Ancelotti: Bale still deserves to play for Real Madrid

The Wales international’s position within the European champions’ starting line-up has come under scrutiny in recent weeks due to the impressive form of Isco

Carlo Ancelotti insists that Gareth Bale remains one of Real Madrid’s most important players.

The 25-year-old has endured a difficult start to his second season in Spain, following last summer’s world-record €100 million transfer from Tottenham Hotspur.

Bale’s form was the subject of much debate even before he was sidelined with a back problem midway through the month but some pundits are now claiming that the winger should not be restored to the starting line-up when he does return from injury – not least because of the impressive form of Isco in the Welshman’s absence.

However, Ancelotti intimated that Bale will be restored to the Madrid attack as soon as he is fully fit.

“Bale deserves to play,” the Italian told reporters on Friday. “He is one of the best players in the world and a very important player for this team.

“Isco is playing well and we hope he can prolong the good moment he’s in until the end of the season.

“But he is also compatible with Bale. He’s proved that already: they’ve played together and played well.”

Ancelotti also had his say on the current controversy over the fact that three Madrid players (Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric and Sergio Ramos) picked up individual prizes at the LFP awards dinner during the week, while not a single member of Atletico’s title-winning side was recognised.

“I’m never surprised when any Madrid player wins an award,” the former Chelsea boss stated.

“It doesn’t come as a surprise when Ramos or Modric receive an award – or Cristiano, because he is the best player in the world.”

Madrid return to Liga action on Saturday at Granada, having drawn to within a point of leaders Barcelona with a 3-1 win in last weekend’s Clasico.

Ancelotti confirmed that Bale, Jese Rodriguez and Fabio Coentrao will all miss the trip to Andalusia through injury.

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