Ancelotti confirms Bale debut against Villarreal

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that Gareth Bale will make his long awaited debut for the club against Villarreal on Saturday night.

Ancelotti confirms Bale debut against Villarreal
Photo: Pedro Armestre/AFP

There had been some doubt as to whether the Welshman would feature having only played half an hour of competitive football so far this season in his country's 3-0 defeat to Serbia on Tuesday.

However, Ancelotti insisted he will get some playing time in the clash between two of the four sides still with a 100 percent record in the league this season.

And the Italian also ended speculation about where Bale will fit into the Real side by saying he sees him playing from the right side of the attack.

"Bale arrived without doing a normal pre-season, but his physical condition isn't bad. He will travel with the team and he will play," Ancelotti told a press conference on Friday.

"I need to decide if it is from the start or in the second half. He doesn't have any problem with injuries, he is excited and is very motivated. He will almost certainly play on the right."

There had been suggestions in the Spanish press that Bale could even make his debut at left-back after Marcelo, Fabio Coentrao and Alvaro Arbeloa were all injured whilst on international duty.

Ancelotti confirmed though that he will instead opt for Nacho at left-back and that both Cristiano Ronaldo and Isco were fit after recovering from the knocks they picked up on their travels with their national teams.

However, the former AC Milan boss still wants more communication with national team managers to avoid more injuries in the future.

"We have not had luck with the national teams. We have recovered Isco, but Arbeloa, Marcelo and Coentrao are injured. Cristiano is fine. He has recovered and will play in Villarreal."

"We need more communication with the national teams to prevent injuries. I am open to talk with them."

Asier Illarramendi could also make his debut on Saturday following his €39 million ($51 million) move from Real Sociedad in July after overcoming an injury that has kept him out of the first few weeks of the season.

And Ancelotti also clarified his selection between Iker Casillas and Diego Lopez in goal by saying that Casillas, who has been benched in recent weeks, would start on Tuesday when Real begin their Champions League campaign away to Galatasaray.

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Madrid police end escaped camels’ night on the town

Eight camels and a llama took to the streets of Madrid overnight after escaping from a nearby circus, Spanish police said on Friday.

A camel in a zoo
A file photo of a camel in a zoo. Photo: ATTILA KISBENEDEK / AFP

It was not immediately clear how the long-legged runaways managed to get out but Quiros Circus, which owns them, blamed sabotage by animal rights activists.

They were spotted at around 5:00 am wandering around the southern district of Carabranchel close to where the circus is currently based.

“Various camels and a llama escaped from a circus in Madrid overnight,” Spain’s national police wrote on Twitter, sharing images of eight two-humped camels and a llama hanging around a street corner.

“Police found them and took care of them so they could be taken back safe and sound,” they tweeted.

There was no word on whether the rogue revellers, who are known for spitting, put up any resistance when the police moved in to detain them.

Mati Munoz, one of the circus’ managers, expressed relief the furry fugitives — Bactrian camels who have two humps and thick shaggy coats – had been safely caught.

“Nothing happened, thank God,” he told AFP, saying the circus had filed a complaint after discovering the electric fence around the animals’ enclosure had been cut.

“We think (their escape) was due to an act of sabotage by animal rights groups who protest every year.”

Bactrian camels (camelus bactrianus) come from the rocky deserts of central and eastern Asia and have an extraordinary ability to survive in extreme conditions.

These days, the vast majority of them are domesticated.