Monday, 18 November 2013

The Sweeper: Bale accepted by Ronaldo at Real Madrid

The Sweeper: Bale accepted by Ronaldo at Real Madrid
The Portuguese forward is getting along with the €100m summer signing, while Manchester City's Etihad Stadium is set to be expanded and there is a 12-month safety net at Fulham

Gareth Bale is starting to settle in at Real Madrid following an injury-interrupted start to his career in Spain.

The Sweeper understands that key to the Welshman’s growing comfort in the Madrid dressing room is his burgeoning friendship with star player Cristiano Ronaldo.

According to a source close to Bale, he is "getting on well" with the influential Portugese, who "has accepted him as part of the group".

Privately, the two main concerns of the Bale camp following his world-record €100 millon summer move were his fitness following a severely curtailed pre-season programme at Tottenham and the prospect of being an outcast in a dressing room which is historically suspicious of expensive newcomers.

Bale has been involved in 10 of Madrid's 20 matches, only six of which he started, but his contribution of four goals and five assists is starting to win over the demanding Madridistas.

It did not go unnoticed by observers that set-piece expert Ronaldo allowed Bale to take a free kick in the club’s 4-2 league victory over Sevilla last month, from which the 24-year-old scored.

Bale admitted in an interview with Madrid's official media channel this week that he undertook a specially devised training programme to get him fit while still playing.

"I've just finished my pre-season," Bale explained. "It was just a matter of time until I got to 100 per cent. Now, everyone is seeing what I can do. The best is yet to come. Now, I'll be able to score more goals and help the team achieve success." ------------------

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