Real Madrid confirm Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale will play in Dubai
DUBAI // Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale will play for world champions Real Madrid in their high-profile friendly with AC Milan on Tuesday night before a capacity crowd at The Sevens ground.
“Yes, Bale and Ronaldo are available and they will play,” Carlo Ancelotti, coach of the European and Club World Cup champions, said Monday. “All the players are here and will play at some point. The injured players are the only ones who stayed behind.”
He said Madrid have looked forward to their game in Dubai.
“We’re really happy to be here,” he said. “Real Madrid have a really good image all around the world and here we have a lot of support, so we always want to play in this region.”
On January 2, Madrid defeated Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 before a capacity crowd in Doha.
Madrid’s match with AC Milan represents the most significant ever played in the UAE, in the sense of major championships won. Madrid have 10 European Cup titles, the most of any team; Milan are second, with seven.
Ancelotti was accompanied to the press event by the rising players Dani Carvajal and Isco. The team had arrived a few hours before at Dubai International Airport.
The Madrid trio were met by a crowd of 300 journalists in the auditorium of the Emirates Headquarters, near the airport, and were whisked in and out a side door.
Ancelotti refused to be specific on how important a victory would be for the Spanish side, who are on a run of 22 consecutive victories, two short of the world record 24 set by Brazilian side Coritiba in 2011.
“It’s important for the next games because we have a tough schedule.”
Asked the secret to success, he said: “The secret? There are no secrets in football. There is hard work, the professionalism of the players and the organisation of the club. So there are a lot of things.
“At this moment we are doing well, but we have to pay attention because football is strange. When everything seems good, that’s the moment you fall down.”
Asked about rumours that midfielder Sami Khedira could be leaving Madrid to join English club Arsenal, Ancelotti was terse. “There is no news,” he said. “There are rumours but nothing more than that. He has a contract until June 30.”
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Published: December 29, 2014 04:00 AM