Bale set to make his Real debut

Welshman to play against Villarreal today: Ancelotti
Last Updated 14 September 2013, 03:55 IST

Real Madrid will get their first indication of whether 100 million euros was money well spent when world record signing Gareth Bale makes his debut in Saturday's La Liga match at Villarreal.

Real coach Carlo Ancelotti said Bale, whose pre-season was disrupted by protracted negotiations over his move from Tottenham Hotspur, would not necessarily start the game at the Madrigal but would feature at some point and would likely be deployed on the right.

The Wales winger played the final half hour of Wales's 3-0 World Cup qualification defeat at home to Serbia on Tuesday, his first competitive action since July, and trained with his Real team-mates for the first time on Wednesday.

"I think everyone knows his pre-season was not normal but his physical condition is not bad," Ancelotti told a news conference. "Tomorrow he will travel with the team and he will play.

"I don't know if he will start but he will definitely play some (part) of the match. I don't think now is the right moment to leave him out of the team. "He is going to work (on his fitness) and play at the same time. He is very excited and very motivated."

Real have won their opening three La Liga matches under Italian Ancelotti, who replaced Jose Mourinho at the end of last season, but a number of players returned from international duty with injuries and are unavailable for the Villarreal game.

Ignacio Fernandez, who debuted for Spain in their friendly against Chile on Wednesday, will fill in at left backin the absence of Brazil's Marcelo and Portugal's Fabio Coentrao, Ancelotti said.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Isco have also recovered from minor problems and were available, he added.

The former AC Milan, Chelsea and Paris St Germain coach was also quizzed about the departure of Mesut Ozil to Arsenal on the final day of the transfer window.

The wisdom of selling the Germany playmaker has been questioned as he was one of Real's most creative players and had developed a highly effective partnership with Ronaldo. Ozil said he moved to London because he realised Ancelotti did not have sufficient confidence in him.

"It's clear that no player would leave Real Madrid if he didn't want to," Ancelotti said.
"We have played three games and he started two of them but with the arrivals of Bale and Isco the player thought he had a lot of competition and asked to leave.

"It was a technical decision and we are not lacking in anything. In my opinion it was a good offer and everyone is happy. Lots of luck to Ozil."

(Published 13 September 2013, 17:42 IST)

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