Real Madrid defender admits he would love to have Ronaldo back at the Bernabeu

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Los Blancos legend: Cristiano Ronaldo.

Real Madrid defender Nacho has admitted he would love it if Cristiano Ronaldo was still at the club, but said the Los Blancos squad have had to move on from CR7.

Ronaldo ended his incredible nine-season goal and trophy-laden spell with the Whites in July, signing for Juventus in a deal worth €100m.

The Portuguese followed coach Zinedine Zidane out of the exit door after Real secured an unprecedented third straight Champions League trophy.

Speaking ahead of Spain’s upcoming internationals against Wales and Bosnia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nacho told Goal: “It is a difficult subject for us. I’ve said it several times. If it were up to us we would love to have Cristiano in the squad because we had him for many years and he is a player who makes a difference.

“But it is a situation where we cannot feel sorry for ourselves because of Cristiano. He chose to leave.

“We are grateful for everything he did for us and we wish him the best of luck. But we cannot feel sorry for someone who is no longer with us. It isn’t our fault he left, nor was it up to us to make him stay.

“I hope he has the best of luck and we have to work through the present and future in the best way we can with what we have.”

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Marcelo's return from injury is welcome boost for under-fire boss Julen Lopetegui

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Recovering: Marcelo.

Real Madrid vice-captain Marcelo has stepped up his return to action and is training this week at an empty Valdebebas complex, given the majority of Los Blancos stars are away on international duty.

The Brazilian was substituted during the 3-0 reverse at Sevilla on September 26 after sustaining a right calf muscle injury, and has since missed the past three matches, in which the Whites have failed to find the back of the net.

Marcelo will not partake in Brazil’s upcoming internationals against Saudi Arabia and Argentina but is all but certain to be available for Real’s October 20th home clash in La Liga against Levante.


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Falta menos! #M12 💪🏾 ⚽️

A post shared by Marcelo Vieira Jr. (@marcelotwelve) on

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Fitness boost for Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale

Phil Blanche 10/10/2018
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Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale is set to win his fitness battle and play in Wales’ Nations League tie against the Republic of Ireland.

Bale remains doubtful for the Cardiff friendly with Spain on Thursday after coming off in the closing stages of Real Madrid’s La Liga defeat at Alaves last weekend.

The 29-year-old has been troubled by a groin injury in recent weeks, but he trained on Tuesday and the Wales medical staff will continue to monitor his fitness ahead of the Spain game.

Although that clash might be too soon for him, it is understood that Bale is in line to start in Dublin next Tuesday.

If Bale does miss out against Spain, Harry Wilson could be on free-kick duty after his stunning effort at Old Trafford for Derby last month.

The on-loan Liverpool winger scored a spectacular 30-yard effort to earn praise from Anfield boss Jurgen Klopp and a rebuke from his Wales manager and Manchester United great Ryan Giggs.

“He (Klopp) messaged me after the game,” said Wilson, who copied the previous Old Trafford goal celebrations of Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard by holding one hand aloft to show five fingers, referring to Liverpool’s five European cups – compared to United’s three.

“He just said ‘fantastic free-kick, really great football’.

“It’s great to hear from the manager whose team you want to be in in the future.

“He (Giggs) did mention a fine to me when I got into camp, but the celebration was just heat of the moment.

“I practice my free-kicks a lot and spend time with a couple of lads to get that technique.

“I think Gareth is definitely top of the pile when it comes to taking them, and rightly so.

“But if he’s not on the pitch for one reason or another, I’ll be putting my name forward.”

Wilson will also be keeping an eye on England during the international break as he shares a Derby flat with fellow loanee Mason Mount.

The Chelsea youngster earned his first England call-up for the Nations League games against Croatia and Spain despite never having played in the Premier League.

“He’s been great for us all season. He’s scoring, assisting and deserves his call-up,” Wilson said.

“Mason’s a great lad to live with, even if he’s a bit messy and the flat is a bit dirty at the minute!

“We go to the cinema, go shopping, go out for food and we try to do that with a couple of our team-mates as well.

“We’re setting up a Come Dine with Me in Derby. Every other week some people will come to our house and we’ve got to cook for them and try some new recipes.

“My speciality is spaghetti bolognese, and I have to say I’m a better chef than Mason.”

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