Real Madrid’s final La Liga match this season ended in a dismal 2-0 defeat by Real Betis, finishing third with 68 points – their worst total since 2001-02.
This latest defeat was Real’s 12th in the league this season, the first time that has happened since the 1998-99 campaign.
Real finished eight points behind runners-up Atletico Madrid and are 18 adrift of champions Barcelona, who visit face Eibar later on Sunday.
With Gareth Bale, Toni Kroos and Thibaut Courtois all sitting on the bench, Betis forward Loren Moron put the visitors in front in the 61st minute, completing a sweeping counter-attack by slamming the ball into the roof of the net from close range.
“We started the season badly and we’ve finished it badly,” said Madrid defender Marcelo.
“We didn’t want the season to be like this at any stage, we wanted to be in finals competing for trophies, it’s been a tough season, one of the hardest on a personal level, we tried to sort things out but now we’re just looking to next season.”
Zinedine Zidane, who returned to the Bernabeu in March to become Real’s third coach of the season, explained why he chose not to field Gareth Bale.
The Frenchman said: “I’m sorry he didn’t get to play, but no-one knows what will happen.
“If I think a player doesn’t fit in the team, I have to do what I think works best. No-one can change what Bale has done for the team, but as a coach I have to live in the present.”
Asked about the future of Bale and keeper Keylor Navas, who has also been linked with a move away, he added: “I don’t know if it’s the last game for them or not. I don’t know what’s going to happen.
“Keylor played well but we’ll see what happens next season.”
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