Bale ready for Real debut

MADRID. Gareth Bale is ready to make his debut for Real Madrid following his world-record transfer when the Spanish club visit Villarreal on Saturday.
Gareth Bale with Luka Modric at Real Madrid training on Thursday. Net photo.
Gareth Bale with Luka Modric at Real Madrid training on Thursday. Net photo.

MADRID. Gareth Bale is ready to make his debut for Real Madrid following his world-record transfer when the Spanish club visit Villarreal on Saturday.

The match at El Madrigal Stadium comes three days before Madrid travel to Turkey to play Galatasaray in their Champions League opener.

“We have to wait until the match day to see whether I’m picked or not,” Bale said on Thursday. “But hopefully I can get my fitness up straight away and get a place in the team.”

Bale practiced for the first time with Madrid on Wednesday, the day after making his first official appearance this season as a substitute for Wales in a 3-0 loss to Serbia.

Madrid said forward Cristiano Ronaldo was the first to greet Bale on his arrival to the club’s training facilities.

“He’s a nice guy,” Bale said. “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.”

Bale will likely still need time to get fully fit after not playing during the drawn-out negotiations with Tottenham that ended in Madrid breaking its own transfer record for Ronaldo with a €100 million payout for the Wales winger.

Madrid have won their first three games of the Spanish league season, but they face Villarreal who have also made a perfect start in their return to the topflight after one season in the second division.

Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Real Sociedad also play on Saturday to warm up for their Champions League openers. Barcelona host a Sevilla side looking for their first win of the season.

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