Gareth Bale says he is ready to make his Real Madrid debut against Villarreal on Saturday
£86m forward calls Cristiano Ronaldo a 'nice guy' after meeting at training
Gareth Bale claims he is fit and ready to make his Real Madrid debut at Villarreal on Saturday, and that there is no rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo, who he has described as a "nice guy".
"We have to wait until the match day to see whether I'm picked or not," the forward said. "But hopefully I can get my fitness up straight away and get a place in the team."
The 24-year-old, who is close to a full recovery from a groin injury, may be forced down the pitch to play at left-back, such is the injury situation in defence at Carlo Ancelotti’s side but says he will be happy to play anywhere he is asked.
"I have spoken to the boss about where I'm best on the pitch but I will play anywhere I'm asked."
The £86m world-record signing from Tottenham has played just 32 minutes of competitive football this season, for Wales in their 3-0 World Cup qualifying defeat by Serbia on Tuesday. After the match Wales manager Chris Coleman said it would be "dangerous" if Bale plays the full 90 minutes for Madrid at the Estadio el Madrigal.
"We have looked at him in these ten days and he is nowhere near ready for 90 minutes, even if Spanish football is slower," Coleman said.
"If he starts Saturday, he will not finish the game. I would be amazed if he does.
"He may get 45 minutes, I don’t know, but he will feel better in himself after getting 30 minutes here.
"But he has only had four training sessions in two months which is dangerous."
Since his first training session at Madrid on Wednesday, Bale has been warmly welcomed by his new team-mates, including Ronaldo, the previous owner of the ‘world’s most expensive player’ tag after his move from Manchester United to Madrid for £80m in 2009.
"It was amazing," Bale said. "Cristiano is a nice guy, he made me feel welcome just like everybody else did.
"They made me feel settled straight away and I'm just looking forward to getting on the pitch and doing well."
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