MADRID: Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema will miss Real Madrid’s trip to Saudi Arabia for this week’s controversial staging there of the Spanish Super Cup.
Both started the weekend’s 3-0 win over Getafe but a club statement said Frenchman Benzema has a hamstring issue while Wales forward Bale is suffering from a chest infection.
Also absent from the experimental four-team tournament will be team mate Eden Hazard (ankle), Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Valencia forward Rodrigo (both knee ).
The Super Cup was always two-legged tie between the league champions and Copa del Rey holders. Then, in November, the Spanish federation agreed a three-year deal to play the tournament in Saudi Arabia – a move which has angered human rights groups, as well as local supporters.
Real and Valencia meet in the first semi-final in Jeddah on Wednesday before Barcelona take on Atletico Madrid 24 hours later for a place in Sunday’s final. Saudi Arabia hosted the Italian Super Cup in December.