Carlo Ancelotti has highlighted just how important Gareth Bale is to Real Madrid after he scored his first hat-trick for the club.
The Welsh winger netted three times in Los Blancos’ 4-0 win over Real Valladolid on Saturday, and the Italian tactician admitted that the former Tottenham man is becoming vital to his plans.
“We spoke yesterday,” he told a Press conference. “I think Bale’s period of adaptation is over. He is doing well, he is confident and is very important for us. He did very well today.
“We are playing well at the moment, with continuity and character. The team is focused and has a good attitude. I do not know if it's the best match that we've played.
“I think recent matches have been very good. We are confident and we want to continue like this. As I said before the match, football is strange. When everything is going well, you can still be surprised.
“At the moment the system is going well because we have players in positions were they are comfortable, such as Isco. Alonso's return has given the team more confidence and quality.
“I don’t think that is the best starting eleven but we have a very good squad. Alonso and Modric were fresh but Illarra and Casemiro did well on Wednesday. The team is doing well but I cannot say that this is the best team. I have more than eleven players that are very good.”
Ancelotti was then asked if teams are scared of playing his side.
“I don’t know. If they are then I think it is a good thing, but I don’t think they are. Valladolid were in the match in the first 30 minutes.
“Then it was more difficult for them because after the first goal we had more space to attack. The team was well balanced. We did very well today in defence. I think the match was difficult for Valladolid.”
Barcelona now go to Athletic Bilbao on Sunday evening.
“I will watch it because I love football,” Ancelotti went on. “Let's see what happens. We do not have to think about Barcelona or Atletico Madrid. We have to think about ourselves.
“That is what we are doing now and we are doing well". In conclusion, when asked about AC Milan, he said: "I could say a lot of things. Today Cristiano Ronaldo did not play.
“We had players that replaced him very well. I hope Milan find a replacement like we found today in Di María.”