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Ancelotti: Bale can play the Clasico

The Real Madrid boss has claimed that the former Tottenham man will be ready for the game with Barcelona tomorrow, despite a spate of injuries.

Carlo Ancelotti believes that Gareth Bale will be fit enough for the Clasico this weekend with Barcelona.

The Wales international has been blighted with niggling injuries since his arrival at Real Madrid from Tottenham Hotspur, but has followed up a mini preseason undergone during the October international break with substitute appearances against Malaga and Juventus.

And the Italian has confirmed that the 24-year-old will be ready for the game at Camp Nou on Saturday.

“The protrusion [of a disc in his back] is a normal issue. I had two or three, nothing happened,” Ancelotti to Cadena SER, on the injury reports about Bale have centred on.

“With Bale, since he has been here, he has not had any issues with his back. His problem was in his physical condition, he had not trained. Now he is alright, all ready to play from the start.

“Can he play at the Camp Nou from the start? Yes, yes, from the start. Where? If you ask the player, he prefers to play on the right. I think he wants to come in from the right to shoot with his left.

“Who will drop out of the team then? I will not say, I will not give an advantage to the opponent. The players do not know who will play.”

The coach then went on to consider the game with Tata Martino’s men tomorrow.

“Barca will play with more confidence because virtually nothing has changed.

“Is a draw good? It depends on the game, but we are not going there to draw. We play with courage and personality. It is not good to play to defend.”

“How is life in Madrid? I like it. The people here are very similar to the Italians, positive. The French are more negative. I understand that the fans at the Bernabeu are more demanding. Madrid has a great history. This is always a motivation, not a problem.

“The plan for the team is very clear, to win through playing a fantastic game. Now we are winning, but the game is still not good.

“Does it suit the players that I have though? It is important to first know the characteristics of the players and from there work on a system where they feel comfortable.”

Another topic of conversation was Mesut Ozil’s surprise move from Santiago Bernabeu to Arsenal over the summer.

“Yes, it was a technical decision. For the balance of the team I preferred to have Di Maria. He has less quality that Ozil but for his character and for how he helps the team, I wanted him.

“With the arrival of Bale, I think it is more important to have Di Maria than Ozil, looking for a balance in the team.”

Ancelotti concluded by commenting on Cristiano Ronaldo and his bid to win the Ballon’d’Or.

“Cristiano, for his professionalism. He is very serious, controls the details, He doesn’t just score goals, he motivates and helps the others.

“With Cristiano, he trains well not only on the field, but is very diligent and professional off the field too.

“The Ballon d’Or? It is time for Cristiano to win it, ahead of Messi and Ribery. I think that Cristiano has spoken to Zidane about that,” laughed Ancelotti, in reference to the Madrid assistant having publicly backed Franck Ribery.

image: © James Boyes

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