Champions League

Bale 'not 100 percent' for Cardiff final

2017-05-30 17:58
Gareth Bale (Getty Images)

Madrid - Gareth Bale believes he isn't fit to last 90 minutes for Real Madrid in his homecoming to Cardiff for the Champions League final against Juventus on Saturday and admitted taking painkillers to play earlier this season.

Bale hasn't featured since suffering the latest in a series of calf injuries that have plagued his time in Madrid, against Barcelona on April 23.

However, he claimed he has paid the price from rushing back from ankle ligament damage suffered in November and that his right ankle still hasn't fully recovered.

"I am not 100 percent, I haven't played for six or seven weeks," Bale said on Tuesday.

"I obviously had my operation which still really hasn't recovered.

"I have been playing with a lot of pain, even when I came back I was taking tablets to get through games and training.

"The last six or seven weeks have enabled me to rest my ankle a bit and really try to get it a bit better, and obviously recover from the injury which it caused."

Bale returned ahead of schedule from his ankle operation in February and scored on his comeback against Espanyol.

However, he quickly suffered niggling muscle problems before breaking down against Barca last month.

The Welshman is back in training with the hope of being involved in European football's showpiece as Madrid look to become the first side to retain the trophy in the Champions League era.

However, he is realistic that he is unlikely to oust the on-form Isco from Zinedine Zidane's starting line-up.

"To last 90 minutes, I haven't played a lot of football this year since my operation, so that would be difficult."

Even without Bale, Madrid won La Liga for the first time in five years last weekend with Isco's form in the final weeks of the season instrumental to their success.

And Bale backed his understudy to shine in Cardiff even if it means missing out on his dream of starting a Champions League final in his home city.

"I think Isco has been fantastic," added Bale.

"The last few weeks he has been playing very well, so I am happy for him and he has helped the team enormously at the end of the season.

"Whether he or I start we will both be cheering each other on and hoping the team win.

"The most important thing is how we perform as a team and win the trophy at the end of it."

However, Zidane raised the possibility of the two playing together at some stage of the game against the Italian champions.

"The two of them are very good players," said the Frenchman.

"They played 16 games together this season.

"Everyone speaks about Gareth or Isco but they can play together."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Tuesday, 02 October 2018
Juventus v Young Boys, Allianz Stadium 18:55
Hoffenheim v Manchester City, Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena 18:55
Bayern Munchen v Ajax, Allianz-Arena 21:00
Olympique Lyonnais v Shakhtar Donetsk, Groupama OL Academy Decines-Charpieu 21:00
Manchester United v Valencia, Old Trafford 21:00
AEK Athens v Benfica, Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis 21:00
Roma v Viktoria Plzen, Stadio Olimpico 21:00
CSKA Moskva v Real Madrid, VEB Arena 21:00
Wednesday, 03 October 2018
PSG v Crvena Zvezda, Parc des Princes 18:55
Lokomotiv Moskva v Schalke 04, RZD Arena 18:55
Porto v Galatasaray, Estadio Do Dragao 21:00
Atletico Madrid v Club Brugge, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 21:00
PSV v Internazionale, Philips Stadion 21:00
Borussia Dortmund v Monaco, Signal-Iduna-Park 21:00
Napoli v Liverpool, Stadio San Paolo 21:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Barcelona, Wembley Stadium 21:00
Tuesday, 23 October 2018
AEK Athens v Bayern Munchen, Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis 18:55
Young Boys v Valencia, STADE DE SUISSE Wankdorf Bern 18:55
Real Madrid v Viktoria Plzen, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu 21:00
Ajax v Benfica, Johan Cruijff ArenA 21:00
Shakhtar Donetsk v Manchester City, Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist 21:00
Manchester United v Juventus, Old Trafford 21:00
Roma v CSKA Moskva, Stadio Olimpico 21:00
Hoffenheim v Olympique Lyonnais, Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena 21:00
Wednesday, 24 October 2018
Club Brugge v Monaco, Jan Breydelstadion 18:55
PSV v Tottenham Hotspur, Philips Stadion 18:55
Liverpool v Crvena Zvezda, Anfield 21:00
Barcelona v Internazionale, Camp Nou 21:00
PSG v Napoli, Parc des Princes 21:00
Lokomotiv Moskva v Porto, RZD Arena 21:00
Borussia Dortmund v Atletico Madrid, Signal-Iduna-Park 21:00
Galatasaray v Schalke 04, Turk Telekom Stadyumu 21:00
Tuesday, 06 November 2018
Monaco v Club Brugge, Stade Louis II 19:55
Crvena Zvezda v Liverpool, Stadion Rajko Mitic 19:55
Porto v Lokomotiv Moskva, Estadio Do Dragao 22:00
Atletico Madrid v Borussia Dortmund, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 22:00
Internazionale v Barcelona, Stadio Giuseppe Meazza 22:00
Napoli v PSG, Stadio San Paolo 22:00
Schalke 04 v Galatasaray, Veltins-Arena 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v PSV, Wembley Stadium 22:00
Wednesday, 07 November 2018
Valencia v Young Boys, Estadio de Mestalla 19:55
CSKA Moskva v Roma, VEB Arena 19:55
Juventus v Manchester United, Allianz Stadium 22:00
Bayern Munchen v AEK Athens, Allianz-Arena 22:00
Viktoria Plzen v Real Madrid, Doosan Arena 22:00
Benfica v Ajax, Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz) 22:00
Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk, Etihad Stadium 22:00
Olympique Lyonnais v Hoffenheim, Groupama Stadium 22:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Which English Premier League club will progress furthest in this season's Champions League?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.