Gareth Bale included on Ballon d’Or shortlist
Gareth Bale has struggled to get going at Real Madrid, although the Welshman’s performances in a Tottenham shirt have led him to be included in the 2013 Ballon d'Or shortlist.
October 29th, 2013
Bale faces some stiff competition if he’s to finish ahead of the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and a host of Bayern Munich players, with Franck Ribery the likeliest player among the European champions to win this ultimate accolade.
It looks as though it could be a straight shoot-out between Messi and Ribery, although Zlatan Ibrahimovic was recently regarded as the best player in the world by Arsene Wenger and the Swede could be a dark horse.
Real Madrid manager claims that Bale needs time to settle down at the Bernabeu, calling on the fans to give the Welshman a break after a disappointing performance against Barcelona.
“It’s true that in the last few games he hasn’t done extraordinary things, but a player who arrives at a new team, in a new culture, needs time to adapt,” Ancelotti told the Spanish radio station Cadena Cope.
“The problem the player has is of adaptation. It’s not the same to play in Spain as in England.
“For me, Bale is a player the same as any other. I think he was a good signing for Real Madrid. Bale played because in my opinion he could play and create problems for Barcelona – only because of that.
“I didn’t put in Benzema because I didn’t want the opposing defenders to have a clear point of reference. Therefore, Bale started on the left and could change position with Di María.”