Carlo Ancelotti has defended under-fire superstar Gareth Bale ahead of Real Madrid’s clash against Atletico Madrid while anticipating an intense fixture as Fernando Torres makes his debut.

Gareth Bale came under immense scrutiny for his selfish play during Real Madrid’s 1-2 loss against Valencia but manager Ancelotti believes that Gareth Bale was not selfish.

“I have seen the play and it was not easy to pass the ball, it was very complicated. He had no room and he tried to shoot. There is no need to talk about Bale. He knows very well when he needs to pass but he took the right decision. I do not think Bale is selfish. If he has pressure it is positive because he has scored goals in the finals he has played in. Tomorrow he will play.”

Meanwhile it has been confirmed that Fernando Torres will start the game against arch-rivals Real Madrid on his return to his childhood club. Carlo Ancelotti believes that Torres’ experience and the fans’ support will help him in his return to Vicente Calderon.

“Without playing, Torres has already brought excitement to the fans. He has received their affection. Torres has calmness, experience and in this environment he will be more motivated and have a bigger desire to do well.”

Diego Simeone has revealed that he has been impressed with Torres and claims that the striker is looking strong ahead of his Atletico Madrid debut.

“I’ve been impressed with Torres. He’d been training at AC Milan, made ten league appearances for them – if I’m not mistaken – and has been training with us for several days, so he’s going straight into the side. Here’s hoping he can deliver what the team need in the match. He’s looking strong”

Ancelotti also spoke about Barcelona but refused to draw himself into any controversy regarding the Catalan club.

“I do not know the dressing room of Barcelona, I cannot comment. Everyone faces decisions regarding the dressing room. Luis Enrique is best placed to make those decisions, it looked like a fair one. I have never had clubs with stability problems. There are teams that do. I have to be ready. What happens to Barça happens to all teams at some point in the season.”

Talking about his own team, Ancelotti revealed that he will rotate his goal-keepers and hence will give Keylor Navas a chance in the starting eleven tomorrow. He also refused to speculate that his squad was tired and believes that they will be able to play with intensity against Diego Simeone’s men.

“Keylor is going to play in the Cup and will play until the end of the Cup. The team might have changes. There are players who haven’t recovered. But I want to put out the best team possible. The team isn’t tired because there was a seven-day vacation. We’re ok and it showed in the final part of the match against Valencia, where we played with great intensity.”

Real Madrid have faced Atletico Madrid thrice already this season but have failed to win even a single game. Carlo Ancelotti spoke favourably about Diego Simeone’s men and ranked them as one of the best in the Europe.

“We know them very well. We have played against them many times and often this season. They are a tough team because they make things difficult for you and they are well organised. We have always tried our best to win. They are one of the best teams in Europe.”

However, Ancelotti revealed that he will continue to play with the same philosophy  and is anticipating an intense derby at Vicente Calderon.

“The approach is always to play with our own identity, our philosophy and out qualities. Everyone has their own idea of football. I don’t think there is any news regarding this. Atlético will prepare for the game with intensity and so will we.”

Cover image courtesy Atlético de Madrid Official Facebook Page