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 By Rob Train

Bale's dwindling playing time after regaining fitness puts Madrid future in doubt

Zinedine Zidane believes Real Madrid will be able to continue moving up the La Liga table after his team go third with a 3-1 win over Leganes.

Gareth Bale has been prominent in the headlines after Real Madrid's victory over Leganes in midweek, his latest benching apparently not going down at all well with the Welshman. Various images in the sports dailies showed Bale glowering on the sidelines as his supposed understudy, Lucas Vazquez, stole the show in Butarque.

Coupled with a watching brief in the Bernabeu in the Champions League last week, rumours are rife of a summer departure for Bale, who through a combination of injuries and tactical...

Who are Girona? Exploring their ties to Barcelona, Pep Guardiola

Girona have been La Liga's surprise team this season. How have they managed such success?

Barcelona host Girona on Saturday in an interesting clash for the league leaders. Sam Marsden explains the connections between the two teams...

Q: So, Pep Guardiola's two Catalan teams meet this weekend in La Liga?

A: You could say that. Obviously, he was a player at Barcelona and then the coach -- a very successful one -- so regardless of where he's working, he will always support the club. There's never particularly between a link between Guardiola and Girona, though, until now.

Q: Can you...

 By Sid Lowe

How will Simeone, Atletico handle Fernando Torres' farewell?

Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid cruised to the Europa League round of 16 as they defeated Copenhagen 5-1 on aggregate.

"No."

It was just one word, but it cut deep. It said everything, and changed everything too.

At Cerro del Espino, Atletico Madrid's training ground to the northwest of the capital, Diego Simeone was asked about Fernando Torres. The question, framed around the efforts that Atletico's manager was making to keep Antoine Griezmann, got off to a false start. Simeone interrupted, suspicious of where his interrogator was going with this, but when it was eventually asked, it was direct:

"I would like...

 By Robbie Dunne

Gareth Bale seems to be running out of time at Real Madrid

Zinedine Zidane believes Real Madrid will be able to continue moving up the La Liga table after his team go third with a 3-1 win over Leganes.
Zinedine Zidane suggests that Cristiano Ronaldo needs a break ahead of Real's La Liga game at Leganes.
Steve Nicol explains why Real Madrid's defence remains a cause for concern despite the club's victory at Real Betis.
Real Madrid's Zinedine Zidane feels his side can replicate their 3-1 first leg win in Paris and that it will give them confidence to correct their form in La Liga.

After haggling down to the wire, Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur announced that they had agreed on a fee for Gareth Bale on Aug. 30, 2013. The Wales international was Bernabeu-bound, and while he scored 22 goals in that first season, it was another summer signing that year who has proved to be the thorn in his side during his entire time at Real Madrid. It's always been said that the option is binary: either you play Isco or Bale and the two can't coexist.

The day after Bale's fee had been agreed,...

 By Rob Train

Vazquez makes case for place in Real XI with all-action showing at Leganes

Zinedine Zidane believes Real Madrid will be able to continue moving up the La Liga table after his team go third with a 3-1 win over Leganes.
Real Madrid are now 14 points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona following their 3-1 come from behind win over Leganes.
Real Madrid are now 14 points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona following their 3-1 come from behind win over Leganes.

Real Madrid came from behind to chalk up a 3-1 win at Leganes, lifting Zinedine Zidane's side to third in La Liga. Unai Bustinza scored from a corner, putting the hosts ahead six minutes into the match. But Lucas Vazquez, Casemiro and Sergio Ramos answered, earning Real Madrid a hard-fought win against the team that knocked them out of the Copa del Rey last month.

Positives

Real pressed hard in the first half to win possession every time Leganes tried to play out from the back. The one-touch movement...

 By Robbie Dunne

Zinedine Zidane should use La Liga to groom, rebuild the confidence of 'Real Madrid B'

Zinedine Zidane suggests that Cristiano Ronaldo needs a break ahead of Real's La Liga game at Leganes.
Steve Nicol explains why Real Madrid's defence remains a cause for concern despite the club's victory at Real Betis.
Real Madrid's Zinedine Zidane feels his side can replicate their 3-1 first leg win in Paris and that it will give them confidence to correct their form in La Liga.

Zinedine Zidane's tinkering with his team started and ended with a 1-1 draw with Levante back in September. It was just the third game in La Liga, and Zidane quickly discovered that his "B team" of this year was inferior to that of last year's. Zidane made six changes to his starting side that day, with Kiko Casilla, Nacho Fernandez, Theo Hernandez, Marcos Llorente, Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio being rotated into the side as second-string options.

"I'm not going to change," Zidane said after...