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Real Madrid started off their 2019/20 pre-season preparations with a 3-1 defeat to Bayern Munich and Zinedine Zidane reflected on the match in the press room at the NRG Stadium and also revealed the reason behind Bale’s absence from the squad. Despite the result, the French coach was quick to highlight that the point of pre-season games is all about working up the fitness levels.

Here’s what Zidane had to say in his post-match press conference after the opening match of the 2019/20 tour.

ON THE PERFORMANCE:

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“I’d have liked to have won it. We didn’t manage to do so, it was our first game and we’re getting a feel for things. I’m sure that we’ll perform better in our second game. What we’re doing here is getting ready for our first game of the LaLiga season. Our focus is on that and on gradually getting things right for the start of the LaLiga campaign.

“We can’t be happy after having been beaten, but we saw some good things out there. It’s to be expected, it was our first game and we have to get up to speed. I’m happy with the performances from all of them. The vibes are good. We struggled a bit in the first 10 minutes. We then did well and started to play out from the back. The only thing missing in the first half was a goal.

We fielded a new side after the break and it was the first time that those players had played together. I need to ask for more from them. We struggled a bit at the back, but that’s perfectly normal.”

ON BALE:

“He wasn’t included in the squad because the club is working on his departure and that’s why he didn’t play. We’ll have to see what happens in the coming days. We’ll have to see if it goes through tomorrow, if it does then all the better. Let’s hope, for everyone’s sake, that it happens soon. The club is dealing with the club that he’ll move to.

“It’s nothing personal. There comes a time when things are done because they need to be done. I’ve not got anything against him. We have to make decisions and change things, that’s all there is to it. You’re aware of the situation and there will be a change to it. I don’t know if this will happen in 24 or 48 hours’ time. The situation will change and it’s for the best for everyone. That’s how things go. I speak with the club, we’ve got decisions to make and it’s a decision that’s been made by the coach and the player. Let’s see how things play out.”

ON HIS TEAM SELECTION:

“We’re in pre-season. You can make what you like of the starting line-up. I put out a XI and then a completely different one. In the second game we’ll make other changes and that’s all there is to it. Who starts the game isn’t the important thing.”

PRESSURE AND EXPECTATIONS:

“That’s something we deal with on a daily basis, but I like it. I know where I am. It’s my passion, Real Madrid is my club, I’ve had the chance to return, to begin another project and that’s what we’re doing. After winning a lot of trophies, I’m not interested in just settling for what I’ve won. I’m interested in the here and now and what we do with this squad of players.”

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