Gareth Bale unsure of fitness for Clasico
ESPN FC: "The biggest match in the world"
Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale admits he is “not too sure” about his fitness but is willing to start Saturday’s Clasico against Barcelona if given the nod by coach Carlo Ancelotti.
Bale, 24, joined Madrid from Tottenham for a world-record fee in August, but has so far been limited to just 170 minutes across five games due to a series of niggling injuries. His lack of game time has created a sense that he himself is not confident in his own physical condition after such a disrupted preseason.
The Wales international had 27 minutes as a substitute in Wednesday’s 2-1 Champions League win over Juventus, but was a marginal figure, attempting just four passes and completing none.
And Bale told Sky Sports that it was now Ancelotti’s call whether or not he starts this weekend’s huge game at the Camp Nou.
“I am not too sure, I have had a few minutes this week and I have had a good week's training as well,” Bale said. “So I think I am fit enough. It is up to the manager now whether I play from the start or am on the bench.”
His first Clasico is sure to be an “amazing experience”, but the most important thing is to get three points and draw level with Barca at the top of La Liga, Bale said.
"Yeah I am sure it will be an amazing experience,” he said. “The most important thing is we try to win the game and get the three points. I am looking forward to it just like everyone else is."
Bale added that Cristiano Ronaldo, who this week asked reporters not to heap too much pressure on the shoulders of Madrid’s record signing, had been a big help in him settling in at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
“Yeah he has been absolutely amazing with me,” he said. “He has given me a lot of confidence and I think he has been in the position before so he has been great with me, everybody has been great in the changing room and I felt very settled straight away and I am just looking forward to kicking on now.
“I am enjoying everything about Real Madrid at the moment, obviously it was a bit disappointing to get the injury but that is behind me now and I just want to kick on now, play as well as I can and do my best for the team.”