Zinedine Zidane said Real Madrid left Gareth Bale off their squad for Thursday's match against Manchester City because he "preferred not to play."

"We have a relationship of respect between coach and player. That's clear," Zidane said in his pre-match news conference on Thursday. "It's a personal conversation. The only thing I can say is [Bale] preferred not to play. The rest is between him and I."

Zidane said the decision as "personal" and denied being disappointed in Bale's attitude.

"I respect Gareth a lot," he said. "Things have to stay inside the dressing room between players and coach. Gareth Bale is a Real Madrid player and I respect that. He preferred not to play, that's the only thing I can tell you."

Sources say Bale preferred not to travel with the expectation he wouldn't play in the match.