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‘He is part of Madrid history’ – Ancelotti hails Bale ahead of Bernabeu exit

Carlo Ancelotti confirmed Gareth Bale would leave Real Madrid when his contract expires in June as he hailed the forward who remains “a part of the history” at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Madrid wrapped up the LaLiga title with four games to spare and host Real Betis on the final matchday of the league season, with a Champions League final against Liverpool to follow on May 28 in Paris.

Bale’s role in their success to this point has been extremely limited.

Making just seven appearances in all competitions this season, totalling only 290 minutes of action.

The Wales international, who will hope to qualify for the World Cup when his country faces either Ukraine or Scotland in their play-off final on June 5, was expected to leave Madrid when his contract runs out at the end of the season, and Ancelotti confirmed that was the case on Thursday.

Bale has won four Champions League titles during his nine-year spell in the Spanish capital, scoring three final goals.

But his exit will mark the end of a turbulent stay in Madrid, with his Los Blancos commitment regularly coming under scrutiny from Madridistas and the Spanish press.

Ancelotti could not promise Bale a final farewell appearance at the Bernabeu on Friday as injury problems persist.

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'He is part of Madrid history' – Ancelotti hails Bale ahead of Bernabeu exit

Still, the Italian insisted the 32-year-old’s name would be etched into Madrid’s history books.

Ancelotti told a pre-match news conference:

“Bale is not 100% fit, and he will not play. Tomorrow I’ll choose if he’s on the bench or in the stands.”

Asked about his future, Ancelotti added: “The contract ends, and he will leave. It is not so important if he plays tomorrow. Bale is part of the history of this club. He will remain in the memory of all Madrid fans.

“He was important in the Decima [the club’s 10th Champions League win], in Kyiv, in the Copa del Rey. And he has written important pages in this club’s history, and we have to consider that.”

Ancelotti continued:

“I think about giving minutes to the players who need it the most.

“Tomorrow Marcelo, [Luka] Modric… [David] Alaba will train with the group starting on Monday.”

This season, Karim Benzema has scored 27 goals in LaLiga and is set to become the first French player to finish a campaign as the top scorer in the competition’s history.

Despite fielding another heavily rotated side, Ancelotti expects an exciting game against Copa del Rey winners Betis.

“We are the two teams that have won the competitions,” he added. “It will be an entertaining game because Betis plays quality football.”

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'He is part of Madrid history' – Ancelotti hails Bale ahead of Bernabeu exit

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