Real Madrid defender Pepe has spoken about the form of Gareth Bale, the signing of James Rodriguez and the fitness of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Pepe was speaking after Madrid drew 1-1 with Inter, losing on penalties, with Bale scoring his side’s goal in spectacular fashion.
“Bale has been working with the rest of the team. He’s very strong and has incredible ability,” AS reports the centre-back as saying.
“He will be a very important player for us.
“The Coach is demanding a lot. I’ve only been back a week but I feel pretty good. Gradually we will pick up the pace.
“We’ll be prepared on August 12 [the date of the European Super Cup]. We have players who haven’t even come back for the pre-season yet. That happens soon.
“Let’s play these games at the maximum to get into the best shape.”
Madrid’s pre-season preparations have involved a number of young players to account for the first teamers’ absences, with the youngsters catching Pepe’s eye.
“There are a lot I like. With a little more experience they’ll be with us in the first team,” he said.
“I felt at home in my first game. It was full of kids from the cantera and that’s good. They have shown they can help.”
James and Ronaldo have yet to return to training for the new season and Pepe welcomed both of them.
“Cristiano will just add to our work. It’s good that he has had time to rest. He’ll reach the highest level,” Pepe said of his Portugal teammate.
“James is very talented. I saw from him at Porto that he has an amazing left foot. I’m sure he’ll help us a lot.”