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Leagues: La Liga

Bale deserves good Real Madrid farewell, says Ancelotti

Madrid (AFP) – Carlo Ancelotti said on Thursday that Gareth Bale deserves a good send-off in Real Madrid’s last home game of the season against Real Betis.

Bale will leave Real Madrid when his contract expires at the end of June, after nine years at the Spanish giants, during which he has won three La Liga titles and the Champions League four times.

But after an impressive first few years in Spain, Bale’s popularity with the Madrid fans has plummeted while the Spanish press have regularly criticised him for a perceived lack of commitment.

Real Madrid traditionally stage tributes when significant players depart, with the team playing their final La Liga game at the Santiago Bernabeu against Betis on Friday.

Bale may not be able to play in the match as he is struggling with a back problem.

“Everyone knows that Bale’s contract is ending and that he says goodbye to Real Madrid this year,” said Ancelotti in a press conference.

“Whether he plays tomorrow or not, it’s not that important, the important thing is that Bale has been part of the history of this club. He will remain in the memories of all Real Madrid fans.

“He was very important to the Decima (when Real Madrid won their 10th Champions League), in the 2018 Champions League final in Kiev, in the Copa del Rey final (in 2014).

“He has written some great chapters for this club. It is important that everyone recognizes that.”

Real Madrid won La Liga last month with four games to spare, allowing Ancelotti to rest and rotate players ahead of the Champions League final against Liverpool in Paris next Saturday.

“Liverpool have had more difficulties than us, they are preparing very important matches,| Ancelotti said. “But we are not just thinking about the final, we will think about just the final from Monday.”

Ancelotti was also asked four times about Kylian Mbappe, who is still to announce whether he will extend his contract at Paris Saint-Germain or join Real Madrid next season.

Asked whether fans are talking to him about Mbappe in the street, Ancelotti said: “No, because I don’t go in the street. I spend my time at the training ground, in the car or at home.

“Sometimes in Madrid’s good restaurants, but they don’t ask me there. They ask me about the Champions League final.”

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