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Barca hampered by archaic FIFA

Barcelona 10 hours ago
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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Nov 30, 2013

Real Madrid calm over Bale hat trick

Gareth Bale scored a hat trick and set up another as Real Madrid disposed of Valladolid 4-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu, but manager Carlo Ancelotti and defender Marcelo refused to get carried away with his performance.

• Train: Bernabeu gives Bale the okay

Bale netted the first goal of the night via a header before scoring two more goals and creating Karim Benzema’s with a superb pass.

While acknowledging the Welshman has clearly settled in Spain following his summer move from Tottenham, Ancelotti then singled out Angel Di Maria for special praise.

"[Bale] is a very important player for us," Ancelotti said. "We spoke yesterday. I think his period of adaptation is over. He is doing well, he is confident and is very important for us. He did very well today.

"Di Maria's performance was fantastic. He was our most dangerous player and he adapts to different positions on the field.

"I don't have a perfect line up, I have more than 11 players. The current formation is working well. Isco is comfortable & Xabi [Alonso]'s return gave us more quality.

"I think the team is well-balanced at the moment. We defended well tonight. It was a tough match for Valladolid."

Marcelo, meanwhile, played down comparisons between teammates Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo, who was absent through injury.

"There is no need to compare them, Cristiano is above the rest of the players and everyone in the team knows that. Bale is a great player and is doing well."

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