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Bale unsure on El Clasico start

ESPN staff
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Gareth Bale says he is "not too sure" about his own fitness but is willing to start Saturday's El Clasico for Real Madrid against Barcelona if given the nod by coach Carlo Ancelotti.

Bale joined Madrid for €100 million in late August, but has so far been limited to only 170 minutes across five games due to a series of niggling injuries amid a sense that he himself is not confident in his own physical condition after such a disrupted pre-season.

The former Tottenham man got 27 minutes as a substitute in Wednesday's 2-1 Champions League group win over Juventus, but was a marginal figure, attempting just four passes and completing zero.

The Wales captain told Sky Sports that it was now Ancelotti's call whether or not he begins the weekend's game at the Camp Nou.

"I am not too sure, I have had a few minutes this week and I have had a good week's training as well," Bale said. "So I think I am fit enough. It is up to the manager now whether I play from the start or am on the bench."

His first El Clasico was sure to be an "amazing experience", but the most important thing was to get three points and draw level with Barcelona at the top of La Liga.

"Yeah I am sure it will be an amazing experience," he said. "The most important thing is we try to win the game and get the three points. I am looking forward to it just like everyone else is."

Cristiano Ronaldo, who this week asked reporters not to heap pressure on the shoulders of Madrid's latest 'galactico' had been a big help in settling in at the Bernabeu.

"He has been absolutely amazing with me," Bale said. "He has given me a lot of confidence and I think he has been in the position before so he has been great with me, everybody has been great in the changing room and I felt very settled straight away and I am just looking forward to kicking on now.

"I am enjoying everything about Real Madrid at the moment, obviously it was a bit disappointing to get the injury but that is behind me now and I just want to kick on now, play as well as I can and do my best for the team."

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