Real Madrid and Gareth Bale enjoy joke-filled training ahead of Manchester City showdown - in pictures

Spanish giants looking to preserve their outstanding record in the Champions League

Real Madrid, the Champions League's most successful side, appeared relaxed in training ahead of their clash with Manchester City at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Real's record is the envy of Europe but that didn't seem to weight heavily on the shoulders of Gareth Bale and his teammates as they prepared to meet Pep Guardiola's side.

After City's win over Leicester at the weekend, Guardiola said: "We will try to be ourselves. We can win and we can lose but we must try to be ourselves."

In the time City have won three Premier League titles and five domestic cups, they have gone past the Champions League's quarter-finals only once, reaching the last four in 2016, only to be beaten by Real.

Zinedine Zidane's side, meanwhile, have surrendered dominance in La Liga to Barcelona but made amends for one Spanish league title in seven years by winning four Champions Leagues out of the last six.

Real's habit of coming through the kind of crunch games will be a big test for City. They believe the Champions League is their tournament, a conviction based on historic success.

"When you have a history of the (Alfredo) Di Stefano period, winning five or six European Cups at that time, it means a new player that comes to Real Madrid and puts on that shirt knows 'we have to defend our history'," said Guardiola. "That gives them a boost because they live that history."

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