Gareth Bale and Raphael Varane trained in Abu Dhabi with the rest of their teammates on Monday (11 December) as Real Madrid begin preparations for the Fifa Club World Cup.

The Champions League holders will begin the defence of the title in a semi-final against Al Jazira on Wednesday.

Brazilian side Gremio will face Mexican side Pachuca in the other semi-final with the final to be played on Saturday.

Bale has missed Real's last three games after suffering a setback when he returned to action from a two-month spell on the sidelines during the Copa del Rey clash with Fuenlabrada on 28 November.

Varane, meanwhile, missed the weekend's 5-0 victory over Sevilla after picking up another muscle blow during the last week's win over Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.

"The Real Madrid squad have now completed their first training session in Abu Dhabi. The Whites took part in an evening workout at the New York University campus as their preparations for Wednesday's Club World Cup semi-final against Al Jazira, the United Arab Emirates champions (6pm CET, 9pm local time), got under way. Zinedine Zidane worked with all 24 of the players who have travelled to Abu Dhabi," the club confirmed.

The news is a double boost for Zidane although AS and Marca point out that that the two players didn't participate in the final part of training when the Real players worked on shots on goal.

Yet, it could be only a precaution with Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos and Dani Carvajal also missing that part.

Zidane is expected to address the media on Tuesday to confirm whether Bale and Varane are ready to return to action against Al Jazira after last week he already suggested that both players could be fit to feature in the Club World Cup.

Jesus Vallejo also trained with the rest of his teammates but the Spanish starlet will definitely miss the game after being left out of Zidane's 23-man squad for the Club World Cup.

Meanwhile, Zidane expressed his confident on winning the trophy to become the first team in history to defend the title.

"Every time that we've fought for a trophy this season we've won, we won the European Super Cup and the Spanish Super Cup. It's an important competition and we're missing a league match for this trophy. We're hoping to be able to return home with the trophy," Zidane said to the club website.

"It'll not be easy. Last year we had a lot of difficulties with the Japanese side but we won in the end. We're not going to have easy games and we're not going to win because we're Real Madrid. We've got time to prepare the matches and there's no excuses. The fixture list is like this and we must look at doing things as well as possible. We have to prepare and go into it full of enthusiasm in order to go home with the trophy".

Los Blancos have endured a slow start to the season which has seen them trail Barcelona by eight points in La Liga.

However, Zidane has backed his side to turn the situation around in the second part of the season with Los Blancos ready to host Barcelona in the first El Clasico of La Liga just after the Club World Cup.

"We can be very satisfied and happy with how the season is going but of course we can improve. Everyone wants to see Real Madrid playing well and always winning by four or five goals, it's everyone's dream, but in the end it's not so easy. For those of us who're working inside, I've been a player and now the coach, we know that what the players go through isn't easy," the Real boss added.

"It's normal that there are difficult moments during the season but what we have done so far is very positive and very interesting. We've won two titles and we'll try to win the third one. Then we'll have six months to fight for the league, the Champions League and the cup. It'll not be easy and I say the same to everyone, but we're there and we know we can achieve big things again this year."