The coach had kind words to say about his charge during the week but he will not be risking him for the Merengue’s next outing
Bale started and played 84 minutes on Sunday, as Madrid were held to a 2-2 home draw by Celta, who equalised late on through Santi Mina.
And while the Welshman failed to impress, Zidane leapt to his defence after the game.
“I think Bale played a good game and we have to keep thinking that there’s a long way to go and we have to think about what we all do on the pitch to improve it,” Zidane said in the wake of the draw.
However, Bale will not get the chance to continue in Madrid’s XI this week after he was left out of the squad for the clash with Levante.
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) February 21, 2020
The 30-year-old has reportedly been struggling with a stomach bug, which meant he was unable to train on Wednesday.
Striker Luka Jovic has also missed out – with the Serbia international reportedly suffering from the same issue – while Rodrygo and Nacho do not feature in the 19-man squad.
Eden Hazard, who made his comeback from injury against Celta, is included.
Madrid have been boosted by the return to non-contact training of Marco Asensio, who has missed the entirety of the season due to a knee ligament injury.
Marcelo also retains his spot, despite being another focus of criticisms following Sunday’s draw.
“I don’t think he makes us weaker defensively, because he was good at the back, but you always bring out stats,” Zidane said of the Brazilian.
“I’m happy with everyone for how they play and when they play.”
The Catalans and Madrid both play on Saturday, with Barca kicking off at home to Eibar prior to the Merengue’s visit to Levante.