New signing praised for debut performance.
Real Madrid debutant Gareth Bale was praised by his manager Carlo Ancelotti for a good performance in a difficult first game for the club, Sky Sports reports.
The 24-year-old made an eagerly-awaited first appearance for the Spanish giants after a summer-long transfer saga that saw him finally move to the Bernabeu from Tottenham for a world-record fee of £85m.
Bale marked his debut with an equalising goal in a 2-2 draw away to Villareal, and Ancelotti believes he played well in a difficult game after a long time out of action.
Speculation surrounding his future meant Bale didn’t take part in much of pre-season or training with Spurs, leaving him lacking in match fitness and sharpness going into his first game for Los Blancos, but it didn’t take long for him to show his quality and make an impact for his new club.
“I think he’s happy to score his first goal for Real Madrid,” Ancelotti told a press conference.
“He played in a difficult match and he played well, showing his good attitude. It was a hard match for everyone.”
Bale was not the only player making his debut, as another big-money summer signing Asier Illarramendi also made his bow for Real, though neither player were risked for the full 90 minutes by Ancelotti.
“They played well. Their performances were good,” added the Italian.
“I didn’t play them for the full 90 minutes because in the first match it isn’t a good idea, so after an hour I took them off.”
This thrilling 2-2 draw was the first time Real have dropped points in La Liga so far this season.