‘Bale won’t play if he’s not fully fit’

Carlo Ancelotti has said he is willing to leave Gareth Bale out of the Real Madrid XI to play Atletico Madrid if he’s not fully fit.

The Wales international missed Madrid’s 3-0 win over Eibar on Saturday with a foot problem but has since returned to training ahead of the Champions League quarter-final.

“Bale is fine, available as are all of the squad,” Ancelotti confirmed at his pre-match Press conference, AS reports.

“I’ll decide the line-up tomorrow, and the bench. I have the whole squad available, players who are good and fresh. We have to play with speed and quickness.

“If Bale isn’t 100% he won’t play, because I have a squad that is very good. If anyone isn’t 100%, they don’t play.

“Bale had a fantastic season and he’s still good now. He scored in two finals and they were key to completing our season. He’ll be important if we’re to make more finals.”

It was put to Ancelotti that Bale’s presence in the side means there is someone else to help out defensively, but the Italian insisted every player has that responsibility.

“Involvement in defence and attack must be with everyone,” he stressed.

“It’s not a problem of numbers because if we talk about numbers, I could put seven midfielders. But then Simeone puts eight, I put nine…Football is not a problem of numbers.

“There isn’t a problem with the system, 4-4-2 or 4-3-3. The important thing is to play compact, and the next game is a question of personality.

“Sergio Ramos is one of our team but there are other players with lots of personality and character.”

Tags Carlo Ancelotti Gareth Bale