Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale returned to action against Fuenlabrada. Getty


  • Jesus Vallejo and Luca Zidane are the only two first-team players left out by Zinedine Zidane.
  • Welshman has missed the last two training sessions ahead of the clash with Athletic Club Bilbao.
  • Dani Carvajal also worked in the gym as Marco Asensio and Luca Zidane remain on the sidelines.

Gareth Bale has been included in Real Madrid's 23-man squad for the coming Fifa Club World Cup amid fresh concerns over the Welshman's fitness.

Centre-back Jesus Vallejo and long-term injury casualty Luca Zidane are the only two first-team players left out of the list ahead of the tournament which will be held in Abu Dhabi next month.

Real will begin the defence of the title on 13 December with a semi-final to be played against Al-Jazeera (UAE champions), Auckland City (Oceania) or the Urawa Red Diamonds (Asia).

The final will be played three days later with the other side of the draw involving Pachuca (Concacaf) Wydad Casablanca, the winner of the CAF Champions League (Africa) and Gremio (Conmebol champions).

Prior to the tournament, Real will have to play two La Liga games as well as their final Champions League group match.

Los Blancos will visit Athletic Bilbao on Saturday (2 December) before two home games against Borussia Dortmund (6 December) and Sevilla (9 December).

The inclusion of Bale in Zidane's 23-man squad could be seen as a relief for Real fans following the latest concerns about his fitness.

The Wales international returned to action on Tuesday night (28 November) during the Copa del Rey draw against Fuenlabrada after having been on the sidelines since the Champions League victory over Borussia Dortmund on 26 September.

Bale made an instant impact after coming off the bench in the 62<sup>nd minute of the game, creating two goals for Borja Mayoral to help Real progress to the last 16 with a 4-2 aggregate win.

However, on Wednesday [29 November] the former Tottenham Hotspur star set alarm bells ringing among Real fans once again after being unable to train with the rest of his available teammates.

Real didn't disclose the reasons behind his absence but both Marca and AS have since reported that Bale he didn't feel comfortable against Fuenlabrada and will miss the clash with Athletic.

Marca added that it is not a recurrence of any previous injury but Zidane doesn't want to risk the forward at San Mames with the hope he could have him fully fit for the midweek clash against Dortmund.

Real have not provided any update on the situation since but Bale did miss a second training session with his teammates on Thursday [30 November].

Marco Asensio and long-term absentee Luca Zidane also remain on the sidelines while Zidane was handed a further concern with Dani Carvajal also missing the workout.

"Real Madrid have finished yet another training session in preparation for their game against Athletic, which will take place on Saturday (8:45pm CET) at San Mamés. Zidane called on the Castilla stars Óscar and Tejero along with Under-19s goalkeeper Moha in a session where ball work was given a central role," the club said.

"The players practiced control and passing exercises before splitting into two teams to practice possession. Later on, they played matches on reduced size pitches, before turning their attentions to crossing and shooting. Bale and Carvajal trained using the indoor facilities, whilst Asensio and Luca continued with their recovery processes. The central midfielder trained alone, with and without the ball, and the goalkeeper went running out on the pitch."

Real Madrid 23-man squad for the Club World Cup

Goalkeepers: Keylor Navas, Kiko Casilla and Moha Ramos

Defenders: Dani Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Rapha Varane, Nacho, Marcelo, Theo Hernandez, Achraf

Midfielders: Toni Kroos, Casemiro, Kovacic, Luka Modric, Marco Asensio, Isco, Marcos Llorente, Dani Ceballos

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, Lucas Vázquez, Borja Mayoral