With Real Madrid top of La Liga at present, things appear to be going well for Carlo Ancelotti, a recent defeat against Espanyol notwithstanding.
Los Blancos’ next away game is El Clasico at Camp Nou, and after a three-week period since that defeat at the RCDE Stadium, the visitors should be fully rested and raring to go against Ronald Koeman’s side.
Gareth Bale is unlikely to be involved in that game, given that he picked up a hamstring injury back in September that MARCA described as long term.
To that end, the Welshman has clearly been busying himself enjoying one of his favourite sports; golf.
Given the historic issue between Bale and his club, when he was pictured holding a ‘Wales, Golf, Madrid – in that order’ flag, during international duty, despite not being able to play his words to reporters at the Spanish Open tournament, even in jest, might well be frowned upon by Florentino Perez and Co.
“There are only two of us playing golf in the Real Madrid dressing room, so without a doubt I’m the No.1 golfer on the team,” he was reported as saying by Sport.
“Thibaut Courtois is the other one who plays, but he’s not better than me. Whenever I get the chance and there’s a golf tournament nearby, I come to watch it.
“It’s amazing the atmosphere, the crowd, the good weather and, on top of that, honestly, these guys play very well.
“It’s unbelievable how well they play for the pressure they’re under. Football is different because you have pressure, but you also have a referee to deal with.
“The thing is, golf is a much more mental game; I feel more pressure here than in front of 80,000 spectators.”
Perhaps the Welshman is even looking a little further ahead, to the end of the season and an expected parting of the ways in Madrid.
“With COVID-19, we had a hard time playing golf, but I’m hoping to come back to Wales this year and make the tournament bigger,” he continued.
“My idea is to attract more kids to the sport and make it bigger and more affordable. We want to get a lot more people involved.”
Could it be that Bale will hang up his boots at the end of his contract with Los Blancos and turn his attentions to something that he clearly loves?
Whether or not that turns out to be the case, he needs to get back to full fitness as quickly as he’s able in order to sign off from the Santiago Bernabeu with a flourish.
His time there, unfortunately, is likely to be remembered more for the injuries and controversy than the impact he made when first signing and as part of BBC with Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema.