Saturday 7 December 2019

Bale and Ronaldo ready for final

Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid

Pete Jenson

The alarm bells rang yesterday when neither Gareth Bale nor Cristiano Ronaldo joined their Real Madrid team-mates for pre-Champions League final training, but coach Carlo Ancelotti immediately quashed any concerns by confirming: "Both will play."

With Atletico Madrid doing their best to disguise what looks like the almost certain absence of hamstring-injury victim Diego Costa, Ancelotti was not indulging in any such mind games.

"You can't change a player's physical condition in just three days, so it doesn't matter if a player spends one session in the gym instead of out on the pitch ... both Ronaldo and Bale will start," said the Italian, who will try to emulate Liverpool's Bob Paisley on Saturday by winning the European Cup three times as a manager.

"Bale is really excited because it's his first final and he is in an excellent physical shape," Ancelotti said.

His position at the Bernabeu is unlikely to be under threat if Real fall short, having won the Spanish Cup against Barcelona and reaching the club's first European Cup final in more than a decade. (© Independent News Service)

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