. GOLF. MADRID…IN THAT ORDER".

The slogan originates from a chant by Wales supporters that pokes fun at perceptions of Bale among the Spanish press, who have accused the former Tottenham player of pushing Madrid down his list of priorities.

Zidane, who was pleased with Bale's performance, accepts he cannot control fan reactions but called for the player to be supported for the rest of 2019-20.

"I hope this isn't constant this season. We want the fans to be with us from beginning to end, but we can't control that," he told reporters.

"The fans have the right to do what they want, but I ask that they applaud everyone. I focus on the game and the victory, and Bale came into the game very well.

"I haven't spoken with him; I've only congratulated him.

"I can't say if it's unfair or not. Everyone can say what they want. We need our fans. After that, we can't control what happens.

"There is too much noise with Bale. He wants to be with us and he wants to do well. That's why we don't want to talk too much. He is part of the group and wants to play like everyone else."

Madrid fell behind when Willian Jose scored after just two minutes following an error from captain Sergio Ramos, but they fought back through goals from Karim Benzema, Federico Valverde and Luka Modric.

"I'm happy. We didn't start well with the ball - we were very slow. Then, the end of the first half was very good and the start of the second, too," said Zidane.

"We're happy because there was a very good team facing us. We're happy for the three points."

Gareth Bale could make his first LaLiga appearance since October 5 after he was named on a star-studded Real Madrid bench for the home game against Real Sociedad.

Forward Bale has not featured for his club since the 4-2 win over Granada at the start of last month, though he has played four times for Wales since that outing.

The 30-year-old was on international duty during the week, helping Ryan Giggs' squad secure a place at Euro 2020 with a 2-0 win over Hungary. He celebrated after the final whistle, dancing and singing with a banner that read:  'WALES. GOLF. MADRID…IN THAT ORDER' 

The slogan originates from a chant by Wales supporters that pokes fun at perceptions of Bale among the Spanish media, who have accused the former Tottenham player of pushing Madrid down his list of priorities.

Prior to Saturday's game with Sociedad, Zinedine Zidane called for the Madrid fans to get behind Bale, who almost moved to China earlier in the year.

Bale will wait to find out if the Santiago Bernabeu faithful take their head coach's advice, depending on whether he is involved during proceedings in the capital.

Toni Kroos, Marcelo and Isco are also substitutes for Madrid, with the only change from the XI that started the 4-0 win over Eibar seeing Rodrygo Goes replace the injured Lucas Vazquez.

Gareth Bale has been included in Real Madrid's squad for their LaLiga encounter with Real Sociedad despite the controversy caused by his celebrations after Wales' successful Euro 2020 qualification.

Wales booked their place at next year's finals with a 2-0 win over Hungary in Cardiff on Tuesday.

Bale, who has not played for Madrid since October 5, featured from the start for Ryan Giggs' side and was pictured after the match singing and dancing behind a banner that read: 'WALES. GOLF. MADRID…IN THAT ORDER'.

The slogan originates from a chant by Wales supporters that pokes fun at perceptions among the Spanish media, who have accused Bale of bumping Madrid down his list of priorities and spending too much time on the golf course.

Those celebrations drew further criticism from sections of the Madrid press and Los Blancos' fanbase, but Zidane – whose relationship with Bale has reportedly been a troubled one – claimed on Friday that the issue had been overblown.

Zidane has now included Bale in his squad for Saturday's clash with Sociedad, who would move above Madrid with a win at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Bale's inclusion comes at the expense of Vinicius Junior, with the teenage winger missing out on the 19-man selection.

Vinicius has made eight appearances in LaLiga this term, though only four of those have been starts.

Zinedine Zidane has called for the Real Madrid fans to get behind Gareth Bale despite his well-publicised Wales celebrations this week.

Bale was pictured behind a banner that read 'WALES. GOLF. MADRID…IN THAT ORDER' following his country's 2-0 win over Hungary on Tuesday that secured them qualification to Euro 2020.

The slogan originates from a chant by Wales supporters that pokes fun at perceptions among the Spanish media, who have accused Bale of bumping Madrid down his list of priorities and spending too much time on the golf course.

Bale's celebration drew the ire of Madrid fans and many in the national media with Marca leading with the headline 'DISRESPECTFUL. WRONG. UNGRATEFUL. IN THAT ORDER'.

But Madrid head coach Zidane defended Bale, who almost left for China in the close-season, and urged the club's supporters to get behind the former Tottenham man.

"Those who really support the club, those who come to the stadium, know he's a Real Madrid player," he said.

"You shouldn't look at what goes on elsewhere, you have to support the team, the players, have to get behind the side.

"I will always support my players. Things might go on outside the Real Madrid environment but we're in this together."

Zidane was quizzed repeatedly about Bale ahead of Saturday's home game with Real Sociedad and was quick to highlight the player's achievements in Spain.

He added: "I think sometimes people go over the top with this topic, everyone has their point of view, we're here to focus on football. 

"I think now it's almost the snowball effect. I mean he was fit and could play with the national team, he's here, available and we're delighted. 

"He's done a lot for this club. I'm only concerned with the sporting side. I'm not here to speak about the rest, I'm not interested. I know a lot of people are but not me."

Gareth Bale's well-publicised celebration of Wales' Euro 2020 qualification will inflame his relationship with Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane, according to Los Blancos' former president Ramon Calderon.

In the aftermath of his country's 2-0 win over Hungary on Tuesday, Bale was pictured behind a banner that read: "WALES. GOLF. MADRID... IN THAT ORDER".

The slogan stems from a chant sung by Wales fans that pokes fun at the Spanish media's portrayal of Bale, who has been accused of placing Madrid low down his list of priorities and spending too much time playing golf.

The 30-year-old almost left for China during the close season and recently admitted he gets more enjoyment from playing for the national team than Madrid.

Calderon, Madrid's president from July 2006 to January 2009, believes the events of Tuesday could cost Bale a place in Zidane's matchday squad, with Los Blancos set to host high-flying Real Sociedad in LaLiga on Saturday.

"It's going to be difficult for Bale now because it was very childish of him to pose behind that banner," Calderon told The Athletic.

"Fans are very angry because of course they didn't like that, bearing in mind he has hardly played for the team this season then he goes off on international duty with Wales and plays in two matches.

"It's a difficult situation for Zidane and he won't be happy with Bale for posing with that banner.

"Bale hasn't done himself any favours with this. He's adding fuel to the fire and it's going to be difficult for Zidane to include him in the starting line-up and also the bench."

Bale was reportedly on the cusp of joining Jiangsu Suning in July, only for the deal to fall through at the last minute.

Calderon advised the four-time Champions League winner to pursue a return to Tottenham, where Jose Mourinho is now charge.

"He was linked with going to China but that is only for players who are at the end of their careers or who go for money," he said.

"Bale has at least three or four more years at the top level. Could he join Jose Mourinho at Tottenham? Why not? It depends on what Mourinho thinks of him but I'm sure the fans at Tottenham have very good memories of him there.

"For Bale to go back to where he really belongs would be ideal for everyone, because going to China would be a pity."

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