It is the million dollar handshake. Cristiano
Ronaldo greeted Gareth Bale on Wednesday, as the Welshman turned up for training with
Real Madrid for the first time. Inside the club’s Valdebebas training ground, the manager
Carlo Ancelotti and his assistant Zinedine Zidane also welcomed the record signing. Bale
then joined the rest of players for a two-hour session, meeting up with his old Spurs teammate
Luka Modric. No one, except perhaps for Ancelotti, knows whether the former Tottenham man will
make his debut during Saturday’s La Liga match against Villarreal, but Wales manager Chris
Coleman said this week that Bale is not fit enough to play a full 90 minutes.
He played 30 minutes of Wales’ 3-0 defeat to Serbia on Tuesday, and that was his first
competitive action since July. Real have won their opening three La Liga matches under
Ancelotti, who replaced Jose Mourinho at the end of last season. It remains to be seen
how Bale adapts to playing alongside the likes of Ronaldo and whether he can make up for
the departure of German playmaker Mesut Ozil to Arsenal.